Rookie Card Year: 2013
Investment Rating: 7.5
Jose Fernandez is quietly piecing together an excellent rookie campaign. But not many people are paying attention because he pitches in a stadium where an echo rings out whenever someone drops a peanut. Okay, it might not be quite that bad for the Marlins faithful, but it's far from good. It's likely going to take time for collectors to warm up to the young standout and get Jose Fernandez cards into a bigger spotlight.
The Marlins picked Fernandez out of high school with the 14th overall pick in the 2011 draft. The fact that he plays for a lowly Miami squad that's primarily youngsters and cheap castaways certainly helped his ascension through to the majors. But Fernandez is proving that he belongs. Through the first half of the 2013 season, he posted an impressive ERA and was among the best in the National League in strikeouts per nine innings.
Had he been playing for a big market team, Jose Fernandez cards would be scorching. At this point, they're doing well but without a ton of excitement. His first official rookie card came in 2013 Topps Series 2. By the time the 2013 baseball card season ends, he will have several.
The first Jose Fernandez cards came out in 2011. He appeared in Bowman Draft, Bowman Sterling, Leaf Metal Draft and Leaf Valiant. These cards, although very popular, are considered prospect cards by definition. That shouldn't slow their popularity, especially when it comes to Bowman Chrome.
Jose Fernandez Rookie Card Guide
The following list of Jose Fernandez rookie cards is a work in progress. We'll add to it throughout the season as more are released.
It's got a bit of flash, but most collectors are ripping 2013 Bowman Platinum for the prospects and autographs. For those looking for Jose Fernandez rookie cards, it's pretty easy and inexpensive to swoop in and grab them.
Licensed only by the MLBPA, Pinnacle doesn't have any MLB logos or marks. And while it wouldn't be a high-dollar card with them, it has somewhat limited appeal. Museum Collection parallels are a lot flashier (and still very affordable). With Pinnacle not being opened by as many people as similar Topps products, it might actually be a little tougher to find, although it's not rare.
This is the first, and so far only, Jose Fernandez rookie card. It comes with a clean design and a fairly standard photo. It's cheap, normally costing only a dollar or two.
Allen & Ginter is always popular with a wide range of collectors. But unless they're short prints, base cards don't normally command a lot of attention. The card has an old-fashioned feel to it, sticking with the tobacco card origins of the brand. Fernandez also has several mini parallels in the release.
Originally distributed as an online-exclusive (following a early-bird preview at the 2013 National), the 2013 Topps Mini Jose Fernandez rookie card is a shrunken down version of the original. Over time, it should be much tougher to find than the regular Topps card.
Key Jose Fernandez Prospect Cards
If you're looking for the most valuable Jose Fernandez card, this is it -- at least if you don't take rare parallels into account. The 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Jose Fernandez autograph comes with an on-card signatures and a clean design. It's still trading at moderate levels, far below a lot of other top-tier prospects.
If the signed version is still out of your price range or you're looking to buy in bulk, there's nothing wrong with the basic 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Jose Fernandez. It's cheap and readily available. Like all Bowman Chrome cards, there are lots of Refractors of varying rarities to make things a little more interesting.
Despite coming from a brand that costs far more per box than Bowman Chrome Draft, the 2011 Bowman Sterling Jose Fernandez traded for noticeably less. Part of it is the sticker, part of it is the high cost of boxes that keep some people away and part of it is the lack of overall notoriety for the Bowman Sterling name -- especially when placed against Bowman Chrome. But for those who want an autograph and the logos, this could be a very enticing budget-minded option.
The 2011 Leaf Metal Draft Jose Fernandez is another autograph that can still be found fairly cheap. If you're not concerned about logos and licensing, it's got a nice on-card signature for about half the price of Bowman Chrome Draft.
The 2011 Leaf Valiant Draft Jose Fernandez autograph is in much the same camp as the Leaf Metal Draft card. The lack of MLB logos means it trades at a discount. If the signature is the most important thing for you, here's another affordable option.