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Are Juan Soto rookie cards among the most popular buys in the whole hobby?
Well, yeah … but what else would you expect from a guy with nearly 100 home runs and 18 WAR before his 23rd birthday, as well as a growing reputation as maybe the best all-around hitter in the game?
But the hobby love affair with La Fiera began well before he ever even stepped foot on a major league diamond, thanks to a quick start in the minors and the current baseball card landscape.
To wit, Soto signed as an amateur free agent with the Washington Nationals in July of 2015, when he was just 16 years old, then made his pro debut the next summer, hitting .368 in Rookie and Low-A ball.
Topps (via its Bowman line) and Panini celebrated his arrival with an array of prospect cards that found an immediate home among prospecting collectors and Nats diehards.
In his 2017 follow-on, the youngster continued to hit, raking at a .351 clip in 32 games, still on the lower rungs of the minor league ladder.
Though it was an abbreviated showing, Soto was the subject of several 2017 baseball cards (more Bowmans, mostly).
And then, in 2018, Soto found his power stroke and hit the “up” button on the elevator of his career.
Beginning at High-A Potomac, the budding slugger made stops at Double-A and Triple-A en route to a .362/14 HR/52 RBI line … in just 39 games!
Based on that rocket-launch of a performance, the Nationals promoted Soto to the bigs, and he made his debut on May 20, 2018. In 116 games with Washington, the rookie hit .292 with 22 home runs and 70 RBI, good for 3 WAR and a second-place finish in National League Rookie of the Year award balloting (behind only Ronald Acuna Jr.).
And he was still just 19 years old.
By stepping up to MLB, Soto also unlocked his rookie-card eligibility, with Bowman, Panini, and Topps all answering that bell.
The next season, in the wake of Bryce Harper‘s departure, Soto helped the Nats win their first-ever World Series crown and catapulted his name into every “best player in the game” conversation, right alongside luminaries like Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, and Harper, and part of a new crop of superstars that also includes Fernando Tatis Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Acuna, and others.
If Soto were able to take his defensive game up a couple notches, he might end those arguments in a hurry.
As things stand, Soto is developing into one of the greatest, most complete hitter most fans will ever see, and there seem to be few hitting accomplishments that are beyond his reach, given his talent, continued improvements, and youth.
And, of course, fans and collectors continue to eat up offensive prowess, making Soto’s first cards among the most sought-after in the entire hobby.
As evidence of that, take a look at the list below of the hottest, most watched Juan Soto rookie cards on eBay right now — and come back soon, because we update these listings frequently!