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Now is the Time to Buy Fernando Tatis Jr. Rookie Cards

Fernando Tatis Jr. is serving an 80-game suspension that will extend into next season. Here’s what that means from a hobby perspective.

One of the most electric players in the game won’t be back on the diamond until 2023, and now is the time to buy his cards.

Fernando Tatis Jr. is serving an 80-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball‘s Joint Drug Agreement — a punishment imposed right as the phenom was set to return from injury. That means it’ll be a full 20 months of non-MLB action for Tatis Jr., giving those who missed out on an opportunity to buy his cards in the past the perfect time to strike.

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It is estimated that those already invested in Tatis Jr. could lose millions of dollars. The San Diego shortstop was one of the many young players whose cards blew up in value during the pandemic, pushing them out of reach for most hobbyists. The market for his 2019 Topps Chrome Refractor PSA 10 hit a high of $1,500 in 2021 and has hit sub-$200 levels since the suspension was announced.

Here are two things to consider when assessing his value, particularly as it relates to Fernando Tatis Jr. rookie cards.

What if Tatis Isn’t the Same When He Comes Back?

The only other comparable suspension to Tatis Jr. was Ryan Braun in 2013. Braun still came back as an All-Star-caliber player, but he was 30 after his suspension and heading into the end of his prime. Tatis Jr. is only 22 and there is much more optimism that he will still be an electric player when he returns. Also, he’ll have a stacked lineup welcoming him back in San Diego that’ll help get him back in the swing of things. An unexpected drop-off doesn’t feel like a realistic worry at this point.

Soto is the Man in San Diego (For Now)

Besides those looking to finally purchase Fernando Tatis Jr. rookie cards, the other big winner here is Juan Soto. Soto was recently traded to the Padres with the hopes of teaming up with Tatis Jr. Unfortunately, Soto will have to wait until the 2023 season, but until then, all eyes in San Diego will be on him. Currently, the Padres are battling for the second Wild Card spot, and if the Padres make a run, it could do incredible things for the value of Soto’s cards.

Already, we’ve seen a Soto uptick with his 2018 Topps Update PSA 10 going from $70 to $120 from the end of June until now. Also, Soto’s 2016 Bowman Chrome Prospects auto sold for a two-year low at the end of June for $3,800, but catapulted to recent sales of $8,500 and $6,200. Imagine the value of Soto’s cards if the Padres managed to pull off a World Series victory with Soto winning MVP.

Also, with Soto being under arbitration for the next few seasons, that gives hobbyists, collectors, and MLB fans a lot of time to see Soto and Tatis Jr. play together in a Padres uniform. If they were to win multiple rings together, it could mean big things not only for Tatis Jr. and Soto, but the baseball card market as a whole.

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