There has been a lot of talk this Spring Training that this is the year of Bryce Harper in the major leagues. The card collectors are positioning themselves for it by loading up on $500 – $1000 cards, hoping for even more out of them. I’ve seen Harper rocket up through fantasy baseball charts. Finally what seems like daily updates on his time in Spring Training and updates on his chance to make the team.
Bryce Harper is ready for the major leagues. Although he may be considered a superstar coming in and gain quite a bit of notoriety, he is still going to be learning how to play in the major leagues and how to hit the far superior pitching. Pitching that he has never faced before. He will more than likely not hit over 0.290, he will probably top out around 28 home runs, drive in around 70 runs, and steal about 15 bases. Those would be amazing numbers for a 19 year old rookie, but sadly many “fans” of the game will see that as a failure.
The problem is he has been hyped up for the past 4 years as the second coming of Babe Ruth. Guess what . . . that isn’t happening. He may become the second coming of Alex Rodriguez or Ken Griffey Junior, but we have to see it to believe it and not treat him like a Hall of Famer before he even has his first major league at bat. So take the price of autographs of who I consider to be the greatest hitters of our time and figure out how much is his autograph going to settle at when he is all done.
- Ken Griffey Jr. – $60
- Frank Thomas – $60
- Cal Ripken Jr. – $50
- Alex Rodriguez – $60
- Derek Jeter – $150
- Ryan Howard – $65
- Albert Pujols – $150 – 250
- Prince Fielder – $40
After looking at that list, where do you see Harper falling to? Keep in mind he is a National and not on a “sexy” team like the Yankees / Mets / Red Sox / Angels / Braves / Cardinals / Dodgers / Cubs. That is going to hurt his final value, although I think if he changes teams he is also going to see a hit in value too. If he has a great career, reaches 500 homers, 3000 hits or both and ends up in the Hall of Fame after say an 18 year career, his autograph may finish around $100 on the high side.
Mike, you are crazy, no way is it dropping below $500. To that I answer, not only will it drop, but as a Topps coverboy there will be MANY Harper autographs over the course of a 17 year career, and even if he limits his signature like Albert Pujols has done (which he won’t), I just don’t see him commanding more than $300 for his signature. Can you see anyone with average funds making a commitment to buy anything more than that?
In short, Harper is going to have a good to very good career. Will it be a Hall of Fame worthy career? Who the hell knows, he is only 19. I know this, the Nationals will be a very fun team to watch if they can manage to keep Harper, Storen, Strasburg, Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon around for awhile. As for Harper’s autographed cards, look for a drop to happen somewhere after this season and before next. He’s going to be good, but can he possibly be better than Pujols or ARod?