The Bowman Chrome market has been elevated in recent years by the international side of baseball (think Soto 2016, Acuna 2017, or Dominguez in 2020). This year’s 2022 Bowman Chrome release is no different, though it has an added benefit—extreme youth. Of the 110 prospect autos in the release, 44 are of players in their teens. Of those 44, 37 are international signees and some of the biggest names on the checklist. This makes for a high-upside product; it also makes it a risky proposition.
One thing modern day prospect collectors like is youth. Prospects appearing in Bowman Chrome as 17- and 18 year-olds, many of whom haven’t played stateside baseball yet, are bought at astronomical prices relative to current competition and skill levels. It has become possibly the riskiest bet in sports cards.
Top-5 Baseball Prospects vs. ‘22 Bowman Chrome Intl. Players
Top-5 Baseball Prospects (as of 11/30/22)
Anthony Volpe, USA, $315
Corbin Carroll, USA, $185
Gunnar Henderson, USA, $160
Francisco Alvarez, Venezuela, $145
Grayson Rodriguez, USA, $75
2022 Bowman Chrome Top-5 International Teen Prospects (as of 11/30/22)
Jackson Chourio, Venezuela, $495
Roderick Arias, Dominican Republic, $255
Samuel Zavala, Venezuela, $165
Cristhian Vaquero, Cuba, $155
Jaison Chourio, Venezuela, $85
SlabStox Analysis: Of the five ’22 Bowman Chrome international players listed only one has played beyond A ball and three have not made it to stateside ball yet. Buying players at these prices, years away from contributing to a major league team (outside of Jackson Chourio), is why baseball prospecting has become the biggest gamble in sports.
’22 Bowman Chrome International Prospects and Auto Prices
Take a look at these ’22 Bowman Chrome base auto prices of the top-five teen international prospects:
- Jackson Chourio (Venezuela) – Chourio is an 18 year-old CF prospect with the Brewers that went from complex league ball all the way to AA in one season. If any player deserves the price commanded for international prospects it’s him. His last base auto sale was $400 (11/29/22).
- Roderick Arias (Dominican Republic) – Arias is a slick fielding SS who just turned 18 in September. He was the No. 1 ranked international prospect from this past year’s international signing period and landed with the Yankees for $4 million dollars. Despite that, he disappointed in the Dominican Summer League (DSL) hitting .194 with a .379 on base percentage. His last base auto sold for $320 (11/28/22).
- Cristhian Vaquero (Cuba) – Vaquero is an 18 year-old OF who signed with the Nationals for the largest bonus of the last international signing period ($4.925 Million). He is talented defensively has power at the plate. In the DSL last year he hit .256/.379/.341 (SLG/OBP/SLG). His last base auto sold $163 (11/29/22).
- Samuel Zavala (Venezuela) – Zavala (18) is an OF prospect for the Padres who made it to A ball last year. He hit for above average isolated power (ISO) in every league he has played and has walk rates north of 10% in every stop. The stats he’s put up doen’t currently match what scouting reports say—either the scouting reports need to adjust or he comes back down to earth. His last base auto redemption sold for $164 (11/29/22).
- Jaison Chourio (Venezuela) – Chourio (17), brother to Jackson (above), is an OF prospect for the Guardians. Chourio performed significantly better than Arias and Vaquero in the DSL, but signed for only $1.2 million, significantly less than those players $4MM+ deals. On the year he hit .280/.446/.402 with a walk rate 10 percentage points higher than his strikeout rate (a drastic difference between walk and strikeout rates is impressive). His last base auto sold for $78 (11/29/22).