Atlanta Braves rookie flamethrower Spencer Strider has impressed fans and card collectors with his consistent performance on the hill during his first full big league season. The 2020 fourth round pick is an NL Rookie of the Year front-runner, along with teammate Michael Harris II.
Standing at 6′ tall with a slender frame, Strider is very reminiscent of Roy Oswalt on the mound, who finished his career finishing top six in Cy Young voting six times. Along with his outstanding off-speed repertoire, Strider can hit triple digits with his fastball. He even clocked 102.4 MPH earlier this season, the highest velocity pitch by a starter since at least 2008, according to Fox Sports. His strikeout totals have been off the charts.
The Strider card market isn’t nearly as hot as other top rookies this season like Julio Rodriguez and Bobby Witt Jr., but on eBay alone, over 8,000 of his cards have sold since April 1. Three of his cards have topped $1,000 so far this year. In July, a PSA 10 2020 Bowman Draft Chrome Gold Refractor Auto /50 sold for $3,000. In June, a PSA 10 2020 Bowman Draft Chrome Orange Refractor Auto /25 sold for $1,265.99 and in August, a Blue Refractor numbered to 150 and graded, also a PSA 10, netted $1,190. Though it may seem odd that the gold refractor auto sold for that much more, it’s relatively common for gold refractors to sell better than some lower numbered counterparts. There’s just something about gold that collectors love.
The card collecting hobby has not always embraced pitchers, as hitters tend to be the higher selling side of the diamond. But, if Strider can continue his trajectory and help anchor the Braves staff for years to come, it might be worth snapping up some of his early cards. The franchise certainly seems set up for long term success. Many of his Strider’s ungraded base cards can still be had for less than the cost of a sandwich at your favorite fast food joint.
Below are a handful of Strider cards that might be worth considering.
#5 – 2022 Panini Select – Rookie Jersey Auto (#RJA-SS)
It’s always tough to rank Panini baseball products since the cards only feature an MLBPA license without team logos. But, products like Select are popular with NFL and NBA collectors and can still hold value in baseball. The pictured card is the true Rookie Jersey Auto in the set. The base version of the card is numbered to 299, with many variations working down to the various 1/1s available. The pictured Cracked Ice numbered to 25 with a three-color patch sold for $167.50 in July, showing that collectors still value these cards, particularly with lower numbers and chunky patches.
If that’s too much money to shell out for a non-licensed card, the base versions can still be had for a far more modest amount. It’s also the only card on this list that features Strider sporting his signature mustache look. If that’s your thing, you can pick one up without hurting the wallet too much.
#4 – 2022 Topps Gypsy Queen – Rookie Base (#44)
Every year, Topps Gypsy Queen features an unmistakable look. It’s a staple for lower end baseball products and consistently delivers a unique art style. Strider does not have an autograph in the checklist, but he is featured in the base set. There is a myriad of parallels that can be chased if you’re someone looking to put together the rainbow. Aside from the base card, there are 13 other parallels to chase. Some of the easier to miss parallels include the Missing Black Plate and Team Logo Swap variations. Corralling some Gypsy Queen cards of Strider is an inexpensive way to add him to your collection.
#3 – 2022 Topps Series 2 – 1987 Design Auto (#87BA-SS)
The 35th anniversary of the 1987 Topps design was celebrated in 2022 Topps Series 2 with an autograph only set. While he may be overshadowed by Rodriguez and Witt Jr. in this particular set, Strider is certainly the most sought after rookie pitcher available. It’s a beautifully designed card with blue ink on-card autos that really pop.
The base version of the card is not numbered, but collectors can look for different colored parallels numbered to 199 or less.
The flagship Topps Series 1 and Series 2 sets are synonymous with image variations, and the Strider short print in Series 2 is no exception. Oddly enough, it features a photo of Strider, a starting pitcher, swinging a bat. It’s made even more ironic since the 2022 MLB season was the first in which both the American League and National League have a designated hitter.
Strider did tally two at bats in the 2021 season when he was briefly called up, which is most likely when the picture on the card was taken. It’s a fun photo variation, and could be the last one we see of a pitcher batting. At current prices it’s a low risk investment.
#1 – 2020 Bowman Draft – Chrome Auto (#CDASS)
The 2020 Bowman Draft autograph checklist is headlined by names like Spencer Torkelson, Jordan Walker and Zac Veen. With his performance this season, Strider has entered the Mount Rushmore of autograph chases in the product. The 1st Bowman rainbow is the holy grail of rainbows any collector can hope to achieve, and in 2020 Bowman Draft, there are 15 different numbered parallel autos aside from the base version. Whether it’s a base auto or one that’s lowered numbered, it should be one of the first cards collectors add to their Strider collection.
Below is a look at the 50 current most watched auctions for Spencer Strider cards on eBay. You can see all of his cards for sale and auction here.