Series 2 vs. Series 1 Rookie Cards

Which Set Has More ROYs

Date: Jun 25, 2024
Author: Michael Salfino
Topics: 2024 Topps Baseball, 2024 Topps Baseball Series 2, 2024 Topps Series 1, Arlington, Baseball, Michael Salfino, MLB, Rangers, Series 1 vs. Series 2, Shotoa Imanaga, Texas, Texas Rangers, Wyatt Langford
Length: 445 Words
Reading Time: ~3 Minutes

With 2024 Topps Baseball Series 2 released, the question for many collectors with an investment bent is how the bounty of rookie cards in the series historically compares with Series 1.

First we need a methodology to grade rookies. The best measure is how rookies finished in the respective league’s Rookie of the Year Award voting. After all, it’s not just winning the Award that makes a rookie card desirable. Merely performing well enough to earn consideration makes the market understandably bullish on the player’s future prospects. 

Note that Topps doesn’t hold players out of series for marketing reasons. Rookies are included in a set only once they appear in an MLB game. And rookies promoted in season must make the roster prior to the manufacturing deadline. Rookies such as Paul Skenes who make the roster after the Series 2 manufacturing deadline are included in the Series Update that is released in October and unofficially referred to as “Series 3” by collectors.

Slight Edge to Series 2

Of the players receiving votes for Rookie of the Year, 52.4% were released in Series 2 and 47.6% in Series 1. This includes the Short Print Variation of the 2022 AL Rookie of the Year Award winner, Julio Rodriguez, who has a conventional base card in that year’s Update. Both of the 2023 Rookies of Year, Gunnar Henderson and Corbin Carroll, were included in Series 2 as they actually made their debut in 2022. The 2021 AL Rookie of the Year, Randy Arozarena, had a “Future Stars” card in Series 2 that year.

In 2024, two of the top three NL favorites according to the oddsmakers, Shotoa Imanaga and Yoshi Yamamoto, are in Series 2. Yamamoto is currently out with a shoulder injury. Two fast risers for the Award in both leagues are included in Series 2. 

Two Fast Rising Series 2 Rookies

Wyatt Langford of the Rangers posted an RBI in five straight games through Sunday. The fourth-overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, Langford has one of the game’s fastest bats (82nd percentile, according to Statcast). That suggests there may be more power in his near future to go along with a hit tool that was rated the best in draft class. Langford’s sprint speed ranks in the 96th percentile among big-league players and makes him virtually impossible to throw out on the bases. 

In the National League, Masyn Winn was the youngest qualified hitter in Triple-A in 2023, earning a promotion to MLB but preserving his rookie status. His rookie card is in this year’s Series 2. As of June 23, Winn was hitting .300, leading off, displaying one of the top arms at shortstop and proving to be dangerous on the base paths.

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