Rookie Card Year: 2014
Investment Rating: 7.0
Fans and collectors of the Houston Astros have longed for a contending team with young stars to lead them into the future. Although the team has still not been able to string together many wins, they are building their pool of young talent. Top prospects include shortstop, Carlos Correa, first baseman, Jonathan Singleton, and outfielder, George Springer. While Correa might get most of the publicity, George Springer has been doing plenty to boost his profile. High expectations and some great productivity have placed George Springer cards among the hottest in the hobby.
George Springer attended college and played baseball at the University of Connecticut. He spent three years at UConn and enjoyed early success as he was named to the 2009 Baseball America Freshman All-America First Team. After a stellar junior year, Springer was named 2011 Big East Player of the Year, and was selected a 2011 First Team All-American by several publications. His success in college and tremendous potential resulted in the Houston Astros selecting George Springer 11th overall in the 2011 MLB Draft.
Since he was drafted, Springer has quickly progressed through the minor league system for Astros, showcasing speed and power along the way. After a good 2012, Springer put forth a great 2013. As a member of Double-A Corpus Christi, Springer put up 19 home runs, stole 23 bases and batted .297 in 73 games. This strong play resulted in a promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City, where Springer built on those numbers with 21 home runs and 26 stolen bases in 75 games during 2013 and 2014.
After starting the 2014 season with Oklahoma City, those who invested early got their wish in mid-April of the 2014 season when George Springer was called up and made his Major League debut. As a result, he's now got rookie cards. In addition to the rookies shown below, there are plenty of inserts, including autographs, in 2014 products.
George Springer Rookie Card Guide
George Springer cards first started to appear in 2010, and there are now plenty of options for collectors. We have highlighted several of his best prospect options below.
Top Early George Springer Cards
Because the following cards were all released before George Springer's Major League debut, none are classified as official rookie cards. However, they remain quite popular.
Click on the card name to shop for singles on eBay.
Admittedly, this is not the best card design. The image chosen was from the end of a swing, which leaves a tiny portion of Springer's face visible. Also, the foil sticker used is anything but subtle and makes it painfully clear when the sticker is not placed on the card correctly. However, this USA Baseball card from Bowman Chrome came as a wrapper redemption and is numbered to 99. The rarity adds to the appeal and this is also one of the first autographed George Springer cards. A black parallel, numbered to 25, provides the highest values.
Another early autograph for George Springer, this 2010 Bowman Platinum card combines the popular Refractor technology with a signature and jersey piece. While it does include a sticker autograph, the design better incorporates the sticker and it is very subtle. Multiple parallels add to the excitement.
The clear favorite among George Springer cards, 2011 Bowman Chrome features an on-card autograph and a variety of popular Refractor parallels. This will remain a top George Springer card even after he has official rookie cards.
Springer has several unsigned cards available, but this is his most popular. The base card from 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks & Prospects is a great option for collectors who are on a limited budget or want to add some basic cards to their collection. There are also several parallels to chase.
The first thing you notice with this card is the huge smile on George Springer's face. The sticker autograph is disappointing, but otherwise, this is a great card. Once again, Refractor parallels are the big draw.
2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition represents a nice low-end autograph for George Springer card collectors. The lack of an MLB license forces the airbrushed jersey and helmet and may not appeal to everyone. However, it is one of only a handful of on-card autographs for the young slugger and the print run makes it easier to track down.
Just like the Donruss Elite Extra Edition card, the 2011 Leaf Valiant Draft autograph is not for everyone. But it does deliver a colorful design and on-card signature. Prices remain very reasonable for this underrated card.
One of the more recent George Springer cards, 2013 Bowman Platinum gave collectors a signed card with a jumbo jersey piece. Although it is another sticker autograph, the demand has remained for these Refractor cards. This is especially true for the low-numbered parallels with nice patches.