According to Baseball America he was the number one prospect in baseball entering the 2018 season. Born in Venezuela, he was the kingpin of a deep and talented roster of youngsters in the organization. His talent and accomplishments in the minor leagues gave Braves fans something to look forward to and now that he’s arrived, Ronald Acuña Jr. rookie cards are among the hottest in the market.
Here is a look at some of his prospect and rookie cards–and a live list of the hottest auctions on eBay.
Acuña signed with the Braves in 2014, but unlike some prospects he did not have any immediate card releases. His first cards would be released in 2016 when he was included in 2016 Topps Heritage Minors where he is depicted as a member of the Single-A Rome Braves of the South Atlantic League. He did not sign for the set and other than the standard color parallels he had no additional cards produced.
2017 Prospect Cards
2017 saw Acuña’s inclusion in a number of prospect sets, which included his first autograph cards. Of these cards the most popular was included in 2017 Bowman Chrome, which were signed on card. Topps also included him in 2017 Bowman, 2017 Bowman Best, 2017 Bowman Chrome Draft.
When considering all of the various parallel cards in each set, Acuña had nearly 100 different autograph cards, with a little less than half being the preferred on card variety. If your budget doesn’t allow for the high price autographs, there’s always the non-auto Chrome, which looks the same but doesn’t have his scribble.
He also has autographs inside Bowman’s Best, with the ‘Best of 17’ autographs probably the top option since they’re on-card. Again, there are several serial-numbered parallels in the mix, too.
It was rival Panini that produced the most Acuña cards in ’17, all of which were included in the company’s 2017 Elite Extra Edition. These are among the lowest cost Acuña cards on the market.
2018 Ronald Acuña Rookie Cards
By the end of the 2017 season Acuña was playing for the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves and he began the 2018 season in the minor leagues but was called up early in the season. That meant a big surge in official rookie cards hitting the market at just about every price level. Topps was able to put Acuña and Gleyber Torres in Series 2 but only as short prints. Found at a rate of about one per case of hobby boxes, the Acuña “bat down” rookie card is among his top cards.
He was a late add in the 2018 Topps Factory Set as card #698 with a photo that shows his bat pointing upward.
There’s also a foil board parallel you can chase inside the 5-card cello packs that were inserted into each factory set.
Collectors finally had a chase to score an official Ronald Acuña Jr. rookie card easily inside boxes of 2018 Topps Update. #US250 in the set, it’s just like his “bat up” card in the factory set except for the card number and the location of the “RC” logo (left on this one).
There are numerous colored parallel versions of his Update rookie card and he has a “Rookie Debut” card inside the set.
Late in the year, Acuña was #HMW50 in the Topps Holiday boxes sold exclusively through Walmart stores. The “bat down” card might be a long-term sleeper. It’s fairly limited but not too limited. And of course, there are some colored parallels here too.
Another rookie card is #580 in the 2018 Heritage High Number set. It’s just a straight posed photograph of him in his Braves home button-down. There are parallels here, too.
You can also find him in Topps Chrome (#193) and Chrome Sapphire (this one’s pricey and was part of an online exclusive product from Topps), Bowman Chrome Mega Boxes, Chrome Update (a Target Mega Box exclusive, Clearly Authentic (autographs), Allen & Ginter and Stadium Club, among many others.
Many of his rookie year cards also include autographed versions that are limited and significantly more expensive. In all, he had over 1,700 cards issued in 2018. As always, look for the “RC” logo on the front of his “official” Topps-branded rookie cards but he’s also in Panini’s MLBPA-licensed baseball issues.
Which are the best Ronald Acuña Jr. rookie cards? It’s really a matter of personal preference and whether you care about having an autographed version. There certainly is no shortage of options and if he has the type of career most are projecting, just about everything should be in demand as his career plays out.
You can see all of the 2018 Ronald Acuna Jr. rookie cards currently listed on eBay here. Below is a live list of the hottest eBay auctions, where you’ll find many of the high-end and highest graded examples of his earliest cards.