He’d only had 31 at-bats above the Class A level before joining the Washington Nationals but Juan Soto baseball cards have been around for a few years.
Despite his youth (19 years and 208 days upon his big league arrival), the Dominican born Soto has cards dating back to 2016, a year after he signed with the Washington Nationals for a reported $1.5 million. In the wake of his first home run in just his second game and his status as a rapidly rising young star, Soto prospect cards have been hot sellers.
His rapid rise from low-level minor leaguer to big league regular wasn’t planned. Injuries put a rush on his arrival, but Soto appears to at least have a fighting chance of being the rare player who doesn’t need a lot of time in the minors. Collectors sure seem to think he’s the real deal.
Juan Soto’s best rookie card is actually a prospect issue. He has autographs in 2018 Bowman Chrome, including the usual rainbow of numbered parallels. However, his earliest–and most valuable baseball cards–arrived two years earlier when he signed autographs for 2016 Bowman Chrome, not long after he was signed by the Nationals. His signature is clear and legible, unlike many other players today.
Long-term investors always look at a player’s first Bowman Chrome autograph as the gold standard and you can always find an active market on eBay. As always, low serial-numbered parallel versions are more valuable than the regular autographed version, but all of them should continue to be sought after as long as Soto remains on track for a Hall of Fame career.
Soto’s cards began to heat up as soon as the Nationals called him up and following his first home run in May of 2018. Prices climbed almost from hour-to-hour.
While his autographed rookie cards and low serial-numbered parallels will always be the most valuable Juan Soto cards, the most popular standard issue cards get bought and sold the most.
Graded examples are typically the way to go if you’re buying to invest or to flip relatively quickly but you can also snare ungraded versions on eBay for a fairly modest investment.
- 2018 Topps Update #US 300. The base card is typically the “go to” card for buyers on a budget but there are numerous parallel versions, including those with low serial numbers that are already selling for impressive prices.
- 2018 Topps Heritage High Number #502. These are readily available and generally inexpensive at least for now. There are a few different parallels and an autographed version that will set you back a little more.
- 2018 Topps Chrome Update #HMT55. Sold only through Target stores, Chrome Update is just a shinier version of the standard update card but obviously the method of distribution has made it far more rare. Because of the relative scarcity, Refractor parallel versions of this card have been bringing four-figure prices.
- 2018 Bowman’s Best #29. This is sort of a sleeper pick. It’s a great-looking card showing Soto, uniform dirty, running the bases. The chromium touch gives it a high-end feel but it’s generally not considered a high-end product with box prices (and single card prices) still very reasonable. If you want to chase inserts, parallels and autographs, Bowman’s Best has a lot of those, too, but #29 is the main rookie card and it’s dirt cheap.
You can see the most watched Juan Soto cards on eBay via the live list below.