Ronald Acuña Jr. Rookie Card Market Guide
Posted on 10/12/2022
One of baseball’s youngest and brightest stars, Ronald Acuña Jr. gained widespread acclaim for his breakout rookie season in 2018, which culminated in his winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award. Since then, the Venezuelan-born outfielder has broken multiple records with the Atlanta Braves and continues to perform as one of baseball's most powerful hitters and fielders.
Rookie of the Year
Acuña signed with Atlanta at only 16 years old as an international free agent in 2014 and made his professional debut with the Gulf Coast Braves in 2015. By 2018, he was hailed as the No. 1 MLB (Major League Baseball) prospect. He made his MLB debut with the Atlanta Braves that spring as the youngest player in the majors.
In just his second game, he hit his first MLB home run against the Cincinnati Reds, and by August of that year, he became the fourth player in MLB history to hit a lead-off home run in both games of a doubleheader. That same month, he became the youngest player in the MLB to hit homers in five consecutive games, and in the postseason, he became the youngest MLB player to hit a grand slam. He finished his debut season with a .293 batting average, 26 home runs, 64 RBIs and walked away with the National League’s Rookie of the Year Award.
In 2021, Acuña’s season ended in July due to a torn ACL. Prior to the injury, his stellar batting averages helped the Braves reach the World Series for their first championship win (against the Houston Astros) in 26 years.
In April 2022, Acuña was activated from the injured list and chosen for the MLB All-Star Game later that season. In addition to the Braves, Acuña also plays for a winter league team in his hometown of La Guaira, Venezuela.
Are Ronald Acuña Jr. Rookie Cards Valuable?
As part of a new Atlanta Braves dynasty, Ronald Acuña Jr. has gained a legion of fans who have eagerly bought his rookie cards. Thanks to this avid interest, Mint and Gem Mint condition cards are selling at top prices, especially cards with low print runs, autographs and uniform swatches.
Investment Potential for Ronald Acuña Jr. Rookie Cards
As one of baseball’s best and most exciting players, Acuña continues to fulfill his promise as a powerhouse hitter. This should continue to fuel collector demand for his memorabilia, especially top-grade rookie cards with lower print editions.
However, if the market is flooded with too many cards, this can affect values. As a case in point, the 2018 Topps Living Set #19 sold more than 46,000 copies. Typically, high-number cards do not fare as well on the secondary market.
Top Ronald Acuña Jr. Rookie Cards
These are some of the best-selling, most sought-after Ronald Acuña Jr. Rookie Cards:
- 2018 Topps Chrome #698 – Ruby Sapphire Parallel “Bat Down” #’d/10
- 2018 National Treasures Rookie Materials Signatures #59 #’d/99
- 2018 Topps Chrome #AC-RA- Sapphire Edition Rookie Autographs
- 2017 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP127
- 2018 Topps Transcendent #49 #’d/83
- 2018 Bowman Chrome #40
- 2018 Panini Flawless #11 Diamond #’d/20
- 2018 Topps Chrome #193
You can see how values are faring for these cards on price-tracking sites such as PriceGuide.Cards, SportsCardsPro and Sports Card Investor. Be aware, however, that these fair market values are constantly updated and can change at any time.
Many of these cards come in a wide variety of parallels, but prices listed are for base cards, unless otherwise noted.
2018 Topps Chrome #698 Ronald Acuña Jr. - Ruby Sapphire Parallel “Bat Down” #’d/10 ($13,999.50)
If you hear collectors enthusing over a “bat down” image, chances are they’re talking about this card. This fan favorite features Acuña in an iconic pose following through with a swing, with the bat slung downwards. Officially, this Topps Chrome example is a super short print variation of the standard Topps Series 2, and it’s especially popular with fans because of the bat down image. In particular, the Ruby Sapphire parallel is highly in demand and, according to auction trends, can fetch huge figures.
At PriceGuide.Cards, for the Ruby Sapphire edition, Ungraded trends at an average price of $1,769 and a top price of $3,000. Graded trends at an average price of $3,903, and a top price of $13,999.
Sports Card Investor shows low prices trending at $275, with a high price of $9,999.99.
At SportsCardsPro, Ungraded trends at $276, Grade 7 at $213, Grade 8 at $266 and Grade 9 at $326. Grade 9.5 trends at $557, and Gem Mint at $1,068.
2018 National Treasures Rookie Materials Signatures #59 Ronald Acuña Jr. #’d/99 ($6,550)
A must-have for those who love relic cards, this premium prize is limited to only 99 copies. It features a great shot of Acuña at bat, accompanied by a large player-worn patch and a bold signature at the bottom.
At PriceGuide.Cards, Ungraded trends at an average price of $350, and a top price of $6,550. Graded trends at an average price of $555, and a top price of $1,876.
2018 Topps Chrome #AC-RA Ronald Acuña Jr. - Sapphire Edition Rookie Autographs ($6,500)
As one of the rarest of all Acuña rookie cards, this gem was limited to only 25 copies for the Base version. It features a striking image of Acuña in fielding position, set against a silvery white background highlighted by a bold on-card autograph. Extremely limited-edition parallels were also produced, in Purple, Red, Sapphire and Gold.
For the Sapphire version, SportsCardsPro shows Ungraded trending at $6,500, with Grade 9.5 at $3,850, and Gem Mint at $4,687.
2017 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP127 Ronald Acuña Jr. ($5,999)
According to auction tracking, this fan favorite can generate high prices. It features an exciting shot of Acuña running the bases. Multiple Refractor parallels were also printed in strictly limited numbers, making them difficult to find.
PriceGuide.Cards shows Ungraded trending at an average price of $49, and a top price of $5,999. Graded trends at an average price of $171, and a top price of $2,799.
At SportsCardsPro, Ungraded trends for $86, Grade 8 at $45 and Grade 9 at $169. Gem Mint trends at $210.
2018 Topps Transcendent #49 Ronald Acuña Jr. #’d/83 ($3,494)
Produced in a boxed set that cost more than $20,000 on the retail market, this is one of the most expensive Acuña rookie issues. It features a compelling shot of Acuña at bat, getting ready to swing. The graphics feature a simple, minimalist background edged in gleaming silver. This is another card with a limited print run of just 83 copies. Multiple color parallels and a strictly limited autograph version are also available.
On PriceGuide.Cards, Ungraded trends at an average price of $717, and a top price of $1,750. Graded trends at an average price of $1,175, and a top price of $3,494 (grades unspecified).
2018 Bowman Chrome #40 Ronald Acuña Jr. ($1,995)
Acuña’s debut regular-issue Bowman Chrome card features a vivid image of Acuña at the plate. Graphics include sophisticated silver and white edging, with the Chrome logo at the top left.
Collectors who enjoy parallels can rejoice, as there are multiple available for this card, including Red, Purple, Blue, Green, Orange and Gold. Prices below are for the Base card only.
Sports Card Investor shows a low price trending at $19.50, and a top price of $1,995 (condition unspecified).
On PriceGuide.Cards, Ungraded trends at an average price of $21, and a top price of $1,055. Graded trends at an average price of $57, and a top price of $710 (grades unspecified).
SportsCardsPro shows Ungraded trending at $11, Grade 7 at $10, Grade 8 at $14, Grade 9 at $21 and Gem Mint at $56.
2018 Panini Flawless #11 Ronald Acuña Jr. #’d/20 ($1,969.34)
The Panini Flawless series was one of the most expensive sets produced that year, primarily because each box contained eight autographs, one relic card and one card that had a diamond embedded inside. With a limited edition of only 20, this card shows a sweeping image of Acuña following through with a huge swing. The image is set against a soft white background with gray graphics, and Panini’s “Flawless” logo is printed in gold at the top.
PriceGuide.Cards shows Ungraded trending at an average price of $143, and a top price of $480. Graded trends at an average price of $438, and a top price of $1,969 (grades unspecified).
2018 Topps Chrome #193 Ronald Acuña Jr. ($1,500)
This popular card shows an exciting action shot of Acuña following through on a huge swing. Graphics include an eye-catching pink, blue and orange name/team banner on the bottom, and the silver Topps Chrome logo at the top. Multiple Refractor parallels of this card were produced as well.
Sports Card Investor shows low prices tracking at $25, and a top price of $1,500 (grades unspecified).
PriceGuide.Cards shows Ungraded trending at an average price of $18, and a top price of $51. Graded trends at an average price of $109, and a top price of $269 (grades unspecified).
At SportsCardsPro, Ungraded trends for $21, Grade 7 at $14, Grade 8 at $18 and Grade 9 at $34. Grade 9.5 trends at $51, and Gem Mint at $68.
Where Can I Find Ronald Acuña Jr. Rookie Cards?
You can find Ronald Acuña Jr. rookie cards at sports card shows, sports collectibles retailers and online auctions. These are some of the most popular auction sites for sports memorabilia:
- Pristine Auction
- Memory Lane
- SCP Auctions
- Heritage Auctions
You can also find sports cards at memorabilia shows held throughout the country. By searching Google, collectors’ forums and social media sites, you can find shows scheduled for your area.
How Are Ronald Acuña Jr. Rookie Cards Graded?
Professional sports card grading uses a numeric system ranging from Ungraded to Perfect 10. This universal grading system is recognized by appraisers, dealers and collectors throughout the sports card industry. Here’s how it works:
Perfect 10: Perfect and flawless, even at 10x magnification. Perfect 10 cards score Gem Mint grades across all four criteria: surfaces, edges, centering and corners.
Gem Mint: Perfect, with no manufacturing or condition flaws. Gem Mint cards have sharp corners, correct centering and bright colors.
Grade 9.5: Near Mint, with a minor condition or production flaw.
Grade 9: Excellent, with a few minor condition or production flaws.
Grades 8 and below: Multiple production flaws or condition issues. These cards are priced accordingly, and command lower prices than the same card with a higher grade.
Ungraded: Has never been graded and may or may not be new to the market.
Raw: New to the market, and just removed from its original packaging.
Sports cards are evaluated according to three factors: condition, rarity and collector demand. Condition and rarity are universally recognized and easily assessed, but collector demand can be an unknown quantity. Ultimately, collector demand is what fuels sports card sales, and it can sometimes be difficult to predict. A sports figure may be on top for a time, and then suddenly fade in popularity, causing their card prices to plummet. Likewise, a rare, Gem Mint card may be virtually unsellable because no one is interested, while a lesser-grade card in greater numbers may catapult in price.
Another factor is competition. Online auctions can fuel bidding wars, which can cause prices for certain cards to skyrocket. Ultimately, it’s best to collect what you like and try to obtain the finest condition you can afford.
Should I Get My Sports Cards Graded?
Professional sports card grading can authenticate your collection and enhance its quality. When cards are graded, a certified expert examines them for condition issues and production flaws. Once they’re graded, the information is entered into an international database and kept as a permanent record.
If you plan on selling or trading your collection, grading can help. Graded cards tend to sell more quickly and often sell at higher prices. And grading can give your cards a certified authenticity that you can take pride in, even if you don’t intend to sell them. By getting your collection professionally graded, you can enjoy having a collection that’s been certified and authenticated with an established quality rating recognized by future generations of sports card enthusiasts. For further information on CSG's 10-point Grading Scale and to find out more about our industry-leading services, visit CSGcards.com.
*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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