Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card Review & Investment Guide

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Best Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card: 2018 Bowman Chrome

Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card


Shohei Ohtani finally has the ball back in his right hand. Meaning, that oh-so-talented right arm is finally going to be put back to good use. And with a return to the mound, we’ll finally get to see the two-way star back at full health. However, what is that full health Ohtani going to look like?

As far as batting goes, he has been pretty solid throughout his career, and in the early days of the 2021 season, he’s already delivered 2 home runs and a .300 average. Check. However, the all-important arm is what will really drive Shohei Ohtani rookie card prices. Will he be back to build on the glimpses of ace-like stuff flashed during his rookie season? Or will the ongoing control problems be his downfall? That is the big question you’ll need to grapple with as an investor.

While this is the definition of a high-risk high-reward play, Ohtani has shown the velocity is still there and the injuries seem to be (finally) behind him. We don’t know about you, but we’re ready for some action! Here are some of the top Shohei Ohtani rookie card options if you concur.



Top Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card Options



2018 Bowman Chrome Batter Version (Check Price)

Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card (Bowman Chrome Batter)

Ohtani may throw right, but as you can see from this beautiful (and very rare) Bowman Chrome rookie card, he bats left. And what a beautiful left-handed swing it is.  Aesthetics aside, that swing has generated 40 home runs and more than 120 RBI over his first 2 seasons in the bigs (which only accounts for just over one full season of at-bats).  He’s also been remarkably consistent at getting on base with a career .286 batting average and .351 OBP (thank you baseball-reference). Are bigger things coming in 2021? If so, you’ll be glad you owned this remarkable baseball card.


2018 Bowman Chrome Pitcher Version (Check Price)


Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card (Bowman Chrome Pitcher)

And as sweet as that swing is, his windup and delivery are even sweeter (like cotton-candy level sweet). If Ohtani can deliver the wicked stuff he’s known for in his first season back at full health, the value of this card should only go UP. Along with his chances for comeback player of the year!


2018 Topps Finest Red Wave Refractor (Check Price)


Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card (Topps Red Wave)

Simply put, this card is a gem. With features like that famous leg kick and a red-splashed background, who can resist? This one is nowhere near as valuable as the previous two and can still be had at a reasonable price (especially if you grab the non-autograph version). So if you’re looking for a good medium-range Shohei Ohtani rookie card that’s ripe with potential, this one’s for you.


2017 Bowman Mega Box “Otani” (Check Price)


Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card (Bowman Mega Box Error)

Ahhh, a classic “error” card. As we all know, a simple misspelling of a name can generate some MEGA value. So why not take a chance on an error card that showcases “Otani’s” abilities at the World Baseball Classic? The card is still VERY affordable and could explode in value once Shohei gets his game back in full swing.


2018 Topps Heritage (Check Price)

heritage shohei ohtani rookie card

There are quite a few options from this collection but we prefer the helmetless “Red Ink” autograph variation shown above. If you’re looking for a less expensive option go with the base card or one of the more common refractors. Either way, it’s a sold set the offers some nostalgic Shohei Ohtani rookie cards.



Like Ohtani’s fastball?  Here’s someone who can dial up the heat even higher!  Check out these Michael Kopech rookie cards.



Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card Investment Strategies


Short (1 year or less)

If Ohtani finally lives up to the hype in 2021 collectors everywhere will be hopping right back on the Shohei Ohtani bandwagon (and probably acting like they never jumped off in the first place). Safe to say such an outcome will do wonders for your Shohei Ohtani rookie card investment. However, if we get yet another busted season, it may be time to wash your hands of this endeavor. As we said earlier, high risk – high reward. We think the reward outweighs the risk. 7.5/10


Medium (1 to 3 years)

The novelty that comes with being the first modern two-way player should keep the Shohei Ohtani rookie card market viable for some time. However, at some point, investors will grow impatient if the results never live up to the hype. If he dazzles in 2021, holding into 2022 for even bigger profits makes a lot of sense. If not? We wouldn’t blame you for selling at a loss. 7.5/10


Long (3 years plus)

While this strategy could pay off IMMENSELY if Ohtani goes on to have a Hall of Fame career, we’re a loooong way from that being a realistic possibility. There’s no need to even consider this until he shows he can stay healthy.



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