His first taste of the big leagues didn’t go so well, but his return has been a smash hit in an otherwise dismal season for the Philadelphia Phillies and now Maikel Franco baseball cards appear to be ready to break out as well.
Franco was called up last September but struggled mightily, hitting just .179 and striking out 13 times in 58 plate appearances. That’s a distant memory now.
In his first full calendar month in the big leagues, Franco led Major League rookies in nearly every offensive category
and ranked among overall leaders in several. Not long after his arrival, the 22-year-old Dominican did something that had never been done by a Phillies player: have two straight games with 5 RBI.
Franco rookie cards and his prospect cards from 2012-2014 have been on the rise over the past week or two but haven’t quite caught up to his game.
The third baseman first appeared in the 2012 Bowman Chrome set. The regular Prospects card (#BCP112) has been selling for only a couple of dollars with refractors running $7-10 in recent days. Yet even a Gold Refractor parallel from the set, numbered to 50, sold for under $27 this week. An orange refractor, one of 100, sold for $100.
Franco’s hottest cards have been the 2014 Bowman Chrome autographs. Not many of the lower numbered parallels have sold recently but prices have increased from where they were at the start of the season. A number of different parallels exist with a blue refractor, numbered to 150, selling for nearly $200 this week. Red, orange and gold parallels will be among the most coveted. In late May, a red refractor parallel, numbered to 5, sold for $1,999.
The 1/1 Superfractor parallel was sold on eBay May 28, just as Franco was returning to the majors. The buyer’s $5,000 investment could pay off if Franco becomes a major star. The 1/1 mini Superfractor brought $1,499 on May 12.
Franco’s “official” rookie cards arrived this year and he’s in most every Topps issue at least once including Series One, Heritage, Tier One, Museum, Gypsy Queen and Archives with multiple autographed cards on the market. His autograph isn’t exactly a work of art, but poor penmanship doesn’t seem to deter collectors from putting their money on Maikel.