The Best Rookie And Prospect Cards Of Braves Star Austin Riley

July 6, 2023

Austin Riley was just selected to his second All Star Game. The power-hitting third baseman of the Atlanta Braves has fans and collectors alike impressed by the start to his career.

But who is Austin Riley? What are his best baseball cards? Including his 1st Bowman and his rookie cards.

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Who is Austin Riley?

Austin Riley was drafted by the Atlanta Braves with the 41st pick in the 1st round of the 2015 draft. He began his steady climb through the minor leagues that year, which saw him debut in the big leagues in May of 2019. Between his rookie season in 2019 and the pandemic shortened 2020 season, Riley made 503 trips to the plate and cracked 26 home runs.

In 2021, in his age 24 season, Riley took his game to the next level, putting up a .303/.367/.531 line and smacking 33 home runs to go with 107 RBI. He finished 7th in the MVP voting and won a Silver Slugger award. He helped the Atlanta Braves win the World Series. In 2022, he hit .273/.349/.528 and smacked 38 home runs. He led the league with 325 total bases and was selected to his 1st All-Star team.

At the midway point in the 2023 season, Riley is putting up another solid season. He was named to his second All-Star game. At the mid-way point in the 2023 season, Riley has a career line of .272/.338/.499 with 112 home runs at the age of 26. This represents a strong start to his big-league career.

Riley is lined up to be an Atlanta Brave for a very long time, having signed a 10-year contract with the team for $212 million during the 2022 season.

While Riley is off to a great start to his career, he’s far from a perfect player. He strikes out a lot, which keeps his on-base percentage in the “solid but not great” range. That being said, he feels like something of a throwback to another time, when high power/low OBP third basemen roamed the ballparks of MLB with regularity.

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Austin Riley baseball cards

According to the Trading Card Database (, Austin Riley has already appeared on 3,200 cards in his career. This includes cards starting 2014, the year before he was drafted. His 1st Bowman card came in 2015, and his true rookie cards followed in 2019. In between, he appeared on a number of prospect and pre-rookie cards worth exploring.

All of Austin Riley’s cards are from the ultra-modern era, obviously. Most, if not all of his cards, have a rainbow of parallels, printing plates, and potentially autographs, image variations available. We’re sticking to the base cards in the article, but know there are plenty of options available.

With the base cards, you’ll notice that regardless of the total PSA population, all have a high percentage of Austrin Riley rookie card PSA 10s. That’s again not surprising because of the era. It does suggest you should take special consideration if purchasing anything less than a PSA 10.

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Austin Riley 1st Bowman Cards

The year he was drafted, Riley appeared on his 1st Bowman cards. In this case, the cards appeared in 2015 Bowman Draft and 2015 Bowman Draft Chrome.

The Bowman Chrome actually has a larger PSA population than the Bowman Draft, but still sells for slightly more. Both are eminently affordable, even in a PSA 10 slab, however.

If you’re looking for a card with some ink, Riley appeared in the 2015 Bowman Draft Chrome Draft Pick Autographs set, as well. With fewer than 500 copies graded by PSA, the card has a high enough population,  that copies are available, but low enough that it isn’t an easy score and still holds significant value.

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CardTotal PSA PopRecent Sale PopRecent Sale Price
2015 Bowman Draft Austin Riley #157590PSA 10 = 358PSA 10 = $25-35
2015 Bowman Draft Chrome Austin Riley #157857PSA 10 = 542PSA 10 = $35-55
2015 Bowman Draft Chrome Draft Pick Autographs Austin Riley #BCA-ARI498PSA 10 = 276PSA 10 = $425

The true Austin Riley rookie cards

Four years after being drafted and appearing on his 1st Bowman cards, Riley was in the big leagues and appearing on his true rookie cards. While Riley appeared on a number of cards in 2019, three of the most popular are the 2019 Bowman Chrome, 2019 Topps Chrome Update, and 2019 Topps Heritage.

The Topps Chrome Update has the highest PSA population of the three, by far. It still sells for a slight premium over the other two. All three cards are rather affordable, even in PSA 10 slabs.

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CardTotal PSA PopRecent Sale PopRecent Sale Price
2019 Bowman Chrome Austin Riley #84207PSA 10 = 145PSA 10 = $30-35
2019 Topps Chrome Update Austin Riley #371,471PSA 10 =1,264PSA 10 = $30-40
2019 Topps Heritage Austin Riley #614621PSA 10 = 511PSA 10 = $25-35

Other Austin Riley prospect cards

Before he was even drafted, Riley appeared on several cards in 2014, including 2014 Bowman Under Armour All-America Game. The autograph card can be tough to find now, and has a very low PSA population with only one PSA 10. Additionally, Riley appeared on a number of unlicensed Leaf cards that year.

Between his 1st Bowman and his rookie card, Riley then appeared on cards for three straight years, 2016, 2017, and 2018, on prospect cards from a variety of manufacturers. This is not surprising, as Riley had his 1st Bowman the year he was drafted, but was drafted out of high school at only 18 years old.

The non-1st Bowman, non-rookie-card prospect cards seem to fall into a funny space. They are very affordable, even in a PSA 10 slab, but also carry low PSA population counts, making finding a graded copy a bit of a challenge. They can be a nice low-cost alternative to his more popular cards, or a great way to add additional Riley cards to your collection if you already have the 1st Bowman and RCs.

Shop for Austin Riley 2014 prospect cards on eBay

CardTotal PSA PopRecent Sale PopRecent Sale Price
2014 Bowman Under Armour All-America Game Austin Riley #UAN-1314PSA 10 = 1NA
2016 Bowman Chrome Prospects Austin Riley #BCP20250PSA 10 = 38PSA 10 = $20
2017 Bowman Chrome Prospects Austin Riley #BCP16124PSA 10 = 22PSA 10 = $20
2018 Bowman Chrome – Prospects Austin Riley #BCP15539PSA 10 = 29PSA 10 = $20

Final thoughts on Austin Riley’s best prospect and rookie cards

Austin Riley is an interesting and dynamic young player about to enter the theoretical prime of his career. He’s got some warts on his game, but the Braves thought enough of him to lock him up for a decade.

Meanwhile, his card catalog is already quite prolific, offering collectors a lot of choices. Even his key cards, such as his 1st Bowman and his true rookie cards, are quite reasonably priced. If you think Riley is a player to invest in, that makes stocking up on his cards fairly easy. 

Personally, I’m going to hold off a few more years before going in heavily on Riley. That may mean paying a bit more for his cards if he continues to put up strong seasons, but reduces the risk slightly. If you’re a little higher on Riley than I am, now is a good time to buy.

Are you an Austin Riley fan? What do you think about the investment prospects of his cards? What’s your favorite Riley card? Let us know at card_lines on Twitter.

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