3: Kris Bryant 2013 Bowman Chrome Draft Auto $1,025
Landing in the number three spot is Kris Bryant’s 2013 Bowman Chrome prospect auto card, the first card in our countdown to cross the $1,000 valuation mark.
What is confusing about this particular card is that you won’t find it in in packs or boxes of 2013 Bowman Chrome Draft. Instead it was released in the 2014 release of Bowman Inception, Platinum and Chrome.
It’s difficult to tell what impact this decision by Topps ultimately has on the value of the card (is it more valuable because it was so unpredictable where it would turn up?) because of the lack of precedent. If we leave that point aside though and focus on the facts of the featured player, it becomes clear why collectors are eager to spend so much on this card.
So far in his young career, Bryant has done everything that you could have asked a player in his position to do. He was Baseball America’s and USA Today’s minor league player of the year in 2014, and ranked as Keith Law’s top prospect. He debuted with the Cubs in early 2015 after a scorching hot spring training to easily capture the Rookie of the Year award, and help lead the Cubs to the NLCS.
To top it all off, in his sophomore season, he would go on to capture the National League MVP award, and of course be crowned a World Series champion.
Across two seasons Bryant has put up a .284/.377/.522 batting line with 65 HRs and 15.0 WAR, which makes him the third most valuable position player in all of baseball since he was called up.
For collectors, Bryant checks off all of the requirements for a player you want to invest in. He’s shown he can consistently play at an elite level, has won the most important individual and team accolades, and is still young enough that it’s not unreasonable to expect some minor improvements in the next couple years.
The one down side is that at least compared to other players, Bryant has had somewhat of a late start due to playing college baseball. Whereas other players will have had four or five seasons under their belt by age 25, Bryant only has two.
It may limit his ceiling on career counting stats, which puts some pressure on him to maximize the rest of his twenties to pad up his resume as much as possible before he leaves his prime.
So far there is no reason to believe Bryant won’t be able to log many more elite seasons, and it seems like collectors are feeling very confident that he will have a monster season in 2017.
As a result this card is selling fast, and each month the average selling price rises a little bit more.
4. Bryce Harper