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The Best 2023 Topps Series 2 Rookies To Invest In

jordan walker 2023 topps series 2

2023 Topps Series 2 is upon us! Topps usually rolls out the second part of its flagship release mid-way through the season. You’ll find 2023 Topps Series 2 on shelves on June 7, 2023.

The strength of the crop of rookies in each set determines the release’s value. Jordan Walker and Corbin Carroll headline the 2023 Topps Series 2 rookie class. These will be the two key players collectors and investors will chase as they rip packs.

Besides Walker and Carroll, there are a handful of other top prospects that make 2023 Topps Series 2 a worthy investment for those who like to keep sealed wax.

Buy boxes of 2023 Topps Series 2 Special Edition directly from Topps.com

Readers of CardLines will see the same ranking system I’ve used in the past to break down the rookies in this set. 2023 Topps Series 1 and 2 both have worthy investment options in my top two tiers.

In other releases, I could’ve easily placed guys like Anthony Volpe and Ezequiel Tovar in Tier 1. However, I believe Jordan Walker and Corbin Carroll are in a class of their own. Unlike the 2022 Topps Series 1 and 2 releases, there isn’t an enormous drop-off in talent from the rookies in Tier 1 vs Tier 2. This is a great thing for fans, collectors, and investors!

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The 2023 Topps Series 2 checklist is 330 cards deep. We’ve got rookie cards for 70 players, breaking down to 51 position players and 19 pitchers. At a glance, only two pitchers crack Tier 3 (Kodai Senga and Max Meyer); all other pitchers fall into Tier 4.

ALSO READ: 2023 Topps Update Rookies

Full checklist of 2023 Topps Series 2 rookies

The vast majority of position players worth investing in are in Tiers 1 and 2. There are a few potential long-term investments in Tier 3, and I’ll note which ones those are below.

If you have any questions about the rankings, reach out to me on Twitter or the official CardLines account! Good luck!

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wdt_ID Card # Player Team Position Tier
1 336 Tommy Henry Arizona Diamondbacks P 4
2 339 Will Benson Cincinnati Reds OF 3
3 340 Ken Waldichuk Oakland Athletics P 4
4 344 Jordan Walker St. Louis Cardinals OF 1
5 356 Ryan Kreidler Detroit Tigers IF 4
6 359 Garrett Mitchell Milwaukee Brewers OF 3
7 362 Kodai Senga New York Mets P 3
8 363 Logan O'Hoppe Los Angeles Angels C 2
9 371 Liván Soto Los Angeles Angels IF 4
10 372 Ronny Henriquez Minnesota Twins P 4
11 386 Jordan Groshans Miami Marlins 3B 4
12 388 Max Meyer Miami Marlins P 3
13 394 Kerry Carpenter Detroit Tigers OF 4
14 395 James Outman Los Angeles Dodgers OF 2
15 398 Dalton Guthrie Philadelphia Phillies OF 4
16 401 Corbin Carroll Arizona Diamondbacks OF 1
17 416 Donny Sands Detroit Tigers C 4
18 418 Conner Capel Oakland Athletics OF 4
19 421 Bo Naylor Cleveland Guardians C 3
20 423 Jordan Díaz Oakland Athletics 2B 4
21 441 Louie Varland Minnesota Twins P 4
22 444 Javier Assad Chicago Cubs P 4
23 446 Charles Leblanc Miami Marlins IF 4
24 447 Israel Pineda Washington Nationals C 4
25 448 Matt Wallner Minnesota Twins OF 3
26 452 Carlos Pérez Chicago White Sox C 4
27 453 Will Brennan Cleveland Guardians OF 3
28 459 Ryne Nelson Arizona Diamondbacks P 4
29 460 Anthony Volpe New York Yankees SS 2
30 462 Tyler Freeman Cleveland Guardians 2B/SS 4
31 470 Joey Meneses Washington Nationals 1B/OF/DH 4
32 471 Masataka Yoshida Boston Red Sox OF 3
33 472 Ford Proctor San Francisco Giants 2B 4
34 479 Simeon Woods-Richardson Minnesota Twins P 4
35 487 Oswaldo Cabrera New York Yankees IF/OF 3
36 489 Spencer Steer Cincinnati Reds 1B/3B 3
37 491 Ji Hwan Bae Pittsburgh Pirates 2B/OF 4
38 494 Brendon Davis Detroit Tigers 3B/OF 4
39 498 Stone Garrett Washington Nationals OF 4
40 502 Drey Jameson Arizona Diamondbacks P 4
41 507 Cody Morris Cleveland Guardians P 4
42 513 Xzavion Curry Cleveland Guardians P 4
43 524 Terrin Vavra Baltimore Orioles OF 4
44 529 Josh Jung Texas Rangers 3B 3
45 530 Brice Turang Milwaukee Brewers 2B/SS 4
46 536 Yusniel Diaz Los Angeles Dodgers OF 4
47 543 Drew Waters Kansas City Royals OF 4
48 545 Oscar Colás Chicago White Sox OF 4
49 547 DL Hall Baltimore Orioles P 4
50 550 Mark Vientos New York Mets 3B/DH 3
51 557 Nate Eaton Kansas City Royals 3B/OF 4
52 561 Shintaro Fujinami Oakland Athletics P 4
53 571 Bryce Johnson San Francisco Giants OF 4
54 576 Eguy Rosario San Diego Padres SS/3B 4
55 582 Luis Ortiz Pittsburgh Pirates P 4
56 592 Miles Mastrobuoni Chicago Cubs IF/OF 4
57 597 Bubba Thompson Texas Rangers OF 4
58 608 Freddy Tarnok Oakland Athletics P 4
59 615 Jose Butto New York Mets P 4
60 616 Michael Toglia Colorado Rockies 1B/OF 4
61 622 Alec Burleson St. Louis Cardinals OF 4
62 635 Yainer Díaz Houston Astros C 4
63 638 Hayden Wesneski Chicago Cubs P 4
64 643 Bailey Falter Philadelphia Phillies P 4
65 644 Francisco Álvarez New York Mets C 2
66 649 David Hensley Houston Astros IF/OF 4
67 650 Esteury Ruiz Oakland Athletics OF 4
68 651 Ezequiel Tovar Colorado Rockies SS 2
69 654 Michael Siani Cincinnati Reds OF 4
70 659 Luis Liberato San Diego Padres OF 4
Card # Player Team Position Tier

Tier 1: Rookies worth ripping for in 2023 Topps Series 2

Jordan Walker

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder (#344)

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 is a 6-foot-6, a 21-year-old outfielder with the type of elite power that foreshadows 40 home run seasons. He hit so well in spring training in 2023 (18-for-65 with five doubles and three home runs) that he forced his way onto the Cardinals’ Opening Day roster. Walker’s start to his big-league career was nothing short of magnificent.

He set a record with a 12-game hit streak to begin his career. Walker was often the youngest player at every stop in the minor leagues, so it wasn’t all that surprising that the moment didn’t faze him. The Cardinals sent Walker down to the minor leagues after a brief struggle, but the Cardinals recalled him on June 2.

He picked up right where he left off, smashing a single with an exit velocity of 110.9 mph (just in time for the release of 2023 Topps Series 2!)

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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

Shop for 2023 Topps Series 2 Jordan Walker rookie cards on eBay

jordan walker 2023 topps series 2

Corbin Carroll

Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder (#401)

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

Despite being small in stature, outfielder Corbin Carroll has a well-rounded skill set with plus hit and power tools along with speed that is top-of-the-chart. Carroll made his MLB debut in 2022 after only 142 games in the minor leagues.

He performed very well in his brief 2022 campaign and has looked even better in 2023. His max exit velocity is better than known sluggers Pete Alonso and Manny Machado. He sprays the ball all over the field, turning singles into doubles with ease.

He’s hit 9 home runs and stolen 16 bases, putting a 20/20 season well within reach. There’s not much on the baseball field that Carroll can’t do, and he’s still just 22 years old.

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

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Tier 2: Rookies I like that won’t break the bank in 2023 Topps Series 2

Logan O’Hoppe

Los Angeles Angels catcher (#363)

According to Baseball America:

  • Los Angeles Angels #1 prospect in 2023
  • MLB #42 prospect in 2023
  • Grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 50 | Run: 30 | Field: 55 | Arm: 60 | Overall: 55

Logan O’Hoppe was off to a hot start before suffering an unfortunate shoulder injury that required surgery and will probably end his season. The Angels’ catcher was playing well before the injury, slashing .283/.339/.547 with a high quality of contact.

Prior to his debut, O’Hoppe was hitting very well at Double-A in the Philadelphia Phillies organization before the Angels traded him for Brandon Marsh. He improved his offensive numbers upon joining the Angels organization, reinforcing the belief that he can hit for average and power in the big leagues. Because of the injury, this might be a good opportunity to buy low on O’Hoppe.

O’Hoppe is a physical 6-foot-2 catcher who has the offensive and defensive tools to be a two-way threat at a premium position. He has progressively improved his bat-to-ball skills while finding a flatter bat path from the right side and now makes consistently hard contact, especially against pitches low in the zone… Beyond his physical skills, O’Hoppe expertly retains information, is a natural leader and is extremely popular with his pitchers. He calls a good game and has the toughness teams look for behind the plate.

Baseball America

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James Outman

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder (#395)

According to Baseball America:

  • Los Angeles Dodgers #10 prospect in 2023
  • Grades: Hit: 40 | Power: 50 | Run: 60 | Field: 55 | Arm: 60 | Overall: 45

James Outman flew under the radar but earned the starting centerfield job for the Dodgers in 2023. He homered on Opening Day, leading to a breakout start that earned him the NL’s April Rookie of the Month Award. Baseball America’s overall grade of 45 seemed awfully conservative to me in the pre-season, and he seemed to be over-performing those grades through mid-May.

He’s struggled over the last two weeks as pitchers have identified and exploited his weakness (fastballs up and breaking balls). I’d keep a close eye on how Outman adjusts over the next few weeks before deciding on an investment strategy, but I’d bet he’s going to figure it out.

Outman began to perform better at the plate as he gained a better understanding of his left-handed swing. He still aggressively looks to launch balls to his pull side, but slowing things down enabled him to chase fewer pitches out of the zone and access his plus raw power more consistently. He still strikes out too much to post high batting averages, though he compensates by drawing plenty of walks and hit by pitches.

MLB Pipeline

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Anthony Volpe

New York Yankees shortstop (#460)

According to Baseball America:

  • New York Yankees #1 prospect in 2023
  • MLB #14 prospect in 2023
  • Grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Run: 55 | Field: 50 | Arm: 45 | Overall: 65

Anthony Volpe was the Yankees’ first-round pick in 2019. His glove was stronger than his bat at the time, but he completely revamped his swing during the pandemic and came into camp in 2021 looking like a new hitter.

He was great in the minor leagues since then and his strong spring training was enough for the Yankees to name Volpe their starting shortstop on Opening Day in 2023. I’m probably going to get some flak for putting Yankees’ shortstop Anthony Volpe in Tier 2. He’s a fantastic player and he’ll be fine, but I question if the hype would be the same if he played for the…Detroit Tigers?

I’m not sure investors would have the same amount of patience to put up with a .190/.268/.351 slash line or a 72 wRC+ if he plays for a different team. I don’t think it’ll ever come to that, but that’s why Volpe is in Tier 2 and not Tier 1.

Volpe is the purest hitter in the Yankees’ system, a title he comes by through an extremely mature approach that allows him to pick through pitches he doesn’t want until he gets something he can impact. Then he unleashes a powerful yet compact swing that produces hard line drives thanks to a swing path that keeps the barrel in the zone for a long time.

Baseball America

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Francisco Álvaraez

New York Mets catcher (#644)

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

Francisco Álvarez is the catalyst of the New York Mets movement to let the kids play. He’s crushing the ball and even though it’s early in the season, the results are there. Álvarez’s .263 isolated power leads all catchers and his 123 wRC+ is fourth-best among catchers.

He’s probably due for a little regression, but his track record of improved plate discipline has me confident that this fantastic rookie campaign isn’t a fluke.

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

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Ezequiel Tovar

Colorado Rockies shortstop (#651)

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

Ezequiel Tovar is a 21-year-old shortstop who made his big league debut at the end of the 2022 season. His hit and power tools are above average, speed is a plus, and is fantastic on defense. Tovar is a lock to stick at shortstop and his offensive profile will fit well at Coors Field.

His speed and the spacious outfields will allow Tovar to doubles into triples, and he has surprising power for his size. Tovar must improve his pitch recognition and plate discipline, but he’s an exciting skill set that I feel is worth investing in.

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

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Tier 3: Rookies with a higher risk than the potential investment reward in 2023 Topps Series 1

Will Benson, Cincinnati Reds OF (#339)

Benson is a good athlete with plus raw power but questionable contact rates. This might force him into a role as a bench bat or platoon player.

Garrett Mitchell, Milwaukee Brewers OF (#359)

Mitchell has plus raw power and elite speed, making him a player I considered for Tier 2. Ultimately, I’m unsure if he can hit for even average power in games. The 24-year-old had a solid start to 2023 but injured his shoulder, had surgery, and is likely out for the season.

Kodai Senga, New York Mets P (#362)

It pains me to put Senga in Tier 3, but my general rule is potential aces slot in at Tier 2 and I don’t think he’s that. His ghost fork is nasty, and he’s put together some great outings, but I don’t see much of an investment opportunity here.

Max Meyer, Miami Marlins P (#388)

Max Meyer has two elite pitches in his fastball and slider but remains out for the 2023 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. I had Meyer on my list of potential investments in the 2020 Bowman class, but there’s been talk of the righty being used as a bullpen arm rather than a starter when he returns. This, plus the fact that Marlins’ rookie Eury Pérez looks like a legit ace, has me fading Meyer.

Bo Naylor, Cleveland Guardians C (#421)

I’m so confused with the Guardians’ approach to the catching position. The 23-year-old Naylor mashing at Triple-A (.255/.393/.489, 122 wRC+), but Cleveland is sticking with a veteran tandem behind the plate who’ve combined for a .160/.234/.253, 35 wRC+ line. I’d have to imagine there’s something else going on, but from what’s publicly available, Naylor’s offensive grades are all average and Cleveland kills players’ investment values (just look at José Ramírez).

Matt Wallner, Minnesota Twins OF (#448)

70-grade power doesn’t warrant a spot in Tier 4, but a 30-grade hit tool doesn’t deserve to be any higher than Tier 3.

Will Brennan, Cleveland Guardians OF (#453)

Baseball America notes that “Brennan’s overall profile inevitably draws comparisons with Steven Kwan,” which does not whet the appetite of investors.

Masataka Yoshida, Boston Red Sox OF (#471)

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.

Oswaldo Cabrera, New York Yankees IF/OF (#487)

Cabrera was struggling mightily in the big leagues this year, slashing .200/.250/.316 with a 53 wRC+. He was demoted to Triple-A but recalled a few days later because of players going on the injured list. I just feel like there’s many other Yankees prospects and rookies to invest in.

Spencer Steer, Cincinnati Reds 1B/3B (#489)

The first sentence of Baseball America’s scouting report on Steer says it all: Steer has long been equally praised and criticized for being a well-rounded player without any exceptional tools.

Josh Jung, Texas Randers 3B (#529)

Jung is probably one of my favorite players in Tier 3. The 25-year-old has put together a good season so far and has the underlying metrics to back up the numbers. I do, however, worry about his injury risk and questionable plate discipline. He’s someone to keep an eye on this season and may warrant a bump into Tier 2 if he can continue this level of success.

Mark Vientos, New York Mets 3B/DH (#550)

Vientos game relies on the boom or bust of his power production. He’s prone to chase pitches out of the zone and whiffs at one of the highest rates in the big leagues. It’s going to put a lot of pressure on his power production to sustain a regular spot in the lineup.

Tier 4: Rookies with little to no investment value in 2023 Topps Series 2

Tommy Henry, Arizona Diamondbacks P (#336)

Ken Waldichuk, Oakland Athletics P (#340)

Ryan Kreidler, Detroit Tigers IF (#356)

Liván Soto, Los Angeles Angels IF (#371)

Ronny Henriquez, Minnesota Twins P (#372)

Jordan Groshans, Miami Marlins 3B (#386)

Kerry Carpenter, Detroit Tigeres OF (#394)

Dalton Guthrie, Philadelphia Phillies OF (#398)

Donny Sands, Detroit Tigers C (#416)

Conner Capel, Oakland Athletics OF (#418)

Jordan Díaz, Oakland Athletics 2B (#423)

Louie Varland, Minnesota Twins P (#441)

Javier Assad, Chicago Cubs P (#444)

Charles Leblanc, Miami Marlins IF (#446)

Israel Pineda, Washington Nationals C (#447)

Carlos Pérez, Chicago White Sox C (#452)

Ryne Nelson, Arizona Diamondbacks P (#459)

Tyler Freeman, Cleveland Guardians 2B/SS (#462)

Joey Meneses, Washington Nationals 1B/OF (#470)

Ford Proctor, San Francisco Giants 2B (#472)

Simeon Woods-Richardson, Minnesota Twins P (#479)

Ji Hwan Bae, Pittsburgh Pirates 2B/OF (#491)

Brendon Davis, Detroit Tigers 3B/OF (#494)

Stone Garrett, Washington Nationals OF (#498)

Drey Jameson, Arizona Diamondbacks P (#502)

Cody Morris, Cleveland Guardians P (#507)

Xzavion Curry, Cleveland Guardians P (#513)

Terrin Vavra, Baltimore Orioles OF (#524)

Brice Turang, Milwaukee Brewers 2B/SS (#530)

Yusniel Diaz, Los Angeles Dodgers OF (#536)

Drew Waters, Kansas City Royals OF (#543)

Oscar Colás, Chicago White Sox OF (#545)

DL Hall, Baltimore Orioles P (#547)

Nate Eaton, Kansas City Royals 3B/OF (#557)

Shintaro Fujinami, Oakland Athletics P (#561)

Bryce Johnson, San Francisco Giants OF (#571)

Eguy Rosario, San Diego Padres SS/3B (#576)

Luis Ortiz, Pittsburgh Pirates P (#582)

Miles Mastrobuoni, Chicago Cubs IF/OF (#592)

Bubba Thompson, Texas Rangers OF (#597)

Freddy Tarnok, Oakland Athletics P (#608)

Jose Butto, New York Mets P (#615)

Michael Toglia, Colorado Rockies 1B/OF (#616)

Alec Burleson, St. Louis Cardinals OF (#622)

Yainer Díaz, Houston Astros C (#635)

Hayden Wesneski, Chicago Cubs P (#638)

Bailey Falter, Philadelphia Phillies P (#643)

David Hensley, Houston Astros IF/OF (#649)

Esteury Ruiz, Oakland Athletics OF (#650)

Michael Siani, Cincinnati Reds OF (#654)

Luis Liberato, San Diego Padres

Nicole Cahill

Nicole Cahill

Nicole Cahill is a freelance writer with recent bylines at Pitcher List and Fish On First and also works at a local card shop. She’s a baseball fanatic, mental health advocate, and Zack Greinke’s biggest fan. You can find her on Twitter at @NicoleCahill_ and Bluesky at @NicoleCahill.bsky.social
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