The Best Early Cards Of 2023 #1 Overall Pick Paul Skenes

July 13, 2023

“The best amateur pitching prospects since…” is a statement that will always get the attention of fans and collectors alike. So is “1st overall draft pick”. In 2023, both of these have been used extensively to talk about Paul Skenes.

But who is Paul Skenes? And what cards has he already appeared on? And what does the future hold for the young hurler and his cards?

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Who is Paul Skenes?

On July 9th, as the sport prepared for the celebrations that are the Home Run Derby and All Star Game, the MLB Draft got underway. To kick things off, Paul Skenes was taken #1 overall in the 2023 MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The 21-year-old right-handed starting pitcher has been called the best pitching prospect since Stephen Strasburg.

The 6’6” hurler has a fastball that touches triple digits, a wipeout slider, and a changeup that has the potential to be a plus pitch. He is fresh off leading Louisiana State to the NCAA Championship. Skenes put up an epic season in 2023 with LSU, going 12-2 with a 1.69 ERA and an NCAA Division 1-leading 209 strikeouts in 122 2/3 innings.

Skenes is the first player to win a College World Series, be named Most Outstanding Player in the tournament and go No. 1 overall in the Draft in the same year. There is already talk about how well he’d fare about big league hitters today.

Needless to say, Skenes is one of the most exciting young pitchers in the game, and assuming he comes to terms with the Pirates, he’ll be starting his pro career.

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Paul Skenes baseball cards

Despite just having been drafted, Paul Skenes has already appeared on 62 cards, according to the Trading Card Database at Not surprisingly, these are produced by unlicensed producers such as Leaf, Panini, and Onyx.

Speaking of unlicensed cards, a large number of unlicensed custom cards of Skenes are appearing all over eBay right now. These cards are literally custom-made cards by collectors.

Some may look pretty cool, but their long-term value prospects are rather suspect. That being said, if you like the look of some of them and the price is low, have fun.

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Paul Skenes 2019 Cards

In 2019, Panini included Paul Skenes in the 2019 Leaf Perfect Game National Showcase product. There are 25 versions of the card, from the Base Common, parallels with a variety of print runs, 1/1 print plates, and autographs, some of which are also 1/1s.

Interesting tidbits on these cards include that they’re from a high-school showcase, that PSA has graded very few of these, and Skenes appears…as a catcher.

That right, in addition to being a world-class pitcher, Skenes caught in high school as a two-way player. While he’s not expected to hit as a pro, it points to a player with impressive athleticism.

In ungraded condition, the base cards are quite affordable, but the autographs, especially those with low print runs, start to get expensive in a hurry.

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CardRecent Sale Price
2019 Leaf Perfect Game National Showcase Base Common Paul Skenes #267RAW = $8-14
2019 Leaf Perfect Game National Showcase Auto Paul Skenes #BA-PS1RAW = $120-145
2019 Leaf Perfect Game National Showcase Blue Paul Skenes AU, SN15 #BA-PS1RAW = $240-270
2019 Leaf Perfect Game National Showcase Printing Plates Magenta Paul Skenes AU, SN1 #BA-PS1RAW = $900

Paul Skenes 2023 Cards

Jump ahead to 2023, and Paul Skenes is now a college starting pitcher, not a high school catcher. And he appeared on 37 more cards (so far) on the year.

Like the 2019 cards, PSA has graded very few of these, but we may see the number start to rise now that the draft has further raised Skenes’ status.

The vintage-themed 2023 Onyx Vintage offers a base card, plus autographed versions with a variety of ink colors and ever-shrinking print runs.

2023 Panini USA Baseball Stars & Stripes features two base cards of Paul Skenes, plus a variety of parallels with various print runs. Autographed versions are also available.

In both cases, the base cards are low cost, but the parallels fetch a little more, and the autographs significantly more.

Oh, and the one PSA 10 of the #80 base card to sell on eBay sold recently for $50.

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CardRecent Sale Price
2023 Onyx Vintage Paul Skenes #OVPSRAW = $6-8
2023 Onyx Vintage – Green Signatures Paul Skenes AU, PR50 #CAPSRAW = $100
2023 Panini USA Baseball Stars & Stripes Paul Skenes #80RAW = $2-4
2023 Panini USA Baseball Stars & Stripes Paul Skenes #87RAW = $2-4
2023 Panini USA Baseball Stars & Stripes – Red, White, & Blue Paul Skenes #80RAW = $10-15
2023 Stars & Stripes USA Baseball Paul Skenes Blue Foil Auto Autograph #PSRAW = $80-100

Final thoughts on Paul Skenes rookie cards ( early baseball cards)

It will be interesting to see if more of these early Paul Skenes cards make their way to PSA and other grading companies. It will also be interesting to see how these card values hold up once Skenes gets some licensed post-draft cards under his belt.

In particular, I’m thinking about his 1st Bowman cards, but also his eventual true rookie cards.

What are your thoughts on 2023 MLB Draft #1 overall pick Paul Skenes? Are you chasing his existing cards? Waiting for his 1st Bowman? Or are you not believing the hype? Let us know at card_lines on Twitter.

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