In an article at the beginning of spring training, we called Aaron Judge another boom or bust investment player for sports card collectors. Well so far the results have been booming and collectors couldn’t be happier.
At the end of the 2016 season, Judge finally got his chance to show what he can do for the Yankees at the major-league level. A 6-foot-7 giant with enormous power potential, Judge was able to blast a couple balls out of the park in his first go around.
However, major league pitchers were able to exploit his large strike zone, and Judge was simply overmatched with an overall .179/.263/.345 batting line and a ridiculous 46% strike out rate.
If Judge wanted to stay with the big-league club on opening day he would need a to have a monster spring training.
With the stakes raised, Judge came into spring training focused and ready to answer the call. While he didn’t hit as many home runs as fellow Baby Bomber Greg Bird, he did leave an impression on manager Joe Girardi, who recently announced that Judge would win the starting RF position battle over Aaron Hicks (who has also having a very impressive spring training).
Judge’s spring training performance, and then clinching the starting job has meant that his 2013 Bowman Chrome prospect auto card has seen a steady rise in value over the past couple months. At the end of January the card would sell for an average price of $75, and now it will cost you about $110 to add to your collection.
Collectors are buying in hoping that Judge will be a key piece to an exciting up and coming Yankees team. Those who took the plunge back in January must be pretty happy to see the chart above, while new investors will be eagerly waiting to see if Judge’s preseason numbers can translate once he starts playing in meaningful games.
We are still in a high risk, high reward territory when it comes to Judge, but the early returns are positive so far.