Rookie Card Year: 2002
Investment Rating: 7.5
When he's healthy and on, Zack Greinke is one of baseball's best pitchers. However, Zack Greinke rookie cards still have a tendency to float under the radar.
Making it easier on collectors, he has just two rookie cards. 2002 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects Baseball offers both paper and Chrome versions. In addition, 2002 Upper Deck Prospect Premieres Baseball has Greinke's first autograph card. However, because it's a prospect set, many don't consider it to be an official rookie card.
Because his MLB debut came in 2004, some view the 2004 cards as his rookies.
Greinke's rookie cards aren't likely to see any huge increases short of some postseason heroics, but if Cooperstown eventually comes calling, the 2002 cards would get a nice bump.
Zack Greinke Rookie Cards Checklist
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Both of Greinke's rookie cards come in the same product. 2002 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects mixed both paper Bowman and Bowman Chrome. The paper version is the cheaper of the two. And while it might cost a little more than you'd expect from a basic Bowman rookie card, it's still not expensive. The card's only parallel is Gold.
The chromium stock gives this otherwise identical card a more premium feel. It's preferred by most collectors, resulting in noticeably higher values compared to its paper counterpart. It comes with three parallels, all of which are serial numbered: Refractor (#/300), X-Fractor (#/150) and Gold Refractor (#/50).
Most collectors don't consider Upper Deck Prospect Premieres cards to be official rookies because the checklist consists entirely of prospects. Even without the label, this card still has Greinke in a Royals uniform. The big plus is the signature, which makes it more valuable than both of his Bowman rookies. The autograph is done in a sort of cut signature style where it's signed on a label that's embedded into the card.