When it comes to prospects only Wander Franco sits above him on MLB’s Top 100 chart. Therefore, it comes as no surprise to see many collectors excited about investing in an Adley Rutschman rookie card or two. But should they be? Let’s find out!
Adley Rutschman Rookie Card: To Buy or Not to Buy
When looking at what Rutschman did at Oregon St., it’s easy to see why scouts are calling him the best #1 pick in the MLB Draft since Bryce Harper. In his last year of college ball, Rutschman humiliated Pac 10 pitchers to the tune of 17 home runs in only 185 at-bats. Not to mention an absurd video game-like .411/.575/.751 triple slash. On top of that, scouts say his leadership is off the charts and he’s a more talented catcher than even Buster Posey. So it’s easy to see why the Orioles snagged Rutschman with the first pick.
But before you go getting too excited by the prospect of investing in an Adley Rutschman rookie card, let’s see how he faired in his first taste of professional competition. While it’s an incredibly small sample size, Rutschman didn’t exactly live up to expectations on his first go-round in the minors. In 2019 he spent time in 3 leagues and posted .254/.351/.423 with only 4 home runs. On a more positive note, Rutschman killed it in the only league he had any time to settle into by hitting .325/.413/.481 over 77 at-bats in the NY-PA League.
So while we’re not exactly thrilled with Rutschman’s first year of minor league baseball, we’re certainly taking it with a grain of salt. Since he only compiled 130 at-bats while bouncing around to 3 different leagues we have ZERO PROBLEMS giving Adley a pass here. In 2021 he’ll have more time to establish himself in AA and we’d expect the end result to be closer to his performance in the NY-PA league we mentioned earlier. Therefore, despite the slow start in 2019, we’ll be giving ourselves the green light to pick up a few of the following Adley Rutschman rookie cards!
Question of the Day: Which Top 3 prospect will have a better 2021, Adley Rutschman or Spencer Torkelson
Adley Rutschman Rookie Card: Best Prospect Editions
2019 Bowman Chrome Draft (Buy on eBay)
This is Adley’s “1st Bowman” card as you can see by the logo in the upper left-hand corner. Therefore, you can expect it to be the most collectible of all his prospect card editions. Value varies depending on the autograph and/or refraction situation, but cards that have both features can easily exceed $1,500 with a good enough grade. Consider the autographed base card or a non-auto refractor if you’re not ready to go all-in.
2020 Bowman Chrome (Buy on eBay)
As you’d expect, the 2020 Bowman Chrome set isn’t on the same level as the 2019 set when it comes to Adley Rutschman rookie cards. For instance, there are plenty of cards with both a refractor and an autograph available for just a couple of hundred bucks. So if you want that auto-refractor combo without paying the big dollars, look no further.
2020 Topps Heritage (Buy on eBay)
Here we see Adley in his Delmarva Shorebirds uniform – the highest-level minor league team he’s played for so far. We love the vintage style offered by Topps Heritage and love the fact that the set offers an image variation where we finally get a glimpse of Rutschman in his catcher gear. Even some of the highest valued Rutschman cards from this set will only set you back a hundred bucks or so. Low-hanging fruit never tasted so good!
Another Hot Prospect for Your Radar: Zac Veen Rookie Card Primer
Adley Rutschman Rookie Card Investment Strategy
Short (less than 1 year)
Only a slight hesitation here due to the underwhelming 2019. That said, Rutschman clearly has the ability to light up AA and we expect that he will. A solid 2021 season should generate some decent short-term gains. And if he absolutely crushes it and earns a late-season call-up? $$$. 8.5/10
Medium (1 to 3 years)
We like this strategy best as this will most likely be the time frame in which Rutschman sees his first taste of MLB action. Additionally, it’ll give him time to settle in so we should see some of his best minor league hitting in 2022. Add that to an MLB debut and your pre-2021 season Adley Rutschman rookie card investment is going to be looking NICE! 8/10
Long (3 years plus)
If you’re thinking past 3 years then you’re banking on Rutschman handling MLB pitching. He’s more than capable of doing so and if he’s the player everyone seems to think he is, this is where you stand to make the most profit. However, this is also the riskiest of the 3 options as we all know how it can go once a top prospect first sees MLB pitching. We prefer one of the safer strategies but certainly wouldn’t blame you for stashing a few away for the long run. 7/10.