Things are looking good for the Washington Nationals. Really good. Already boasting a roster that includes several respected veterans and young superstars Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg, there's another prospect looking to call the nation's capital home. Anthony Rendon is the latest youngster to crack the team's roster, getting the call following an injury to Ryan Zimmerman. Already popular on the secondary market, Anthony Rendon cards are poised to reach new highs.
Taken with the sixth pick in the 2011 draft, Rendon entered pro ball following a prestigious time in college where he earned several awards and honors. Out of high school, he was actually drafted by the Braves, but the infielder opted to head to Rice University instead. Rendon's bat has some pop. He can also hit for average. Rendon's patience at the plate is one of his greatest virtues.
Even if his initial stay in Washington is a short one, it opens up the window for Anthony Rendon rookie cards. Once he made his debut with the Nationals, he became eligible for future base sets. So while Rendon has plenty of cards from 2010, 2011 and 2012, they're not rookie cards. Rather, they're prospect inserts or minor league cards. But that doesn't meant they're not worthy of your collection. Far from it. There are several Anthony Rendon prospect cards worth chasing, some of which will be in as much demand, if not more so, than many of his eventual rookie cards.
Top Anthony Rendon Prospect Cards
Another in a long line of top prospects who have roots with the stars and stripes, the first major Anthony Rendon baseball card hails from the 2010 Topps USA Baseball box set. The clean-looking card remains extremely affordable.
Donruss Elite Extra Edition has long been popular with prospectors, even during the years that it hasn't had an MLB license. Numbered to a reasonable 653, the 2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Anthony Rendon autograph isn't too terribly rare. In true Elite Extra Edition fashion, die-cut parallels add to the chase.
The 2011 Leaf Metal Draft Anthony Rendon autograph features a straightforward chromium design. The signature is on-card, popping on the metallic surface. Besides the unnumbered base version, the card has a rainbow of numbered parallels.
Colorful and regal, 2011 Leaf Valiant Baseball features a design familiar to the late-90s Crusades inserts. The on-card autograph is a running theme throughout Rendon's 2011 cards. The busy look is a direct contrast from the infielder's Leaf Metal Draft card. Collectors have the option of an unnumbered base version or several serial numbered parallels.
After landing its MLBPA license, Panini delivered plenty of prospect content in its first products. The 2011 Panini Limited Draft Hits Signatures Anthony Rendon is somewhat rare at 199 copies. It's one of the few Anthony Rendon cards showing the young star with his glove instead of his bat.
The Contenders brand has long been popular with rookie card collectors, particularly in football, where the Rookie Ticket theme is one of the most distinct in the hobby. 2011 Playoff Contenders Baseball brought the Rookie Ticket name but not the design. So while not as distinct as its gridiron counterparts, it's still tough to ignore the fact that it's a reasonably priced early autograph.
The 2011 Playoff Prime Cuts Draft Pick Signatures Anthony Rendon is heavy on the design but not much of the card front is dedicated to a picture. A small portion of the top corner has a black and white head shot and that's it. While the picture is small, there is plenty of room for the signature.
If the autographed version of the card is out of your price range, the basic 2012 Bowman Chrome Prospect Anthony Rendon is a low-risk option. His first MLB card (along with a base Bowman version that was part of the same release), it may not carry official rookie card status, but it'll be treated similarly over time. While the base version should remain very affordable, there are several numbered Refractor parallels that provide more of a chase and garner higher values.
When it comes to Anthony Rendon prospect cards, for many, the 2012 Bowman Chrome autograph is the premier option. The card is his first autograph in a Nationals uniform. The Bowman Chrome brand power also helps propel the card on the secondary market.