Fernando Tatis Jr. Rookie Card Market Guide

Posted on 1/28/2023

Are Fernando Tatis Jr. rookie cards holding their value after his 2022 MLB suspension? Read our full market guide to learn what you need to know.

Fernando Tatis Jr. has had an eventful early career with the San Diego Padres. After a hot start to his pro career, Major League Baseball suspended the shortstop for 80 games in the 2022 season, which is carrying over to the start of the 2023 season as well. Will this damage the value of his rookie cards? Are they still worth buying? Our market guide explains everything you need to know.

Who Is Fernando Tatis Jr?

Fernando Tatis Jr. is one of the youngest players in MLB history to start on Opening Day. Only three players started younger than Tatis Jr., and two are Hall of Famers. The 24-year-old is the son of former MLB star Fernando Tatis Sr., so expectations were already high for his rookie season with the San Diego Padres in 2019. He didn't disappoint and came in third for the National League Rookie of the Year Award.

The seasons that followed were equally impressive. In 2020, he won the Silver Slugger Award and was named an All-Star in 2021. However, the 2022 season marked a dark turning point in his career.

Tatis Jr. was handed an 80-game ban for using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). The shortstop claimed he had inadvertently taken medication that contained banned substances. Regardless, the ban has set back his promising young career, as he'll miss the first 21 games of the upcoming 2023 season as well. The mistake could impact his chances of becoming a Hall of Famer. However, time is on Tatis Jr.'s side since he's still one of the youngest All-Stars in the league.

What Makes Fernando Tatis Jr.'s Cards Valuable?

Fernando Tatis Jr. was a top-rated player before his ban. He was one of the most exciting players on the field and had all the hallmarks of an up-and-coming player who could have a legendary career. Generally, these kinds of players have valuable rookie cards. But since he was caught using banned substances, his appeal may have been somewhat damaged.

Yet, some Hall of Famers have previously admitted to using PEDs in the past but were still awarded their place. There are no rules about who goes on to have a promising career and who doesn't. Some players survive a scandal and remain popular, while others do not.

When Tatis Jr. returns from his ban, he could pick up where he left off and have a successful career. Incidents like this also add to the story behind a player, which could make cards more valuable in some cases.

Visibility is the biggest problem. Fernando Tatis Jr. missed a huge portion of the 2022 season and will miss further games early on during the 2023 season. In that timeframe, the value of his rookie cards could take a hit, but maybe not.

Fernando Tatis Jr. Rookie Cards and Their Investment Potential

Should you invest in a Fernando Tatis Jr. rookie card? There's no way to be sure because no one knows what the ban's impact will be. In the short term, there has been a price dip, which is expected. However, the value of his cards could increase again once he's back on the field, depending on how fans receive him and how he performs.

Some investors believe now may be a good time to buy while prices have dipped. You can take advantage of the situation by picking up some good Fernando Tatis Jr. rookie cards for a lower price. It's a risk, however, because only time will tell what the long-term impact of the ban is. Avoiding the most valuable cards and sticking with some mid-range options to balance the risk might be a good option.

The Best Fernando Tatis Jr. Rookie Cards

2019 Topps Chrome Rookie Autographs #RA-FT Fernando Tatis Jr. ($809)

Autographed cards are usually a safe bet for investors. Several on-card autos feature Tatis Jr., including the 2019 Topps Chrome Rookie Autographs card. It features a crisp shot of Tatis Jr. in batting position, with a nice clear autograph. It might be a good choice if you want a high-end card.

The standard autographed card is valued at around $600 in Near Mint condition, but it can sell for over $800 in Mint condition, according to SportsCardsPro. Sales data shows the value of this card held steady through 2021 and the start of 2022. But it started to drop toward the end of the year, possibly because of Tatis Jr's ban.

There are some more expensive parallels, too, like this Purple Refractor autographed card, with an estimated value of upwards of $5,550 in 2022, according to PriceGuide.Cards. Autographed cards tend to hold their value well, and the base card is more affordable. So, you may see a good return in the future when Tatis Jr. returns to the field.

2019 Topps Gallery Autograph #56 Fernando Tatis Jr. ($375)

The Topps Gallery set has an excellent artistic feel. Instead of in-game photos, the cards feature hand-drawn portraits of players. The Topps Gallery Fernando Tatis Jr. rookie card is ideal for collectors who want to add a bit of variety. For investors, there's an autographed version, which may hold its value even better. Much like the Topps Chrome signed card, it's not as expensive as you might think.

SportsCardsPro values both Ungraded and Grade 9 examples at aroud $375. The card may be a sensible purchase if you can find one. However, sales data from SportsCardsPro suggests copies for sale are limited. Limited availability may work in your favor if you sell the card later, but it could be harder to find for a reasonable price.

2019 Panini Chronicles Spectra Rookie Jersey Autographs #149 Fernando Tatis Jr. #'d/199 ($350)

The Fernando Tatis Jr. card from the Panini Chronicles Spectra Rookie Jersey Autograph set is an excellent high-quality card with a reasonable price tag. It features a large jersey patch with a half-portrait of Tatis Jr. in batting position and comes complete with a big autograph along the bottom. Plus this one is limited to only 199 produced. The quality of these kinds of cards and the limited availability means they may hold their value well in the future, especially if Tatis Jr. returns to form after his ban.

PriceGuide.Cards valued this card at around $350 in 2022. In 2019, it only had an average value of $50, which suggests the value may rise in the future. That said, only limited sales have been reported, so it may be challenging to find this card.

There are some more expensive parallels out there too. The Neon Pink parallel was valued at around $825 in 2021, based on the most recent sales data at PriceGuide.Cards. If you're looking for investment cards and are willing to put down more money, this is one of the more exciting cards to search for.

2019 Panini Donruss #254 Fernando Tatis Jr. ($65)

The Panini Donruss Rated Rookie set is a staple for collectors. This is the perfect card if you want to pick up a Fernando Tatis Jr. rookie card from a popular set for a low price. It has a dynamic batting shot with the iconic Rated Rookie logo in the corner.

The value for a Mint condition card is aroud $65, but it soon drops to $10 or less if the condition isn't perfect. If you look at online auction sites, you might find one for around $25. It's an excellent price for a rookie card from a set that tends to be popular with collectors.

2019 Topps Series 2 #410 Fernando Tatis Jr. ($45)

Flagship cards are not always worth much money but typically remain popular with collectors. The Topps Series 2 Fernando Tatis Jr. rookie is a simplistic card. The landscape design features a dynamic image of Tatis Jr. about to throw a baseball, with a small Topps logo in the corner.

This is the one to look for if you want a cheap rookie card. SportsCardsPro values it at around $45 even in Mint condition. There are also parallels to collect, and some are much more valuable. The Gold Parallel, for example, had an average value of $835 in 2022, according to PriceGuide.Cards. Investors can consider the base card a safe option because of its excellent value. But if you want something more unique, search for parallels.

2019 Bowman Platinum #23 Fernando Tatis Jr. ($43)

Bowman Platinum is not the most popular set, but it features a cheap Fernando Tatis Jr. rookie card. It's a short print run as Tatis Jr. replaced Josh Hader in the original set. Numbers are limited, although it's still easy to find this card. It shows a standard batting image with a vibrant reflective blue and red background, making it stand out from other similar cards. 

You can find this one for just over $40, according to SportsCardsPro. Some excellent parallels may also have more investment potential in the future. The Ice Parallel was worth approximately $110 on average, and the Green Parallel was valued at $300 on average.

Again, if you're looking for a high-value card that will double in price in a short time, this Bowman Platinum is not the right choice. However, it's a great way to add some cheap Fernando Tatis Jr. rookie cards to your collection, and the parallels are worth a little more.

2019 Topps Heritage #517 Fernando Tatis Jr. ($37)

Topps Heritage is a fun set that emulates the design of retro cards. It features a combination of legendary players and current stars, including Tatis Jr. This is another low-cost rookie card, and the design is more interesting than the flagship Topps set. 

A Mint condition card is valued at just under $40, so it's easy to find. It doesn't have the same flashy design as other sets, so it may not have as much appeal to collectors. That said, it's a low-risk option for investors looking for a Fernando Tatis Jr. rookie card.

2019 Topps Now #16 Fernando Tatis Jr. ($35)

Topps Now can be divisive among collectors because the cards aren't drawn from packs. Some believe you miss out on the suspense of ripping cards. But this excellent set aims to capture specific moments in sporting history. Some may hold value well if they depict a memorable sporting moment.

The 2019 Topps Now set features the first Fernando Tatis Jr. rookie card with the "RC" logo. It was produced to mark his MLB debut. Considering he's a player with a bit of controversy early in his career, a card marking his debut could be attractive to collectors in the future.

It's an affordable card currently valued at $35 by SportsCardsPro in Mint condition. Sales data on PriceGuide.Cards shows the value increased steadily between 2019 and 2021, but dropped slightly in 2022. Although this is not the most valuable card, many consider it an excellent staple for a collection.

Where Can I Purchase Fernando Tatis Jr. Rookie Cards?

Now you're ready to start your Fernando Tatis Jr. rookie card collection, but where should you buy the cards? Online auction sites are the best choice because you can search for the specific card you need. Although hobby shops and conventions can be good places to find cards, you'll often spend a lot of time searching for cards they don't have. The best online auction sites to try include:

Use sites like SportsCardsPro and PriceGuide.Cards to monitor the card value and help you find the best deals on online auction sites.

How Are Fernando Tatis Jr. Rookie Cards Graded?

The grading process is critical for buying and selling sports cards because it rates the condition of each card. Professional grading companies like Certified Sports Guaranty (CSG) assess your card and assign it a grade. Plus, you get a certificate of authentication to prove its authenticity and grading.

The card is encased in a state-of-the-art plastic slab that protects and maintains the card's condition. The slab's materials are carefully chosen to highlight the small details of the card and give maximum clarity so it can act as a display case.

Each card is graded based on the following criteria:

  • The centering of the image
  • The sharpness of the corners
  • The condition of the edges
  • The clarity and condition of the surface

A card that scores perfectly in these areas receives the highest possible grade — a Perfect 10 — which can drastically increase the resale value of the card.


There's a lot of uncertainty around Fernando Tatis Jr. rookie cards because of his ban for using performance-enhancing drugs. Some players get past a scandal like this and have promising careers. If this happens with Tatis Jr., and he performs at the same level as in his early seasons, his rookie cards may be a good investment.

However, there are no guarantees, so most investors prefer affordable cards to manage the risk. All the cards on this list have the potential to be attractive to collectors, but most are inexpensive, so you won't lose too much if the ban damages Tatis Jr's career.

*Any mention of "investment potential" is for entertainment only and should not be construed as investment advice. The Certified Collectibles Group does not provide investment advice and is not liable for any buy, sell or trade decisions made by any parties.

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