This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.
When it’s time to consider the hottest baseball rookie cards of 2021, the first thing to think about is who the best rookies are. As if that weren’t obvious enough! However, in our rookie card reviews, we usually like to include some pre-rookie cards as they can be worth just as much if not more in some cases. Therefore, we’ll also need to consider who the most promising prospects are as well. At any rate, there’s no shortage of options for both exciting 2021 rookies and minor league prospects so let’s get to work!
The guys below may be trending hotter, but Tampa’s young shortstop still shits atop the prospect rankings.
Here are some Wander Franco pre-rookie card options!
Hottest Baseball Rookie Cards 2021: Prospects
2020 Bowman Chrome Jasson Dominguez (Check eBay Listings)
Jasson Dominguez is regarded as one of the most valuable prospects in all of baseball. Therefore, it’s no surprise to see his name appear on this list. As far as the cards go, Bowman Chrome leads the way (as they will with all the prospects on this list). As far as value goes, some of the less common refractors are selling or almost $10,000. Meanwhile, you can get one of the more common editions for just a $100 investment.
2020 Bowman Chrome Luisangel Acuna (Check eBay Listings)
While most don’t think he has the all-out superstar potential as his big bro, he’s gaining the attention of plenty of early investors. Is it because of his name? Or is it his raw talent? Either way, it’s happening and you may not want to be left out of the cold. Just like with Dominguez, his top cards from this set approach $10,000 while the more common can go for as little as $100 a pop (and less but we’re not focused on $5 cards here).
2020 Bowman Chrome Draft Spencer Torkelson (Check eBay Listings)
We can’t have a “best prospect card from 2020” list without having Spencer Torkelson’s 1st Bowman card involved. These are incredibly hot items as we roll into the 2021 season and for a good reason – Torkelson was the first pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, after all. And with hot items come high values. For instance, some of the less common Refractors have already sold for more than $5,000. And that’s without swinging the bat as a professional. If Torkelson explodes out of the gate in the minors this season expect big gains!
2020 Bowman Chrome Draft Zac Veen (Check eBay Listings)
While not as valuable as the Torkelson’s card from this set, Veen certainly comes close. So one was already lucky enough to find his Black Wave Auto Refractor and guess what it sold for? More than $6,300. How’s that for a case hit?? At any rate, there are plenty of other Zac Veen options from this set with a far less price sticker. Just like Torkelson, you’ll be happy you picked one up if Veen does to minor league pitching what he did to his sorry college foes.
Blasts from the past!
Check out our list of the Most Valuable Baseball Cards of the 2000s
Don’t forget about the most valuable baseball cards from the 80s and 90s
Hottest Baseball Rookie Cards 2021: MLB Debuts
Alex Kirilloff (Check eBay Listings)
While he just went on the 10 day IL with a sore wrist, Kirilloff was straight RAKING before that. And once that wrist heals he should continue to do so upon his return. He’s still 4th or 5th on most odds to win AL Rookie of the Year lists but we have a feeling he’ll be the one with the trophy as long as the wrist isn’t anything too serious. In other words, grab one now before the train leaves the station. ALLL ABBOOAAARDD!!
Ke’Bryan Hayes (Check eBay Listings)
Even with the injury, he sits as the favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year. However, like Kirilloff Hayes has suffered an early-season injury that has kept him out of all but 2 games so far. But Unlike Kirilloff, we don’t think he’ll be bringing home that award even if he comes back at full health. The minor league resume simply does not warrant the hype created by his small sample size in 2020. Nonetheless, this will be one of the hottest baseball rookie cards of 2021.
Randy Arozarena (Check eBay Listings)
Through his first 100 or so at-bats of 2021, Randy has come back to earth from wherever in the far reaches of the solar system he was in late 2020. Which was expected as those numbers were out of this world. But enough with the corny space jokes. He’s still the AL favorite to win Rookie of the Year so these cards should stay hot as long as Randy stays somewhat productive. The ho-hum start to 2021 could be a good buy-low opportunity.
Dylan Carlson (Check eBay Listings)
While holding his own in his official rookie season, Carlson has yet to truly impress. We’re hoping that’s still to come as he’s begun to build up quite a few MLB at-bats between 2021 and 2020. What we’re trying to say is it’s time to produce! We think he’ll get there.
Jarred Kelenic (Check eBay Listings)
The consensus is that Kelenic will debut sooner than later. And when he does he has the bat to make a big impact in 2021. So he still makes our Hottest Baseball rookie Cards 2021 list even though he’s not on a big-league roster. Yet. Kelenic reminds us a lot of Carlson when it comes to both the minor league numbers and explosion through the MLB prospect charts. Let’s hope Jarred’s MLB debut goes better than Dylans.
Hottest Baseball Rookie Cards 2020: A Look Back
2020 Topps Chrome Luis Robert (Check eBay Listings)
Now we shift gears to the last year’s rookies. And while his slumping batting average kept him from the Rookie of the Year award, he was certainly the biggest name on the list last season. Meaning, his cards still hold the most value. Even more than the 2020 ROY WINNER who we’ll be covering next. At any rate, the power isn’t there yet but he’s hitting like crazy. Don’t let the power alarm you, if you picked up a couple of these you’re going to be just fine.
2020 Topps Chrom Kyle Lewis (Check eBay Listings)
Now to the 2020 Rookie of the Year. No, not Devin Williams. Sorry, Devin. You were lights out but you’re certainly not one of the hottest baseball rookie cards of 2020. We’re talking about the AL ROY, Kyle Lewis. What Kyle lacked in average his rookie season, he certainly made up with for power-hitting 11 home runs in around 200 at-bats. Combine that with a healthy OBP of .364 and you have yourself a guy who seems like he’ll be around for a while. And compared to the ROY runner-up Luis Robert, his rookie card prices are an absolute BARGAIN. Consider buying some!
Ryan Mountcastle (Check eBay Listings)
Ryan Mountcastle arguably had the best overall performance by a rookie batter in 2020, Mountcastle’s bat is NOWHERE to be found in 2021. We had high hopes for Mountcastle but this is a guy who seems like he may fade into obscurity. We’re not buying unless we see a major turnaround.
Dustin May (Check eBay Listings)
The Dodger’s top pitching prospect put the league on notice with his 2.57 era over 12 starts in his rookie season. And he was on his way to producing similar numbers in 2021 until he heard the words no pitcher wants to hear. Yep. May is getting Tommy John surgery. That said, many pitchers go on to be just fine once they recover so look at it as a buy-the-dip situation.
Gavin Lux (Check eBay Listings)
The Dodger’s top prospect overall has struggled in his brief MLB stints. And that includes 2021 where he has ZERO home runs and is barely keeping his average above the Mendoza line. We are staying clear of this one.
Jesús Luzardo (Check eBay Listings)
Luzardo has arguably the most exciting arsenal of any young rookie or prospect pitcher not named MacKenzie Gore. However, he wasn’t overwhelming in his 2020 MLB debut and wasn’t fairing much better in 2021. Then came the news that Luzardo broke his pinkie finger playing video games. Ouch. We’re not gonna be too hard on him about the pinkie (hard to resist a good video game) but until his pitching comes around we’re not considering picking up one of these.
Related Content: Best Baseball Card Boxes to Buy 2021
Hottest Baseball Rookie Cards 2021 Investment Strategies
Short (less than 1 year)
Pretty much EVERY card on this list will have a good amount of market interest throughout 2021. It’s not hard to imagine some incredibly easy profits based on that fact alone. Especially if you buy in early enough. Like as in right now!
Medium (1 to 5 years)
This strategy will depend greatly on the player’s performance. Hot prospects fizzle out regularly once they hit the cruel world of the big leagues. Monitor the situation closely and make a decision whether or not to hold longer based on what you see.
Long (5 years plus)
Nope. All of these players are about as green as you can get. Way too early to consider going long. Hopefully, some of the hottest baseball rookie cards of 2021 will go on to be some of the hottest cards of the 20s. Only time will tell! N/A
Don’t Forget About the Hottest NBA Rookie Cards 2020: