2: Mike Trout 2009 Bowman Chrome Auto $2,350
We’ve reached the #2 spot, and the runner up in our countdown of the most valuable Bowman Chrome cards is Mike Trout’s 1st prospect auto card from 2009.
We have also reached the elite tier of Bowman Chrome cards to invest in, as you’ll notice that Trout’s card is currently selling for more than double of what the No 3 card on our list (Kris Bryant’s 2013 auto) is currently selling for.
However, considering that we are talking about arguably the best player in the game today, and a player who some are calling the second coming of Willie Mays, I would say that he has deserved all the attention he’s received from the collecting industry.
Probably the surest thing in the game today, we are talking about a player who has already won 2 MVP awards (and arguably could have won five), collected 600 runs, 497 RBIs, 168 HRs, 143 SBs over 5+ seasons, has a career batting line of .306/.405/.557, 48.5 WAR, and he is still only 25 years old!
Here’s another way to look at it, since 2012 when Trout has played his 1st full season according to the fangraphs data sorter, he has registered 15 WAR more than the next best position player, which is about 3 WAR/season on average.
That’s the production of an above average starter (such as Xander Bogaerts) plus the production of an MVP candidate (such as Josh Donaldson) in the same player. That is absurd!
It’s not just that Trout has had a great five-year run overall, but it’s the consistency that he brings each year. So far he has not dipped below a .287 average, .939 OPS, 27 HRs, 104 runs, or 7.9 WAR in a single season.
This level of consistency tells you that, yes he has talent, but he must also be bringing a solid work ethic, intelligence, and dedication to the game that allows him to fervently make the necessary improvements to stay at the top of his game.
For a young player, this is exactly what you want to see when making a safe investment. That rare combination with high upside and a reliable high floor. Plus it doesn’t hurt that his peak is already so high that even when he eventually regresses, he’ll already have accumulated enough production to be a Hall Of Fame lock.
Obviously to invest in Trout would not be a cheap investment, but you can invest confidently knowing that we are speaking about the player who will define this generation.
On a side note, if you have a lot cash sitting around, the 1/1 super refractor parallel is available for a cool $500K on eBay. Maybe one day.
3. Kris Bryant
4. Bryce Harper