Prospects had a hard time in 2020, with a distinct lack of opportunities due to COVID-19. The MLB season was reduced to 60 games, the minor-league baseball season was canceled, and most minor league players had no chance to play in organized games.
Despite a unique set of circumstances that have changed the landscape, a number of young players are close to breaking through into the major leagues in 2021.
Here’s a rundown with five top baseball prospect RCs to keep an eye on this year, with information about how and why the player is likely to turn a profit in the future.
Top 5 Baseball Prospects Rookie Cards to Keep an Eye On 2021
Wander Franco and Bobby Witt Jr. are two of the bigger names on the list of the hottest MLB prospects in 2021, but instead, we’re looking at players with the highest chance of seeing good returns from an investment perspective.
(The number one prospects are generally over-invested, and sell for exceptionally high sums.) Here are five prospects that you should definitely keep an eye on as we head ever closer to April 1st.
First up is Dylan Carson. He initially struggled after being called up in 2020, but the 22-year-old switch-hitting outfielder recovered to earn his spot as the Cardinals’ cleanup hitter during the playoffs.
He might be 13th on MLB Pipeline’s 2021 Top 100 Prospects list, but that gives him a chance to fly under the radar, and some experts are already suggesting that he could be a potential 2021 National League Rookie of the Year candidate.
As of now, there’s a decent amount of interest surrounding Carlson’s prospect options, but the market has yet to react with higher prices.
The 2016 Bowman Draft Chrome release is currently the most coveted Carlson card, featuring a signature and a strong image of the player on the plate. It’s definitely worth keeping tabs on over the season.
Cristian Pache is third on the outfield prospects list for 2021 and is seen as one of the top defensive players in the minors. MLB Pipeline notes: ‘The Braves valued his defensive ability to keep him over three-time Gold Glove Award winner Ender Inciarte on their 2020 playoff roster.’
He has a good shot at an outfield role in 2021, which is more than can be said for many other prospects. It’ll give you a chance to check out his progress, and we’d recommend any of his rarer RC options when they release later this year.
Baseball America chose Sixto Sánchez as MLB’s best pitching prospect for 2021, and Baseball Prospectus agreed with the decision. It’s not just the praise heaped on the player, as Sánchez does look like he will get the opportunity to build on a major league debut which saw him complete the 2020 season with a 3-2 record, and a 3.46 ERA over 39 innings.
Of course, this means that he won’t be eligible to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2021, but he’s still technically a prospect.
The 2017 Bowman Chrome card is a great early card featuring Sánchez, with a variety of colored parallels that are still relatively affordable given his status.
Indians pitcher Triston McKenzie started the 2020 season after missing a year-and-a-half of development time due to injury, which can make it difficult to judge his progress as he gets back into the swing of things.
“If you’re feeling impatient, you’ll be able to find his prospect cards in 2017 sets.”
For now, he looks set to earn a permanent spot in rotation following eight games (six starts), owning a 3.24 ERA with a 0.90 WHIP and 42 strikeouts in 33 1/3 frames. He went almost two years without pitching in a game before making his debut in August 2020, although he remains confident that he’ll be able to perform in the long-term.
Joey Bart has faced a lot of competition and is another youngster set to be impacted by COVID-19.
Buster Posey has returned to the Giants after opting out of the 2020 season due to concerns he could infect his adopted identical-twin girls who were born prematurely. This led to Giants GM Scott Harris confirming that Bart is likely to return to the minors for the 2021 regular season.
In fact, 21-year-old outfielder Heliot Ramos is seen as the Giant’s top outfield prospect heading into 2021, although neither will make the opening day roster. It’s a cautious approach, but it’s a chance for Bart to get more experience, and he’s clearly in Harris’ long-term plans.
As he’s out of the spotlight, for now, it could be the perfect time to pick up one of his early options.
Top Baseball Prospects Rookie Cards: Buyers Guide and Summary
The prospect market is extremely volatile, due to the very nature of their varying potential. Many young players never make it or hit an unexpected ceiling that impedes their progress in the long-term.
2021 Top MLB Prospects Buyers Guide
Dylan Carlson: 3.4 out of 5
Triston McKenzie: 3.1 out of 5
Cristian Pache: 3.0 out of 5
Sixto Sanchez: 2.8 out of 5
Joey Bart: 2.8 out of 5
The MLB top prospects might be forced to wait a little longer given we’re still feeling the effects of a pandemic as the 2021 season draws closer, and there are fewer opportunities than usual at both minor and major league levels.
Trending: Best Sports Cards To Invest In 2021
Now is arguably the ideal time to buy if you’re looking at XRC versions, as there’s a slight lull before the season gets underway once again. Any of the players mentioned above have the potential to make it big in the league, even if you might have to wait a year or two to see the biggest returns.
A Rookie of the Year win would be optimal, causing prices to surge as a consequence. Of course, that’s a ‘best possible scenario, so it makes more sense to ensure that the player is progressing at a steady rate, without worrying too much about their numbers each week.
Who is the #1 prospect in baseball?
The number #1 (one) prospect in baseball is Wander Franco followed by Adley Rutschman and then Spencer Torkelson rounds out the top 3.
Who are the top prospects for the 2020 MLB draft?
The top MLB prospects in the 2020 MLB Draft are Spencer Torkelson, Asa Lacy, and Austin Martin.
What MLB prospects will play in 2020?
The following MLB Prospects played games in the 2020 season; Luis Robert, OF, White Sox, Gavin Lux, SS, Dodgers, and Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, Ray. Luis Robert had a great season, Lux had a pretty good season, and McKay was horrible.
What MLB prospects will play in 2021?
The following MLB prospects are expected to play in 2021; Wander Franco, Adley Rutschman, Jarred Kelenic, and MacKenzie Gore are all expected to play at some point in 2021.