The Atlanta Braves selected Austin Riley (4/2/1997) with the 41st overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft‘s first round. He played his high school ball at DeSoto Central High School in Southaven, MS.
In his rookie season, Riley posted 18 home runs, 49 RBIs, and 41 runs in only 80 games. Riley possesses the size and athletic skill to be a five-tool player.
Austin Riley Rookie Year Stats: 80 games | .226 avg. | 18 homers | 49 RBIs
Best Austin Riley Rookie Cards
We’ve included both Riley’s prospect cards and cards from his MLB debut season in this list.
2015 Austin Riley Bowman Chrome Refractor Auto RC #157
Technically a prospect card, the 2015 Austin Riley Bowman Chrome Refractor Auto RC #157 is one of the most in-demand cards for the Braves slugger.
It shows Riley in a white Braves uniform, both hands over his left shoulder as he completes a swing. The refractive surface gives Riley’s image a glossy effect.
The autograph is the most notable component of the card. The blue on-card auto blends seamlessly into the card’s design. A grey plate with faded edges frames the signature.
The “1st Bowman” emblem tells you that this is Riley’s first-ever Bowman card. A Braves logo, vertical nameplate, and Bowman Chrome emblem complete the card’s front design.
This is the leading Austin Riley prospect card. Its price point is roughly on par with rookie cards from Riley’s 2019 Major League debut season.
Notable Chrome refractor parallels include SuperFractor (/1), Printing Plates (/1), Red Refractor (/5), and Orange Refractor (/25).
2019 Austin Riley Topps Chrome Sapphire RC #650
Topps Chrome produced two notable Austin Riley rookie cards, and this one’s design is special.
It features Riley mid-trot in his white Braves uni. The card’s backdrop is a refractive, icy pattern that catches the eye. Hence the “Sapphire” designation.
An inverted nameplate features “Riley” in large letters, with “Austin” in a smaller font underneath. Overall, it’s a thoroughly modern card that stands out among the pool of Riley’s rookie cards.
One can debate which Riley rookie card they prefer most. Based on the presentation alone, this one has to be in the conversation. The set was so popular that it sold out in less than 10 minutes upon being listed online.
2019 Austin Riley Topps Chrome Auto RC #RA-AR
Yes, another Austin Riley rookie card from Topps Chrome. A set that collectors seek out each year delivered a memorable crop of rookie cards in 2019, including the Austin Riley Topps Chrome Auto RC #RA-AR.
Riley’s is one of the top cards of 76 rookie autographs in the set. Riley appears in his dark blue Braves uniform, bat cocked as he stares down the pitcher.
This year’s Topps Chrome set embraces simple design features. A rounded sub-border lines the right and bottom borders of the card. The sub-border blends into a white translucent autograph plate.
The signature occupies the lower third of the card. A compact nameplate, Braves logo, and “Atlanta Braves” font sit beneath the autograph.
Rare parallels generally fetch higher prices than the base autograph. Notable parallels include Printing Plates (/1), SuperFractor (/1), Red Wave (/5), Red (/5), and Orange Wave (/25).
Austin Riley Rookie Card Checklist
- 2015 Bowman Chrome Draft Refractor Austin Riley RC #BCAARI
- 2019 Topps Chrome Refractor Austin Riley RC
- 2019 Topps Chrome Sapphire Austin Riley RC #650
- 2019 National Treasures RPA Austin Riley RC #/49
- 2019 Topps Update Image Variation SP Austin Riley RC
- 2019 Donruss Optic Holo Auto Austin Riley RC #AR
- 2019 Bowman’s Best Of ’19 Auto Austin Riley RC #B19ARI
Austin Riley Rookie Card Value
The most expensive Austin Riley rookie card is the 2015 Bowman Chrome Draft Pick Auto Black Refractor /35 #AR Austin Riley RC.
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Top-Rated Baseball Purchase: 2011 Mike Trout Topps Update Borders RC
Austin Riley Rookie Card: Buyers Rating and Investment Outlook
Each of the featured Austin Riley rookie cards is available at accessible price points. For this reason alone, there is value in these cards.
Baseball cards have a strong track record of appreciation. With a talented roster of young stars, the Atlanta Braves have the potential to remain perennial contenders. This is good news for the value of Riley’s rookie cards.
The top rookie cards of proven stars like Trout, Juan Soto, Ronald Acuna, Jr., and Fernando Tatis, Jr. cost an arm and a leg. With Riley, you generally pay far less, meaning the strong potential for upside.[monsterinsights_popular_posts_inline]