One of this year’s hidden gems on the field is nearly the same thing off of it — or at least on cardboard.
In an era of prospect cards made sometimes years before a player even sees an MLB field, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Adam Duvall is a bit of an enigma. Make that an enigma who has 18 home runs this season after a 9-8 victory over the Atlanta Braves Monday night where he led off the game with a two-run shot in the first.
And make that an enigma without a lot of cardboard.
He’s a third-year MLB player who doesn’t appear on a certified autograph or Relic, barely has enough standard cardboard to fill a wax pack of his own and a guy who has his first Rookie Card officially arriving tomorrow in 2016 Topps Series 2.
To prove the point how off-the-radar he is, that card may not even have an RC logo on it — his 2016 Topps Reds team set card (above) didn’t, and it’s essentially a preview/clone of the card to come just with a different number. He’s also not noted as a rookie on the final checklist released by Topps — but it’s still set to be his first RC.
An 11th-round pick in the 2010 MLB Draft of the San Francisco Giants, he made his MLB debut two seasons ago. He hit a forgettable .192 with 20 strikeouts in 28 games. This year? He’s hitting .258 with 18 homers and 44 RBI in 59 games for the cellar-dwelling Reds.
Before the arrival of this new product, Duvall could be found on fewer than 30 cards total — that includes parallels, printing plates … everything. His 2012 Bowman appearance makes up nearly all of his cards with 26 between everything created for that brand. Other than his Reds cards this year, he’s had nothing else made by Topps. His only other cards are minor-league team releases.
On eBay, he’s more of a bulk-lot star with a lot of 205 2012 Bowman Chrome cards selling for $512 recently — one of a few lot sales — while rarer parallels have sold for as much as $80 and many others have sold for $20 and up. Asking prices for rarer cards are, of course, trending much higher as the home run total continues to grow.
For now, this is a guy to dig out of those prospecting commons bins — and to pull out of 2016 Topps Series 2 as Reds fans finally have a pack-pulled RC to focus their attention on. Sure, he’s not a hyped prospect just arriving — he’s 27 this year — but 18 homers in the majors is something a lot of guys can’t pull off these days. Only four guys — all known commodities — have more this season.
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