2020 Bowman Chrome Autograph Prospects Are on the Boardon September 23, 2020 at 2:30 pm

2020 Bowman Chrome Autograph Prospects Are on the Board

Yesterday, I noticed some odd prospects trending in FanGraphs’ player search bar and, as I often do, I Googled those players to see why that might be. It’s often due to a call-up, trade, or injury, but in this case I found that some young players like Luisangel Acuna were being searched on the site because their autographs are part of a new baseball card set that came out earlier in the week: Bowman Chrome 2020.

I don’t collect baseball cards anymore but I still frequent two local shops that sell board and trading card games (which I do play) in addition to sports cards. During a trip (with a scout, ironically) to one of them last year, I found the shop owner and a customer deep in discussion about the prospects in last year’s Bowman set, a conversation that included mention of how expensive Wander Franco‘s cards had become, and how sought after Jasson Dominguez’s first card was likely to be in 2020. I asked, “What is it that’s driving card prices for some of the prospects who most people have never seen play and who a lot of casual fans have never heard of?” to which the customer responded, “Their stats.”

This probably isn’t true; it’s not as if Colin Poche had an in-demand signed rookie card or as though Dominguez has even played a game. More likely, the recipe is several parts hype to one part performance, with the hype created by media outlets that cover prospects. And so I’m organizing what I hope is at least well-informed hype by listing all the prospects with autographed cards in the set on The Board’s seasonal tab. I’m open to feedback from the card collecting community on how this can be more helpful. None of the players rankings nor reports have been altered; they’ve just been pulled from The Board to create a list comprised of the prospects in the set.

If you’re a hobbyist who has stumbled upon FanGraphs for the first time, The Board is where live prospect rankings and scouting reports exist on this site; this newly created and temporary tab is a ranking of the prospects with autographs in the Bowman Chrome set in the order I prefer them as baseball prospects. Some of the younger, higher-variance players are, perhaps, more likely to explode into the star-level types whose cards collectors seem to covet. For example, I’d sooner buy an Erick Pena card than an Isaac Paredes one, even though I have Paredes more highly rated from a baseball standpoint. I hope this is helpful to hobbyists and investors, and perhaps drives some readers to (re)try collecting cards. If it does, I ask that you support your local card shops in pursuit of these cards, rather than go to Target or buy online.

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