With the MLB Draft set for Thursday night, we’ll soon have a new crop of prospects attached to their professional teams and new players that collectors can now focus upon.
Thanks to various high school all-star sets and USA Baseball releases from Panini America, many of the players who’ll be tabbed for future greatness already have cardboard.
That includes potential No. 1 overall pick A.J. Puk, a 6-foot-7 left-handed pitcher for the Florida Gators who was previously drafted in the 35th round by the Detroit Tigers out of high school back in 2013.
So far this season Puk has a 3-2 record with a 3.21 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 70 innings, holding opponents to a .195 average. For his career, he’s 16-9 with a 3.45 ERA and 245 strikeouts in 190 innings. According to most pundits, he’s the likely top target of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Right now, Puk appears on nearly 50 different cards and 25 of those are autographed. His earliest card is from the 2012 Bowman Perfect Game All-American Classic set, but that wasn’t inserted into packs (and doesn’t have ink). That leaves many of his 2015 Panini releases
— all USA Baseball cards — as the more-available and potentially more-sought-after cards right now.
Most of Puk’s cards appear in the 2015 Panini Contenders set and the 2015 Panini USA Baseball boxed set. He also has cards in 2016 Donruss. Most of his autos are found in the boxed set, while Contenders is home to 11 cards counting parallels.
Rarer parallels and graded copies of his autos have asking prices approaching or topping the $100 mark in active eBay auctions, while the high in recent weeks was $125 for a BGS 9.5 of his Contenders Playoff Ticket limited to only 15 copies. Generally, his autos, at least pre-draft, have sold for reasonable prices if he’s truly going to be a top MLB talent.
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