A little less than a year ago today I was screaming “Buy!” on Kris Bryant cards. Typically, I wait until the hype dissolves around a young prospect yet to hit the majors. This usually happens after said prospect gets his first month or so in at the major league level. But with Bryant I went a different route….
In this day and age super prospects, phenoms, sure things or whatever you want to call them, already have max value built in to their first major card release. Basically, what this means is that you will rarely see their card values jump above their IPO so to speak. Kris Bryant cards, in some ways, defied this logic.
Don’t get me wrong, Bryant came out with a very hefty price tag, but as we have seen throughout spring training this season, his cards still had jet fuel left in the tank. This was based on two things:
A) His play throughout spring training was epic. He crushed the ball and basically started where he left off last season.
B) He was the center of a large controversy that became a national conversation in the baseball world. The controversy centered around prospects and service time. The conversation only added hype, as just about every pundit and baseball personality confirmed his ability every single day. You could barely watch a game where the Bryant topic wasn’t at least covered.
Two caveats two go along with the above points:
1) The ball travels in the Arizona air much better than anywhere other than Colorado.
2) All point B did was expose Bryant to more casual baseball fans and non-collectors. This is great for those holding a card, bad for collectors looking to buy. The market just got flooded with unknowledgable “fans” and neophyte collectors looking to sock away an “investment” and making bids and purchases based on what they see currently. It becomes the Wild West.
Those of us who understand the sports card industry know that there is a small chance Bryant’s cards could reach Trout-like RC dollars. However, we also know that it most likely won’t happen.
Kris Bryant could be the greatest Cub ever, but the market is about to be smothered with another round of his autographs and “rookie cards”. Plus, besides Mike Trout, find me a player that was an uber prospect prior to their first major league inning, who actually saw their card prices rise after settling in to a Major League roll? This only stabilizes value, if not causing it to drop like a rock.
Wait it out buyers! Unless you are in to buying high and selling low, which is the opposite of sane, wait this one out.
If Kris Bryant goes on to hit over .300 and club over 30 HR’s this season, while leading the Cubs to the World Series, than I will eat my hat, as his card prices might stay at current levels or rise even, but that’s a tall order.
My prediction? We will see prices similar to last year (which were still high, but not like now) when his cards first hit the hobby by years end.
This is all my opinion of course, the cards could always go up, the question is a matter of upside vs. down, history tells us downside usually wins in situations like this.