Your Guide To 2023 Topps Chrome Rookies: Which Rookie Cards are Worth Chasing? [Updated]

July 31, 2023

Topps Chrome is always a much-anticipated release, especially among collectors of rookie cards. 2023 Topps Chrome is no different.

But what rookies are included in 2023 Topps Chrome? And which are the ones worth breaking for?

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Why Topps Rookie Chrome Cards are so sought-after

Many of the players who will have rookie cards will have appeared on cards prior to 2023. Some of them were several years before. These tend to be in draft pick or prospect sets, often produced by Bowman, Panini, and others.

Starting in 2006, the rules around what could be a true rookie card changed. In order to have a card with the rookie card designation, a player had to appear on a team’s 25-man (now 26) roster. For obvious reasons, this doesn’t happen until the player reaches the major leagues.

Overall, this was a good thing, in my opinion. While draft picks and prospects still are valuable and of interest to collectors, there’s something nice about a player’s rookie card appearing around the time they make their major league debut.

Considering that prior to this rule, you were seeing prospect cards, draft pick cards, and even college and high school cards, the chase to release the very first card of a player was getting rather ridiculous.

The rule is likely what saved us from “future star” cards of newborn babies or with ultrasound photos. Many of the rookie cards in 2023 Topps Chrome already appeared in Topps Flagship Series 1 or Series 2.

Their appearance in 2023 Topps Chrome offers collectors an opportunity to chase premium versions of the rookie cards. Add in the various parallel and autograph versions of some of these rookie cards in Chrome offer even higher-end options.

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The rookies in 2023 Topps Chrome Baseball

It’s worth noting that between 2023 Topps Series 1 and Series 2, Topps produced 660 different cards. The 2023 Topps Chrome set contains only 220 cards.

While the Chrome offering likely has a higher percentage of rookie cards, Topps obviously had to be a bit more selective about what rookies made it into Chrome.

The rookies making the cut for 2023 Topps Chrome:

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Card #PlayerTeamPositionTier
1Adley RutschmanBaltimore OriolesC1
2Gunnar HendersonBaltimore Orioles3B1
4Anthony VolpeNew York YankeesSS2
8Mark VientosNew York Mets1B3
9Jordan GroshansMiami Marlins3B4
10DL HallBaltimore OriolesP4
16Tyler FreemanCleveland Guardians3B4
18Jonathan ArandaTampa Bay Rays1B4
22Michael GroveLos Angeles DodgersP4
29JJ BledayOakland AthleticsOF4
36Ezequiel DuránTexas Rangers3B2
42Michael MasseyKansas City Royals2B4
43Nolan JonesColorado RockiesOF3
46Ethan SmallMilwaukee BrewersP4
48Vaughn GrissomAtlanta Braves2B3
52Ken WaldichukOakland AthleticsP4
54Bo Naylor Cleveland GuardiansC3
56Jeter DownsWashington NationalsSS4
57Brayan BelloBoston Red SoxP3
58Bubba ThompsonTexas RangersOF4
60Joey MenesesWashington Nationals1B4
61Cade CavalliWashington NationalsP4
64Luis OrtizPittsburgh PiratesP4
67Canaan Smith-NjigbaPittsburgh PiratesOF4
69Oswaldo CabreraNew York Yankees OF3
72Liover PegueroPittsburgh PiratesSS4
73Josh SmithTexas RangersOF4
76Javier AssadChicago CubsP4
78Jerar EncarnaciónMiami MarlinsOF4
79Michael Harris IIAtlanta BravesOF2
81James OutmanLos Angeles DodgersOF3
82Nelson VelázquezChicago CubsOF4
85Nick PrattoKansas City Royals1B4
87Michael TogliaColorado Rockies1B4
93Josh JungTexas Rangers3B2
95Corbin CarrollArizona DiamondbacksOF1
96Nate EatonKansas City RoyalsOF4
97Shintaro FujinamiOakland AthleticsP4
99Esteury RuizOakland AthleticsOF4
104Max MeyerMiami MarlinsP4
106Ezequiel TovarColorado Rockies SS2
108Cal MitchellPittsburgh PiratesOF4
110Garrett MitchellMilwaukee BrewersOF4
114Lenyn SosaChicago White Sox2B4
117David VillarSan Francisco Giants3B4
119Vinnie PasquantinoKansas City Royals1B3
132Oswald PerazaNew York YankeesSS3
133Carlos PérezChicago White SoxC4
135Kody ClemensPhiladelphia Phillies1B4
138Michael StefanicLos Angeles Angels2B4
145Oscar ColásChicago White Sox OF4
146Spencer SteerCincinnati Reds1B3
147Drew WatersKansas City RoyalsOF4
157Matthew LiberatoreSt. Louis CardinalsP4
161Miguel VargasLos Angeles Dodgers2B3
167Masataka YoshidaBoston Red SoxOF3
170Brice TurangMilwaukee Brewers 2B4
173Simeon Woods RichardsonMinnesota TwinsP4
174Triston CasasBoston Red Sox1B2
175Shea LangeliersOakland AthleticsC4
177Iván HerreraSt. Louis CardinalsC4
182Riley GreeneDetroit TigersOF2
183Dermis GarcíaOakland Athletics1B4
184Eguy RosarioSan Diego Padres3B4
187Alex CallWashington Nationals OF4
188Logan O’HoppeLos Angeles AngelsC3
189Gabriel MorenoArizona DiamondbacksC2
192Nolan GormanSt. Louis Cardinals2B2
193Ryne NelsonArizona DiamondbacksP4
194Kyle StowersBaltimore OriolesOF3
197Hunter BrownHouston AstrosP3
198Christopher MorelChicago CubsOF2
199Cal StevensonOakland AthleticsOF4
203Francisco ÁlvarezNew York MetsC2
204Brett BatyNew York Mets3B2
207Óscar GonzálezCleveland GuardiansOF4
209Jordan WalkerSt. Louis CardinalsOF1
217Kodai SengaNew York MetsP3

What rookies in 2023 Topps Chrome are worth chasing?

There are 78 rookies in 2023 Topps Chrome. The checklist is rather strong, breaking down to 63 hitters and 15 pitchers. There are six players with rookie cards in 2023 Topps Chrome that did not have initial rookie cards in 2023 Topps Series 1 or Series 2, but none of these players are going to excite investors:

  • Canaan Smith-Njigba
  • Nelson Velázquez
  • Michael Stefanic
  • Dermis García
  • Alex Call
  • Cal Stevenson

Because I’ve written about the vast majority of the rookie checklist for their RC debut in 2023 Topps Series 1 or Series 2, I’ll keep the 2023 Topps Chrome blurbs a bit briefer. You’ll notice I’ve listed the tier where I placed each player in the S1 and S2 write-ups.

Most players remain in the same tier, but there are a few significant moves. If I moved a player into a higher tier since then, the text will be highlighted in green; if I bumped a player down a tier, it will be highlighted in red.

Here are a few notable rookies in 2023 Topps Chrome, as Mike D. mentioned earlier this week:

You’ll find 2022 AL ROY runner-up Adley Rutschman, along with fellow Oriole Phenom Gunnar Henderson. 2022 NL ROY Michael Harris II is in there too.

Josh Jung was an All Star this year and is a front-runner for 2023 AL Rookie of the Year. Corbin Carroll was also an All Star, and is the front runner for the NL Rookie of the Year and maybe even an MVP candidate.

Other top young future stars who appeared in 2023 Topps Series 1 include Riley Greene, Brett Baty, Vaughn Grissom, and Nolan Gorman have 2023 Topps Chrome rookie cards.

Top rookies from 2023 Topps Series 2 include Jordan Walker, Francisco Álvarez, Anthony Volpe, and Logan O’Hoppe. You’ll find Japanese sensation Masataka Yoshida. His two promising Red Sox teammates Brayan Bello and Tristan Casas, but also Jeter Downs, who was released by the Red Sox and is struggling in minors with the Washington Nationals.

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Analyzing the Rookies in 2023 Topps Chrome

Tier 1: Rookies worth ripping for in 2023 Topps Chrome

Adley Rutschman

Baltimore Orioles catcher (Card #1) | Series 1: Tier 1

According to Baseball America:

  • Baltimore Orioles #1 prospect in 2022
  • MLB #1 prospect in 2022
  • Final Grade: 75

If you’re a regular reader of the site, you probably already know I’m a huge Adley fan. He has plus-or-better tools across the board and has transformed the Baltimore Orioles into serious contenders. Rutschman did the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen in the 2023 Home Run Derby, switching from the left to right side in the middle of his round and mashing baseballs from both sides of the plate.

He also seems like a genuinely good guy and, while that doesn’t really matter to investors, I do think that the fact that everyone loves him only adds to his popularity in the collecting and investing spaces.

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Rutschman entered the season ranked as the No. 1 prospect in baseball and is an even better bet today to be a franchise player. He had one of the best seasons ever for a rookie catcher, batting .254/.362/.445 with 13 home runs and 65 walks in 113 games, while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense and showing himself to be a team leader.

Matt Eddy, Baseball America

Gunnar Henderson

Baltimore Orioles shortstop/third baseman (#2) | S1: Tier 1

According to Baseball America:

  • Baltimore Orioles #1 prospect in 2023
  • MLB #1 prospect in 2023
  • Grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 70 | Run: 60 | Field: 60 | Arm: 70 | Overall: 70

I was a little worried about Gunnar Henderson for a while, but he’s settled in nicely and is doing just what I thought he would. Like his teammate above, Henderson’s tools are all plus or better.

Since the start of June, he’s slashed .289/.346/.577 with 10 home runs and a 151 wRC+. This was the Gunnar everyone was expecting to see, so props to you if you didn’t jump ship and sell low on him during his cold start in 2023.

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Henderson reaching the majors this quickly and succeeding in the manner he has puts his career on a steep upward trajectory. The Orioles believe he can be an MVP-caliber player, but at worst he can be a regular all-star who will be a cornerstone in the ongoing Orioles turnaround.

A well-rounded player with few weaknesses, Henderson has the speed, strength and athleticism to impact the game in multiple ways and is ready for a starring role in Baltimore after making his major league debut last year.

Baseball America

Corbin Carroll

Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder (#95) | S2: Tier 1

According to Baseball America:

  • Arizona Diamondbacks #1 prospect in 2023
  • MLB #2 prospect in 2023
  • Grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Run: 80 | Field: 60 | Arm: 45 | Overall: 65

At midseason, Corbin Carroll has run away with the NL Rookie of the Year Award and put himself in consideration for the NL MVP. He’s on pace for 31 home runs, 48 stolen bases, and 6.4 wins above replacement.

His numbers so far have matched the high expectations that come with plus hit and power tools and top-of-the-scale speed. I think one of the few questions with Carroll is his injury history.

He had a serious shoulder injury that required surgery in 2021 and gave everyone a scare a few weeks ago when he appeared to injure that shoulder while swinging, but fortunately avoided anything serious. Still, the talent here is worth it.

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Evaluators are unanimous in their excitement about his future, with questions only about how many all-star appearances he is expected to make. He figures to be a mainstay in Arizona’s lineup for years, starting with Opening Day 2023.

Baseball America

Jordan Walker

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder (#209) | S2: Tier 1

According to Baseball America:

  • St. Louis Cardinals #1 prospect in 2023
  • MLB #4 prospect in 2023
  • Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 70 | Run: 55 | Field: 50 | Arm: 60 | Overall: 70

Jordan Walker has been one of the few bright spots for the Cardinals this year. Like I mentioned in my Series 2 write-up, he began his big-league career with a 12-game hit streak.

After a brief stint in Triple-A, the 21-year-old is slashing .290/.359/.486 with a 134 wRC+. He makes a ton of hard contact and has kept his strikeout rate right around league average, putting himself in a position to succeed often.

Walker might be getting overshadowed by Corbin Carroll and Elly De La Cruz right now, but I still like Walker’s investment upside and even think there’s room for improvement in his game.

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Few players flash upside as immense as Walker’s. He should see a majority of his time in 2023 in the major leagues. Equipped with plus power and average or better plate skills, Walker could develop into a perennial all-star.

Baseball America

Tier 2: Rookies I’m cautiously optimistic about in 2023 Topps Chrome

Anthony Volpe

New York Yankees shortstop (#4) | S2: Tier 2

According to Baseball America:

  • New York Yankees #2 prospect in 2023
  • MLB #62 prospect in 2023
  • Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 55 | Field: 60 | Arm: 55

I wasn’t totally sold on Anthony Volpe in my Series 2 breakdown and I still feel the same way about him now. He was slashing .190/.268/.351 with a 72 wRC+ through June 2. Since then, he’s slashing .240/.305/.419 with a near league average 101 wRC+.

It’s an improvement but not necessarily the one investors are looking for, with only five home runs and four stolen bases during this time. Volpe’s stock is down 37.15% over the past 90 days, according to Alt.

I still don’t think it’s anywhere near time to panic, though. This might be an opportunity to buy low(er) on him.

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One of the better defensive shortstops in the Top 100, Peraza has carried forward the progress he made to his batting profile during the 2020 shutdown. He hits the ball hard consistently and makes good zone contact. Peraza made his MLB debut in 2022 and is ready for a larger role.

Peraza has the defensive chops to be the Yankees’ long-term shortstop, especially if they choose to push Anthony Volpe to second base, where his range would be an asset with shift restrictions coming into play, and make him and Peraza their future double-play combo.

Baseball America

Ezequiel Durán

Texas Rangers second baseman/shortstop (#36) | S1: Tier 3

According to Baseball America:

  • Texas Rangers #4 prospect in 2022
  • Final Grade: 50

Ezequiel Durán has been really impressive for the division-leading Texas Rangers this season. He’s making a ton of hard contact and flashing the power we saw glimpses of in the minor leagues.

His plate discipline could use some work, and this is something pitchers are noticing and exploiting lately. I like the upside with Durán and think he’s a solid addition to Tier 2.

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Duran will need to add versatility to his game after the additions of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. He played second, third and shortstop in the Arizona Fall League and has the upside of an offensive-minded infielder at any spot.

Baseball America

Michael Harris II

Atlanta Braves outfielder (#79) | S1: Tier 1

According to Baseball America:

  • Atlanta Braves #1 prospect in 2022
  • MLB #46 prospect in 2022
  • Final Grade: 65

Expectations for Michael Harris II were high after he won the NL Rookie of the Year in 2022. He’s regressed in 2023, slashing .270/.323/.441 with a 104 wRC+. He’s making hard contact more often than he did last season, but a lot of it is still on the ground.

The regression is why I bumped him down to Tier 2, but his underlying numbers are trending upwards and give me confidence the results will follow.

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The Braves dipped down to Double-A to call up Harris on May 28 and he helped ignite the club’s offense. He led all NL rookies in WAR thanks to a .297/.339/.514 batting line with 19 homers and 20 steals, backed by Gold Glove-caliber defense in center field. Harris looks like a future all-star.

Matt Eddy, Baseball America

Josh Jung

Texas Rangers third baseman (#93) | S2: Tier 3

According to Baseball America:

  • Texas Rangers #3 prospect in 2023
  • MLB #66 prospect in 2023
  • Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 60 | Run: 40 | Field: 45 | Arm: 50 | Overall: 55

Like his teammate Durán, Josh Jung gets bumped up into Tier 2. He’s been an incredible addition to the Rangers’ lineup. He barrels up balls at a rate that puts him in the company of Bryce Harper, Austin Riley, and Mookie Betts.

Jung has a similar batted ball profile with questionable plate discipline like Durán, but I prefer Jung from an investment standpoint. I think he has both a higher floor and ceiling.

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Jung’s offensive profile took a big step forward in 2021. He worked to make contact earlier, and the result was an increase in pull-side power. He has big-time bat speed and plus raw power, which showed up in a 91.1 mph average exit velocity that was nearly the same as big league power brokers Pete Alonso and Jorge Soler. With his natural hitting gifts and approach adjustment, he now projects to be a plus hitter with plus power. 

Baseball America

Ezequiel Tovar

Colorado Rockies shortstop (#106) | S2: Tier 2

According to Baseball America:

  • New York Yankees #1 prospect in 2023
  • MLB #17 prospect in 2023
  • Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Field: 70 | Arm: 60 | Overall: 65

It’s been a rough season at the plate for Ezequiel Tovar. He’s slashing .257/.290/.420 with a 75 wRC+. He rarely walks, strikes out too much, and gets fooled on breaking pitches. I still believe in Tovar’s overall skill set and minor league track record, but for now investors should proceed with extreme caution

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Tovar is a talented all-around shortstop capable of impacting the game on both sides of the ball in a variety of ways. With a lanky build, Tovar lacks mass but has wiry strength and twitch that allow his him to generate power at the plate and on his throws. His offensive profile is heavily driven by his above-average bat-to-ball skills and plus bat speed. An aggressive swinger, Tovar looks to put the ball in play and do damage. While his swing decisions are still raw, he has an innate ability to adjust the barrel and make flush contact all over the zone…Tovar is capable of developing into one of the best defensive shortstops in the major leagues.

Baseball America

Triston Casas

Boston Red Sox first baseman (#174) | S1: Tier 2

According to Baseball America:

  • Boston Red Sox #2 prospect in 2023
  • MLB #29 prospect in 2023
  • Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 65 | Run: 30 | Field: 55 | Arm: 50

When I wrote about Triston Casas in my Series 1 article, I mentioned the inherent risk that comes with Casas. He walks a lot, strikes out a lot, and has tremendous power. Here’s a blurb about the Red Sox’s slugger from my Series 1 article:

Two players with a higher three two outcome rate than Casas last season are on two opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of players investors are interested in: Aaron Judge and Joey Gallo.

This isn’t meant to compare Casas to either of those two players, but more to point to two different pathways Casas could take — a slugger with elite plate discipline that’s well-rounded enough to hit for a high average vs. a slugger with elite plate discipline that is strictly boom or bust.

The good news is that Casas is finally hitting his stride. He’s hitting .350/.451/.800 with a 230 wRC+ (!) in July. Casas has hit 7 home runs in 19 games this month, and his quality of contact signals these numbers are just because he’s getting lucky. He’s performing the way everyone thought he would when he was a top prospect.

I like Casas a lot, but he’s in Tier 2 because I don’t think investors view him as favorably as the players in Tier 1.

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A physically imposing first baseman, Casas is as much a polished hitter as he is a slugger. While Casas’ power is easily plus, he limits strikeouts while displaying advanced on-base ability. After making his major league debut over the final month of the season, Casas looks poised to see a substantial role with the Red Sox in 2023.

Casas will either open 2023 in the big leagues or get there–likely permanently–by early to midseason. He could emerge as a middle-of-the-order force who takes aim at the Green Monster for years to come.

Baseball America

Riley Greene

Detroit Tigers outfielder (#182) | S1: Tier 1

According to Baseball America:

  • Detroit Tigers #1 prospect in 2022
  • MLB #4 prospect in 2022
  • Final Grade: 60

My reasoning for bumping Riley Greene down to Tier 2 is similar to my thinking with Casas. Greene was a Top 5 prospect coming into 2022, but injuries delayed his start to the season and he hovered around a league average hitter when he returned.

He got off to a slow start in 2023 but really picked it up a month into the season. Since the start of May, he’s slashing .359.424/.560 with a 175 wRC+. I haven’t lost faith in Greene’s upside, but I still don’t think investors view him as favorably as the players in Tier 1. For that reason, he got bumped down to Tier 2.

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Greene injured his foot in spring training, which delayed his MLB debut until June 18. He performed at a roughly league-average rate as a 21-year-old big leaguer by hitting .253/.321/.362. Bigger picture: Greene proved himself capable in center field and had some of the best plate discipline markers among rookies. The 2023 season could mean growth for Greene.

Matt Eddy, Baseball America

Gabriel Moreno

Arizona Diamondbacks catcher (#189) | S1: Tier 2

According to Baseball America:

  • Arizona Diamondbacks #2 prospect in 2023
  • MLB #12 prospect in 2023
  • Grades: Hit: 70 | Power: 45 | Run: 40 | Field: 60 | Arm: 60

Gabriel Moreno was traded to the Diamondbacks this offseason, and he’s struggled to live up to the expectations people had for him as a top prospect.

Young catchers are tough to predict, and I think going to a new team and having to learn a whole new pitching staff might be affecting his production at the plate. His hit tool was projected to be elite, and I don’t think those bat-to-ball skills have just evaporated.

The prospect team at FanGraphs said he “projects as one of the better all-around catchers in baseball.” I still think that’s possible, but I prefer Adley Rutschman (obviously) and Francisco Álvarez from an investment standpoint.

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Moreno continued to hit, hit and hit some more as he rose from Triple-A to the majors last year. Although he faces questions about his power following a wrist injury, his knack for contact and advanced defense behind the plate give him a chance to be one of baseball’s top catchers regardless.

Moreno got on-the-job training in MLB in 2022. He made appearances at second base, third base and left field in order to increase his flexibility, but his future is behind the plate. He’ll have the opportunity to seize a larger share of the catching duties in 2023 and could be on his way to becoming an all-star.

Baseball America

Nolan Gorman

St. Louis Cardinals second baseman (#192) | S1: Tier 2

According to Baseball America:

  • St. Louis Cardinals #2 prospect in 2022
  • MLB #34 prospect in 2022
  • Final Grade: 55

I was bullish on Gorman in my Series 1 article, and it seems to have been the right move. He’s been fantastic for a disappointing Cardinals team. He’s slashing .241/.325/.495 with a 123 wRC+.

Gorman is hitting the ball hard and has sustained an elite barrel rate, but the plate discipline is still a work in progress. I’m excited about what he’s shown this year, enough to keep him in this tier.

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Regardless of position, it’ll be Gorman’s bat that makes him an above-average everyday player. He has plus-plus raw power and can hit a home run out of any park. He destroys pitches down in the zone and consistently posts high exit velocities…Gorman is on track to be a middle-of-the order slugger who hits 30-35 home runs per year.

Baseball America

Christopher Morel

Chicago Cubs infielder/outfielder (#198) | S1: Tier 3

According to Baseball America:

  • Chicago Cubs #29 prospect in 2022
  • Grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 60 | Run: 60 | Field: 50 | Arm: 70

Christopher Morel’s power/speed upside is real enough to bump him up to Tier 2. I’m kind of surprised he hasn’t run a lot this season, stealing only four bases despite a plus (60) speed grade.

The power, however, is there and it’s one of the best in baseball. His .545 slugging percentage is 13th best in baseball and has produced 16 home runs. Like Gorman and other young hitters, he whiffs and strikes out a ton. With the way he’s producing (138 wRC+) however, his bat will force its way into the lineup.

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Morel is one of the most versatile athletes in the Cubs system. He’s an explosive, plus runner who is an above-average defender at both shortstop and center field and can also play second base, third base, right field and left field.

Baseball America

Francisco Álvarez

New York Mets catcher (#203) | S2: Tier 2

According to Baseball America:

  • New York Mets #1 prospect in 2023
  • MLB #9 prospect in 2023
  • Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 70 | Run: 30 | Field: 45 | Arm: 50 | Overall: 65

I’ve been really impressed with Francisco Alvarez this year, but there’s a few things I’ll be keeping my eye on before I’m all in. He was hitting a lot of ground balls earlier this year, but he’s putting the ball in the air more lately which is a recipe for success.

Still, he seems to be over-performing his expected stats which signal he’s getting lucky based on his quality of contact. Despite this, I prefer his tools over Moreno’s when it comes to investment value.

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Few prospects can match Alvarez’s raw power. Built like a fire hydrant at a listed 5-foot-10, 233 pounds, he unleashes a compact, powerful swing that inflicts damage and earns double-plus power grades. Alvarez’s average exit velocity in the minors in 2022 was 90 mph and his 90th percentile EV checked in at nearly 108 mph, an elite reading…The Mets have long been enamored of Alvarez’s work ethic, composure and competitive makeup. He has that ‘it’ factor to become a star on baseball’s biggest stage.

Baseball America

Brett Baty

New York Mets third baseman (#204) | S1: Tier 1

According to Baseball America:

  • New York Mets #2 prospect in 2023
  • MLB #33 prospect in 2023
  • Grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Run: 45 | Field: 45 | Arm: 60

I was talking about Baty with fellow CardLines writer and avid Mets fan Shaiel Ben-Ephraim as I debated what to do with the 23-year-old third baseman but even Shai couldn’t persuade me to keep Baty in Tier 1.

Here’s why: his underlying offensive numbers have gotten worse as the season’s progressed. His poor strike zone judgment has led to a 33.3% K% this month. When he makes contact, a lot of it is weak and on the ground.

Every chart I pull up makes me more and more confident he belongs in Tier 2. (If you’re a Mets fan or Baty collector and disagree, reach out to me on Twitter and tell me why. I love talking about this stuff!)

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Baty is a polished hitter with the ability to make consistent hard contact, as displayed by his 51% hard-hit rate in 2022. He homered in his first MLB at-bat and did not look over-matched in his 11 games with the Mets.

Baty is a good hitter with power and will bat toward the middle of the Mets’ lineup at his peak.

Baseball America

Tier 3: Rookies with a higher risk than the potential investment reward in 2023 Topps Chrome

Vaughn Grissom, Atlanta Braves SS: Boy, was I wrong about Grissom. I thought he’d slide into the starting shortstop role with Dansby Swanson gone. Instead, they went with Orlando Arcia and it seems to be paying off.

Mark Vientos, New York Mets 3B/DH: Vientos remains reliant on his power. He’s someone I’d hold on to if you snag an auto while ripping, but I’m not going out of my way to invest in him.

Nolan Jones, Colorado Rockies OF: Jones is an interesting case who barrels the ball well but his plate discipline, if unchanged, will keep him from any type of significant production.

Bo Naylor, Cleveland Guardians C: Since I wrote my Series 2 article, Naylor finally got called up but has struggled to get going. I think Naylor will be successful in the major leagues, but I don’t think he’s an exciting investment. Of the Tier 3 catchers, I prefer O’Hoppe.

Brayan Bello, Boston Red Sox P: Bello has settled in nicely in 2023. He still has room to grow and I’m not sure his ceiling is enough to necessitate a significant investment. Still, he’s one of the better rookie pitchers on the checklist.

Oswaldo Cabrera, New York Yankees IF/OF: Cabrera has been incredibly disappointing in 2023, earning himself a recent demotion to Triple-A. I was tempted to drop him down into Tier 4, but Yankees prospects always get a longer leash than they should from investors. I’m out on Cabrera, but he’ll get more chances to prove himself.

James Outman, Los Angeles Dodgers OF: James Outman has been so streaky. He was red hot in April, cold in May and June, and has picked it up in July. I’m not sure I trust him to be consistent with performance somewhere in between, I don’t think he’s ceiling is high enough to necessitate keeping him up in Tier 2.

Vinnie Pasquantino, Kansas City Royals 1B/DH: I liked Pasquantino coming into the year, but he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. I’m not sure he has a broad enough appeal to be a worthy investment, forcing me to bump him to Tier 3.

Oswald Peraza, New York Yankees 2B/SS: Peraza has only played 19 games with the Yankees this year. He’s played well in Triple-A and I prefer him over Oswaldo Cabrera, but not sure I’m overly excited to invest in him.

Spencer Steer, Cincinnati Reds 1B/3B: Steer’s been better than I expected but he’s still heavily overshadowed on his own team.

Miguel Vargas, Los Angeles Dodgers 1B/OF: I had high expectations for Miguel Vargas coming into the year and he looked good early on, but he’s slashing .146/.273/.293 since the start of June. There’s better investment options available so I’m fading Vargas.

Masataka Yoshida, Boston Red Sox OF: My thoughts remain the same from my Series 2 write up: Yoshida had one of the biggest home runs in the 2023 World Baseball Classic and he’s playing better than anyone could’ve anticipated. However, I don’t think there’s much hype for his game outside of Red Sox fans and have difficulty expecting excitement from investors.

Logan O’Hoppe, Los Angeles Angels C: I wanted to put O’Hoppe in Tier 2 but I had too many catchers in the top two tiers. O’Hoppe underwent a serious shoulder surgery earlier this year and he’s the odd man out.

Kyle Stowers, Baltimore Orioles OF: Similar to Steer, I think Stowers has upside but he’s also overshadowed on his own team.

Hunter Brown, Houston Astros P: Hunter Brown has the potential for three plus pitches in his fastball, slider, and curveball, but I’m not sure he’s an ace. That’s my requirement to bump pitchers up into the top two tiers.

Kodai Senga, New York Mets P: I’m torn on Senga because I really like him from a fan perspective. The ghost fork is incredible, but I think he’s also a mid-rotation guy which isn’t enough to make me invest in him.

Tier 4: Rookies with little to no investment value in 2023 Topps Chrome

Jordan Groshans, Miami Marlins 3B

DL Hall, Baltimore Orioles P

Tyler Freeman, Cleveland Guardians 2B/SS

Jonathan Aranda, Tampa Bay Rays IF

Michael Grove, Los Angeles Dodgers P

JJ Bleday, Oakland Athletics OF

Michael Massey, Kansas City Royals 2B

Ethan Small, Milwaukee Brewers P

Ken Waldichuk, Oakland Athletics P

Jeter Downs, Washington Nationals IF

Bubba Thompson, Texas Rangers OF

Joey Meneses, Washington Nationals IF/OF

Cade Cavalli, Washington Nationals P

Luis Ortiz, Pittsburgh Pirates P

Canaan Smith-Njigba, Pittsburgh Pirates OF

Liover Peguero, Pittsburgh Pirates SS

Josh Smith, Texas Rangers 3B/OF

Javier Assad, Chicago Cubs P

Jerar Encarnación, Miami Marlins OF

Nelson Velázquez, Chicago Cubs OF

Nick Pratto, Kansas City Royals 1B/OF

Michael Toglia, Colorado Rockies 1B/OF

Nate Eaton, Kansas City Royals 3B/OF

Shintaro Fujinami, Oakland Athletics P

Esteury Ruiz, Oakland Athletics OF

Max Meyer, Miami Marlins P

Cal Mitchell, Pittsburgh Pirates OF

Garrett Mitchell, Milwaukee Brewers OF

Lenyn Sosa, Chicago White Sox 2B/SS

David Villar, San Francisco Giants 1B/3B

Carlos Pérez, Chicago White Sox C

Kody Clemens, Philadelphia Phillies 1B/3B

Michael Stefanic, Los Angeles Angels 2B

Oscar Colás, Chicago White Sox OF

Drew Waters, Kansas City Royals OF

Matthew Liberatore, St. Louis Cardinals P

Brice Turang, Milwaukee Brewers 2B/SS

Simeon Woods Richardson, Minnesota Twins P

Shea Langeliers, Oakland Athletics C/DH

Iván Herrera, St. Louis Cardinals C

Dermis García, Oakland Athletics 1B

Eguy Rosario, San Diego Padres SS/3B

Alex Call, Washington Nationals OF

Ryne Nelson, Arizona Diamondbacks P

Cal Stevenson, Oakland Athletics OF

Óscar González, Cleveland Guardians OF

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