Luis Arraez is one of the best pure hitters in all of professional baseball.
The Venezuelan native broke into the big leagues in 2019 with the Minnesota Twins and after four seasons there, was traded to the Miami Marlins.
The slap hitting superstar is a back-to-back MLB All Star at second base, once for the AL and, after the aforementioned trade, as a member of the NL squad.
“The Sprinkler” was making national headlines earlier this season as he was flirting with a seemingly unattainable .400 batting average. That appears to not be in the cards now but he is going to coast to his second straight batting title and in doing so, will make history by winning titles in back-to-back years in two different leagues. As of this moment, he’s hitting .366 –head and shoulders above anyone else in baseball– and the Marlins star currently leads both leagues in hits and is third in on-base percentage.
A man widely known as the best contact hitter in baseball has a .327 lifetime batting average, and at only 26 years old, his future is as bright as anyone in the game.
For a young man whose style is reminiscent of Seattle Mariners all time great Ichiro Suzuki or San Diego Padres icon Tony Gwynn, he’s keeping good company and looks to continue to do so for the next decade plus.
In our latest Better Than a Box, we pit four of the modern hit king’s cards up against a new box of 2022 Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary edition.
This particular version of Topps Chrome Platinum pays homage to the 1953 Topps set, bringing colorful parallels, serial numbered cards, and one guaranteed autograph per box. For the $110-$120 you’d spend, you can own some pretty amazing Arraez cards. Let’s dive in with our usual quartet: a rookie card, autograph, memorabilia card and serial numbered card.
The Rookie Card
Our rookie card of choice comes straight out of the iconic and flagship 2019 Topps Update product. We can snag the base RC of arguably the best pure hitter in baseball for a little under $5. It’s a nice image that shows Arraez at the plate for the Twins, following though on his swing. Find a nice raw copy to grade and you are on your way to a solid card to add to your hoard.
The Autographed Card
The Arraez autograph of choice hails from the always popular Bowman Chrome line. We find his 2017 Bowman Chrome prospects 1st Bowman Auto for a more than reasonable price for a multiple time All Star and batting champion. This is a perfect example of why collectors buy (or should be buying) and prospecting in the Bowman brand of products. It’s a beautiful, full swooping on card autograph with a young Arraez standing at the plate with a classic baseball chain link fence in the background.
For right around $90, this takes up the vast majority of our budget, but we are perfectly fine with that. This could be the centerpiece to any Arraez collection, and if he would come close to the magical .400 average at some point down the line, all of his cards would skyrocket.
The Jersey Card
Our selection for the third hole in our lineup is our memorabilia card. Truth be told, there aren’t a lot of Arraez memorabilia cards out there just yet. This one comes from the high end 2020 Immaculate offering and features three pieces of Arraez jersey (not from any specific game, event, season, sport or player) on a card that is also serial numbered to a minute 25 copies. If you are a fan of pure hitters, it’s hard to pass this one up for a price of usually around 15 bucks.
The Serial Numbered Card
The final card in our four card countdown is from the 2020 Topps Chrome Heritage Mega Box. Numbered to 999, this one is drawn on the classic 1971 Topps style but with a shiny modern touch. Dating to early his career, it’s a great shot of Arraez doing what he does best: swing the bat. Despite his success, these have been selling for under $5.
So there you have it. Four strong options for the hottest pure hitter around with excellent upside or you can take your chance on a box of shiny with a longshot chance of landing a solid autograph or low numbered parallel that might be worth what you paid. The choice, as always, is yours.