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Braves Hobby Hot or Not: Albies and Riley On the Rise

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Which Braves cards are hot and who can you buy for cheap?

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The baseball card market naturally fluctuates based on several factors such as time of the year and player performance. As you would imagine the off-season is a better time to collect and purchase, while a hot streak or call up is typically the best time to sell. Prospecting is a term used within the hobby to describe the process of buying low and selling high. It can be difficult to determine who to buy, which players will eventually “become hot”, and when to sell at peak demand. If you are a casual collector who buys for their team PC (personal collection), you also want to make purchases when the market is low in order to save money. This monthly overview will highlight some players in the Braves organization who are on the rise as well as those players who are under the radar.

Hot

Player: Ozzie Albies

Product: 2015 Bowman Baseball

After a hot month of April, Ozzie Albies 1st Bowman chrome autos are on the rise. He nearly won NL Player of the month and ended the month batting .320 with 8 homeruns, along with his stellar defense. For this reason his base autos have nearly quadrupled since the week of pitchers and catchers report. On the 12th of February, you could buy a base auto for $55. As of this week, base autos are selling between $180-$212. One sale on April 29th even reached $275.

One thing to note about this particular card, whether it be the way Ozzie signs or the pen he was provided, many of the autos turned out very streaky. For this reason, there is a large fluctuation in sales based on the strength of the autograph. Regardless, all sales have increased significantly since the start of the season.

Player: Austin Riley

Product: 2015 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects

Earlier this week Austin Riley made his AAA debut with the Gwinnett Stripers after hitting .333 in 27 games for AA Mississippi. He had an impressive 10 doubles, 3 triples, and 6 home runs along with 20 RBIs before his promotion. Sales for his 1st Bowman chrome auto have previously been holding steady at $20-$30 each. April 19th they started to climb and were going for $45-$55 a piece. Since the promotion, the two most recent sales were $74.99 and $80. In my opinion, although this card is climbing it is still a good time to pick one up as I would expect it to continue to rise as we anticipate his eventual call-up.

On a side note, I would like to point out that 2015 Bowman Draft is becoming a very hot product for Braves fans. Included on the checklist are 1st Bowman chrome autographs of not only Austin Riley, but also Mike Soroka, Lucas Herbert, Kolby Allard, and Dansby Swanson. Dansby is featured in a Diamondbacks uniform, the team who originally drafted him, but it is still his true rookie auto.

Current prices for 2015 Bowman Draft boxes via blowoutcards.com:

  • Hobby (1 guaranteed auto) $96.95
  • Jumbo (3 guaranteed autos) $199.95
  • Super Jumbo (5 guaranteed autos) $299.95

Not

In terms of “Not”, performance doesn’t play a part in my choices. Instead, these are the players I believe are good buys based on their current market value. As previously mentioned, in terms of prospecting these are a couple of my selections for players to buy up now while their value is relatively low.

Player: Bryse Wilson

Product: 2016 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects

Right-handed pitcher Bryse Wilson was promoted this week from High-A Florida to AA Mississippi after maintaining a 0.34 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. He was drafted in the 4th round of the 2016 draft. Although several pitchers were drafted in rounds prior to Bryse (Ian Anderson, Joey Wentz, Kyle Muller, and Drew Harrington) he is the first to reach AA. You can purchase Bryse Wilson’s 1st Bowman chrome autos for just $10 a piece. This price has been pretty consistent from release day until now.

Player: Drew Waters

Product: 2017 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects

Switch-hitter, Drew Waters, is just 19 years old but holds the 17th spot on the Braves top 30 prospects list. He just came off the 7-day DL and started in CF Wednesday for the Rome Braves. His 1st Bowman chrome auto released back in December, and his base auto has been selling for just $7-$8 a piece. Similar to Ozzie Albies, Drew’s auto in this product is notorious for being light or streaky. Those collectors who choose to grade their cards tend pay a little more if the autograph is bold and clean.

All price data was collected using Ebay.com

Who are you collecting and who are you selling? Tweet me @slmsolo!