From the get-go, Miami Marlins starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara was electric in 2022.
MLB.com’s David Adler said that Alcantara was “an ace and a closer all in one” because he threw more complete games (six) than anyone else in the majors. He also pitched into the 8th inning in half of his starts. True workhorses are hard to find in the majors these days, but Alcantara has certainly been a throwback in that regard.
Before his success in Miami, baseball fans may remember his early cards in 2017 Bowman as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. He made eight relief appearances in 2017 with the Cardinals as a 21-year-old before being dealt. Alcantara was part of a four for one trade (that also included Zac Gallen) for outfielder Marcell Ozuna.
Known for his blazing fastball and devastating sinker, Alcantara is a bit of a late bloomer and his cards are still quite affordable. Here’s a rundown of what’s available..
In terms of quantity, Alcantara’s pre-rookie cards are limited. He has base cards in a few sets like 2016 and 2017 Topps Heritage Minor League and 2017 Topps Pro Debut. His only pre-rookie card featuring a major league uniform are his 2017 Bowman cards.
Despite the lack of variety in sets overall, collecting Alcantara in 2017 Bowman would keep you busy for a while. Not only are their base paper and chrome cards and parallels, but there is a full rainbow of autographs to collect as well. All in all, there are 14 different parallels for his 2017 Bowman autographs ranging from refractors numbered to /499 to the 1/1 SuperFractor and printing plates. He also has autographs in Bowman Chrome Sapphire.
2018 products are where you will find the majority of the best Alcantara cards on the market. In most of them, he is also featured as a member of the Marlins. Alcantara has base and parallel rookie cards in 2018 Bowman and rookie autographs in 2018 Bowman Chrome. He has Cardinals insert rookie cards in 2018 Topps Series 1 which then became Marlins cards by the time Series 2 came out. His base cards and autographs can also be found in sets such as Allen & Ginter, Topps Chrome, Archives, Clearly Authentic and Finest (as a Cardinal), just to name a few.
In terms of collectability, his most sought after rookie autographs would be from 2018 Topps Chrome. Chrome cards share the same design as the Topps flagship releases and features a bold blue ink autograph on that classic chromium finish. Base autograph prices are very reasonable, but will of course jump in price for serial numbered parallels.
From 2019 on, Alcantara has been a mainstay in many product checklist, though typically as just a base card. He also is not featured in any Panini products until their 2019 baseball releases. His veteran autographs are few and far between. In 2019, Alcantara has autographs in Inception, Tier One and 2019 Bowman Chrome in the Scouts Top 100 insert set. He is seemingly absent in 2020 and 2021 autograph checklists but does pop back up in 2022.
So far this year, Alcantara has autographs featured in Topps Gallery, Topps Series 2 and Topps Update. Over the years, he thankfully has tamed his autographs to something that fits on a sticker when needed and is less prone to streaks.
Regardless of your favorite sets and designs, Alcantara appears to be a great buy. His base cards are a bargain across the board, and his base autographs in products like 2018 Topps Chrome can often be had for around $35-$45, though that may fluctuate after the Cy Young announcement.
Looking at the market after Corbin Burnes won his Cy Young last season, his prices saw un uptick, but not one that would push collectors away. Investing in pitchers tends to be more of a long-term bet rather than a short-term flip. Despite the lack of success in his early 20s that could prevent him from racking up huge career numbers, Alcantara has the makings of a pitcher who could be dealing well into his mid to late 30s. He’s certainly now among the elite players in the game.
Here’s a look at the 22 most watched Sandy Alcantara card auctions right now:
About Brendan Cross
Brendan Cross is a freelance journalist with a degree from San Jose State. A lifelong sports fanatic, his love of cards really blossomed in 2012 with the first release of Panini Prizm. He’s been hooked ever since, and he loves writing about it.