Aaron Judge (JUDG) $7.00 277.0% Derek Carr (CDER) $8.00 227.0% Jacob deGrom (DEGR) $19.00 1459.0% Joe Burrow (BJOE) $79.00 Prince Fielder (PFLD) $34.00 -22.0% Nolan Arenado (NARE) $7.00 22.0% Rafael Nadal (NADL) $114.00 Kyle Schwarber (SCHK) $2.00 860.0% Vladimir Guerrero Jr (VGJR) $14.00 289.0% Juan Soto (SOTO) $20.00 206.0% Ronald Acuna Jr (ACJR) $27.00 57.0% Matthew Stafford (STAF) $847.00 Julio Rodriguez (RODJ) $54.00 1000.0% Alex Rodriguez (AROD) $168.00 -43.0% Philip Rivers (RIVP) $22.00 175.0% Cal Ripken Jr. (RIPK) $144.00 18.0% Jerry Rice (RICE) $199.00 63.0% Shohei Ohtani (OHSH) $152.00 Randy Moss (MOSS) $137.00 247.0% Ja Morant (MOJA) $169.00 Donovan Mcnabb (MCNB) $32.00 333.0% Willie Mays (MAYS) $807.00 288.0% Peyton Manning (MANN) $344.00 -50.0% Greg Maddux (MDDX) $174.00 -24.0% Todd Helton (HELT) $19.00 188.0%

How Will the Francisco Lindor Injury Impact His Baseball Cards?

By Richard Rowell, ThePit.com Contributor

Just before the start of 2019 Spring Training, Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor suffered a strained calf injury. It will cause him to miss all of Spring Training. Also, since a strained calf can become a nagging injury, many baseball fans speculated about how it would impact his power and speed numbers during the season.

While Francisco Lindor is projected by some to be ready for 2019 MLB Opening Day, many fantasy baseball team owners quickly discounted him significantly in their drafts. Lindor is a hot fantasy baseball target, because he’s a shortstop with 30 home run power and 20 stolen base speed -- a rare combination at the position. With Lindor starting off the season injured, it would seem to affect the Francisco Lindor baseball card market, too. How have his baseball card prices reacted to the Lindor injury news?

Francisco Lindor, Baseball Card Hero

Hitting 33 home runs in 2017 and 38 home runs in 2018 definitely got baseball card collectors and investors excited about Francisco Lindor. Stealing 25 bases in 2018 also greatly helped his value across the board. Baseball fans have come to expect a batting average around .275, 30 HR, 90 RBI, and 20 SB per season from Lindor. It also helps that Lindor was a prospect stud for quite some time, plays for strong Cleveland Indians teams, and has a likeable personality.

Considering just autographed cardboard for the purposes of this article, Lindor’s most valuable baseball cards include his 2010 Topps USA Baseball Autograph card, 2011 Bowman Sterling Prospects Autograph, and of course the 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Auto. Let’s take a look how each of those cards performed since the injury to get an idea how it’s impacting Francisco Lindor’s card market.

Francisco Lindor’s Baseball Card Market Post-Injury

A copy of the Topps USA Autograph card sold for $90 on February 4, 2019, after selling for a mere $53 in November of 2018. However, others listed between $75 and $100 have not sold since the injury news. This isn’t Lindor’s most popular card, but that’s a sign of a hit to his card market. However, the 2011 Bowman Sterling Prospects auto card hasn’t sold on eBay since a PSA 10 copy sold in January 2019 for $99.

The most important Francisco Lindor rookie card is the 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Auto. It was selling consistently over the winter, with BGS 9.5 (Auto 10) examples selling regularly in the $300-$400 range and the refractor version (also 9.5/10) around $425.  (That’s a surprisingly low premium for a refractor over the non-refractor, btw!). A BGS 9 (Mint) non-refractor sold for $350 just before the injury news broke. So, Lindor’s card market was looking up, until it came grinding to a halt.

Are Francisco Lindor Baseball Cards a Buy-Low Opportunity?

From the movement (or lack thereof) of Lindor’s higher-end cards, it seems that baseball card collectors and investors are simply waiting to see how quickly Lindor returns to game action from his calf injury. Then, the market may be cautious unless Lindor gets off to a hot start with the bat. Even his low-end rookie cards, such as his 2011 & 2012 Bowman Chrome Prospects, seem to be at a standstill as far as sales since February 7th. The only consistent seller is his 2015 Bowman Chrome true rookie card around $5, and even then it’s slow going. Other less common and valuable Lindor rookie cards are moving, as well. So, while his key cards aren’t really moving, people are still happy to purchase his cards.

All that being said, if Lindor comes back healthy and shows it at the plate and on the bases, it could be a big year for the All-Star player’s cards. If you want to bet on Francisco Lindor’s quick recovery from his calf injury, then Lindor rookie cards are a nice investment to make while the baseball card market is hesitating. Lindor’s history of good health would suggest that his cards are currently underpriced, and as a five-tool player, it’s my opinion that his rookie cards remain a good investment.

As always, do your own research, know the risks and rewards of investing, and trade sports cards like stocks online at ThePit.com.