Wander Franco Rookie Cards: Market Value and Collectability

Posted on 10/27/2022

Thinking about collecting Wander Franco rookie cards? Learn all about their market value, and find out how grading can help enhance the value of your cards.

Even before his MLB debut in 2021, Wander Franco showed the world he was destined to become one of the standout players of his generation. As early as 2017, when he was only 16, he was ranked as one of baseball’s top international prospects. Since then, he has more than fulfilled his potential in the pros.

Wander Franco: MLB’s Wonder Boy

A native of the Dominican Republic, Franco began his professional career in 2017 with Tampa Bay’s minor league team, the Princeton Rays. In 2018, during a mid-season game, he hit for the cycle as part of an astonishing two-home run, six-RBI performance. The 17-year-old quickly garnered attention across the league, and by 2020 he was ranked the No. 1 prospect in baseball.

On June 22, 2021, Franco made his MLB debut with the Tampa Bay Rays, earning his first hit, home run and RBI during his MLB debut. By late August, he broke a 60-year record (for a player under 21) by reaching base in 26 consecutive games. By November, Franco had signed an 11-year, $182 million contract with the Rays, the biggest contract ever for an MLB player with less than a year of major league play.

Since his signing, expectations for Wander Franco have been sky-high — and so far, he's lived up to them. He finished his rookie season by reaching base in 43 consecutive games, tying Hall of Famer Frank Robinson’s 1956 record.

On April 22, 2022, Franco became the youngest player in Tampa Bay Rays history to have a multi-homer game. Unfortunately, injuries plagued the young star (including a broken hamate bone in his right hand), causing him to have a less-than-stellar season compared to his incredible 2021 debut.

Despite these early setbacks, Franco's MLB future looks bright, as analysts predict he has every chance of reaching his potential as one of the biggest stars of his generation. With experts giving him an 80-grade hit rating, he’s considered one of the league's finest prospects.

Investment Potential for Wander Franco Rookie Cards

Given Franco’s sensational rookie season, during which he tied a venerable Hall of Famer’s longstanding record, it’s not surprising that his cards are selling at astronomical rates.In fact, when the Topps Now Wander Franco #402 was released to coincide with his MLB debut, it sold 61,035 copies within 24 hours,setting a new sales record for a Topps Now baseball card.

Franco's earliest rookie cards are especially in demand, with certain limited releases selling for amazing prices. Before he even made his first MLB appearance, a 2019 Bowman Chrome card featuring Franco in Tampa Bay gear sold at Goldin Auctions in May 2021 for a staggering $198,030. With prices like these, investors would do well to keep an eye on Franco's rookie cards.

Best Wander Franco Rookie Cards to Collect

If you can't get your hands on that Holy Grail 2019 Bowman Chrome (which had a limited edition of only 5), the good news is that you can still choose from a wealth of top-quality, highly collectible Wander Franco rookie cards.

Here are some of the best and brightest to keep your eye on:

  • 2022 Topps Heritage Wander RC #347
  • 2019 Bowman Chrome Prospect Mega Box Mojo Refractor #BCP-100
  • 2019 Bowman Chrome Prospect #BC-100
  • 2022 Topps Series 1 RC #215
  • 2019 Bowman Sterling Prospect Autograph #BSPA-WF
  • 2021 Panini Donruss Optic Rated Prospects Signature #RPS-WF
  • 2120 Topps Now CALL-UP #402

All trending prices are for base cards unless otherwise indicated. Variations on these base cards may sell for significantly more, depending on the card.

2022 Topps Heritage Wander Franco RC #347 ($4,950)

Fans love the Topps Heritage series because of its cool retro vibe, and this card features the classic 1973 series styling. Again, you’ll find different variations, including one showing an image of Franco facing the camera and smiling. The card shows a “shortstop” logo on the lower right and features the signature gold rookie cup and RC logo on the left.

This card is an example of how wide-ranging sports card prices can be. On SportsCardsPro, tracked sales show an ungraded card selling for $1.72, a Grade 9.5 for $28.86, and a Gem Mint for $71.73. However, Sports Card Investor shows it trending for much more, at $4,950. Likewise, Sports Card Investor tracks the Purple Hot Box Refractor version of this card at a low price of $64.99, and a high price of $175.

2019 Bowman Chrome Prospect Mega Box Mojo Refractor Wander Franco #BCP-100 ($7,077)

If you love the “Mojo” cards, you’ll enjoy having this one in your collection. It's a variation of the popular Bowman Chrome Prospects card, jazzed up with an eye-catching refractive print. Unlike many refractor cards that show just a small square patch of reflective coating, this one features an entire “Mojo” background surrounded by a silvery border. There’s also a great image of Franco on his way to claiming another base.

This card is one of the countless examples of cards with multiple color and design variations, some of which can bring in pretty hefty prices. Sports Card Investor shows this card trending at a low price of $74.99, and a high price of $2,000. At PriceGuide.Cards, a limited edition (299) Speckle Refractor Parallel variation of this card, with autograph, trends for a low price of $465, and a high price of $7,077.

2019 Bowman Chrome Prospect Wander Franco #BC-100 ($695)

That record sale in May 2021 has pushed Bowman Chrome cards into the spotlight. And while this could be considered a starter version in the series, it’s still well worth looking at. Fans love these Bowman Chromes, especially the ones that feature refractor panels in a variety of colors. If you want to collect Bowman Chromes, keep your eye out for these cards as well as the autographed versions.

The standard Prospects card trends at SportsCardsPro for $26.59 for an Ungraded, $41 for a Grade 9, and $67 for a Gem Mint example. Sports Card Investor shows it trending at a low price of $19.99 and a top price of $695.

2022 Topps Series 1 Wander Franco RC #215 ($2,00)

Except for the sell-out debut card, Topps’ first official Wander Franco rookie cards were released in 2022, not 2021, so don’t be confused by the dating. This fan favorite shows a great shot of Franco in play, with the color of his blue Rays shirt virtually popping from the card. It features a signature gold rookie cup and Topps’ official RC logo in the left-hand corner.

There are some attractive variations of this card, including one of Franco just finishing a hit and another showing him in a gloriously dirtied uniform after gaining another base.

According to SportsCardsPro, prices for this card are trending at around $38 for Grade 9, $40 for Grade 9.5, and $169 for Gem Mint. Sports Card Investor shows prices ranging from a low of $1.99 to a top price of $99.

2019 Bowman Sterling Prospect Autograph Wander Franco #BSPA-WF ($2,550)

No list is complete without at least one of these classy Bowman Sterling series cards. These silver-edged beauties are packaged in a 74-card set that features Franco with the year’s biggest rookie prospects. They come in limited-edition color and print variations, including reflector and speckle backgrounds.

For the autographed base card, PriceGuide.Cards shows trends ranging from $1.25 to $765 for Ungraded, all the way up to $2,550 for graded cards.

2021 Panini Donruss Optic Rated Prospects Signature Wander Franco #RPS-WF ($605.03)

This card is especially appealing because it shows Franco in various action shots. In one version, he’s standing at bat, while the Blue Mojo version shows him following through with his swing.

For the standard version, PriceGuide.Cards shows prices topping at $500. For the Blue Mojo issue, SportsCardsPro shows trending prices at around $137 for Grade 8, $228 for Grade 9, $422 for Grade 9.5, and $578 for Gem Mint.

2120 Topps Now CALL-UP Wander Franco #402 ($150)

Arguably, no Wander Franco card collection is complete without this iconic card. This is the one that made history by breaking sales records in 2021. And for added collector appeal, it has a fantastic image of Franco acknowledging the crowd as they cheer him on. If you want to add more kick to your collection, look for the autographed version, which was limited to only 99 copies.

With such high issue numbers, this affordable example makes a great starter card. Given its interesting history, it’s well worth adding to your collection.

At SportsCardsPro, this fun card trends at less than $11 for Grades 9 and below, and $25 or less for Gem Mint. Meanwhile, PriceGuide.Cards tracks it at a top price of $150.

Where Can I Purchase Wander Franco Rookie Cards?

You can easily find Wander Franco rookie cards at online auctions. Popular sites include:

By searching Google, you can find listings of the many sports card and memorabilia shows held regularly. Be sure to check collecting sites, social media sports pages, and community forums to find information about shows scheduled for your city.

How Are Wander Franco Rookie Cards Graded?

For sports card quality evaluation, card grading companies use a numeric scale that tops at a perfect 10 or Gem Mint. Here’s how it works:

Perfect 10: A Perfect 10 card scores Gem Mint grades on all four criteria: corners, surface, edges, and centering. This card is the best of the best and flawless even under 10x magnification.

Gem Mint: This is a perfect card with no flaws, damage, or tears visible to the naked eye. All the corners are sharp, and there’s no fading.

Grade 9.5: This card is near-mint, with only a tiny flaw.

Grade 9: A card with this grade is in excellent condition, with only minor flaws.

Raw or Ungraded: Raw cards are typically new to the market because they’ve just been pulled from their original boxes or packaging. Likewise, ungraded cards have somehow escaped the grading process, but may or may not be new to the market. As you can see in the price trends above, ungraded cards usually sell for much lower prices on the secondary market.

In sports card collecting, three factors drive price: condition, demand, and rarity. Rarity, however, can be misleading because sometimes the rarest cards may go for low prices if they’re not in demand.

Demand is always a mysterious, unknown factor that can be difficult to predict. Sometimes an athlete is suddenly discovered (or rediscovered), and prices may skyrocket. For athletes with a well-established fanbase, prices are usually more dependable. And if thousands of fans want a card issued in low numbers, the resulting price can go as high as collectors are willing to pay.

As for condition, most collectors try to buy the best they can afford. However, some collectors focus on Gem Mint cards, while others are happy to get whatever they can, as long as it’s affordable. That’s how condition grading can help collectors choose the right cards at the right price points.

Should I Get My Cards Graded?

Whether or not you plan on selling your cards, getting them graded can enhance their value and collectability. When your card is graded, it’s given its own certification number and entered into an international database. This process provides an established, recognized condition. And by getting your cards graded, you’ll also get them authenticated, which makes them easier to sell or trade.

When you invest in a grading service, you’re adding marketability and authenticity to your cards. You'll protect your investment and give your cards an added value they’ll retain for generations to come.

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