The usual caveat applies here whenever we talk about young pitchers.
When it comes to investing in rookie cards, pitchers are risky as there will always be injury concerns based on the stress they put on their arms each time they step on the mound.
But as a short-term investment, there could be substantial rewards as collectors seem to like top prospect pitchers. Depending on how these young pitchers do in the minors within a relatively short timeframe, the value of their cards can fluctuate wildly (i.e. Lucas Giolito).
Minnesota Twins pitcher Jose Berrios falls into that category of good short-term investment as long as the buying price is right.
After his 11-strikeout game against the Colorado Rockies, there are those who think he’s finally breaking out into the young ace that scouts anticipated when he came up last season.
If you don’t already know, his 2016 season was disastrous. Talk about his card value wildly fluctuating, his 2013 Bowman Chrome Prospect base autographed rookie card was sold less than a month ago for a mere $31 (BGS Graded 9.5/10). It was more recently sold for $99 and currently listed by others for $90.
In context, Berrios first two starts this year has been excellent and that hype talk could propel his value to increase. But don’t be surprised to see it fall after a couple of shaky performances, which is to be expected for young pitchers.
That said, Berrios who does have that top pedigree and is pitching on a team with a brighter future than present with fellow youngsters Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton, he could have a slightly longer term value.
But keep in mind, for pitchers to have real long term value, they need to be have a long career (i.e. be healthy) first and then they also need to be able to adapt throughout their career to put up solid statistics.
The wear and tear on their arms inevitably lead to slower velocity over the years, which impacts how effective he is as a veteran pitcher. Batters also have more info on pitchers the longer they’re in the league so good pitchers will have to adjust accordingly.
If a pitcher is able to do that, move the ceiling higher on their card value. Clayton Kershaw is a great example.