The Rookie of the year award can have a dramatic effect on the value of a players rookie cards.  After the award winners are announced the demand for their rookie cards increase. This systematically causes the demand of their rookie cards to increase immediately.  Even though we are only half way through the season the two favorites for the award are already getting the attention of collectors and investors alike.

Mike Trout of the Angels and Bryce Harper of the Nationals are looking like the favorites to win the Rookie of the Year Award in 2012.  Both young stars have put up some great numbers and Trout may even have a chance at the MVP award.  Even though the MVP award maybe a little farfetched for the 21 year old slugger many believe he has a clear shot of doing so.

So what is the best rookie cards to buy of each young star when collectors have so many to choose from?  This mainly depends on a person’s budget.  Some of the signed and numbered versions of each player’s rookie sell for hundreds of dollars while more available versions sell for $5-$10.

Here are our top picks for each player and which rookie cards we recommend to buy.  We have included one low end card and one high end to meet almost every investor’s budget.

Mike Trout Rookies

Serious Investor

2009 Bowman Chrome Prospects Mike Trout Rookie Card

These autographed rookie cards are getting harder and harder to find.  Only 500 of these cards were ever produced making them very valuable commodities.  All cards have been signed and currently are selling for $350.

Affordable Option

2011 Bowman Chrome Rookie

These Mike Trout rookie cards are much more affordable than his 2009 rookie cards.  Buyers can purchase them online in Mint or better condition for around $10 a card.  These cards are not that scarce but fill the need for those looking for a more affordable option.

Bryce Harper Rookies

Serious Investor

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball Rookie Card

These cards are getting harder and harder to find.  Harper has been one of the most talked about young athletes in over a decade which is making these cards almost impossible to find in premium condition.  You can expect to pay over $300 for Gem MT 10 versions of these great Bryce Harper rookie cards.

Affordable Option

2012 Topps Bryce Harper Rookie

These cards are much easier to find than the 2008 Upper Deck USA versions.  The only catch is there are a few variations to these cards which can sometimes be confusing for collectors.  SP variations sell for $25-$75 depending on the condition of the card.  The regular issued Topps rookie is currently selling for around $10-$15.

We want to make it clear that both players are not a lock to win any award.  With that being said both are young and are putting up phenomenal numbers at a very young age.  These baseball cards make great investments with limited risk to those who can afford to buy them.

Alan Karpuch

Owner of GMA Grading Inc. Over 20 years experience in the sports card industry.

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