Mickey Moniak

A very intriguing player added to our hot prospects list for the ’21 season is former number one overall pick Mickey Moniak. He was drafted first overall out of High School in the 2016 MLB draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. When Moniak was drafted he was compared to Christian Yelich, an above average defender who made consistent hard contact against high levels of competition. His minor league career has been a mixed bag of results, however, that is not uncommon among players drafted out of high school. His last full campaign (2019) saw him hit .252 with 52 extra base hits in 119 games at Double A Redding. He made his Major League Debut during the COVID shortened 2020 season and many expected him to make the opening day roster for the ’21 season. While he failed to make the roster he still has an incredibly high ceiling and is still just 22 years of age. When he was assigned to the Phillies Triple A affiliate his card prices took a huge dive. He still has a very real chance to play significant time at the MLB level in 2021 and if he does, and plays well, those card values will rocket back up far and above their 2020 values when he made his MLB debut.

When looking to flip a card for a profit it is important to understand the relationship of Raw to graded. If the spread for a PSA 10 card is 5-10x the raw prices then the best avenue for maximizing profits is to purchase raw cards, grade them and then flip them when the market value increases. However, it is extremely common for players who are currently on the downtrend to have their PSA 10s hover in the 2x region. This provides excellent value in purchasing an already graded, and gem mint, condition card. We’ve been scouring auction listings looking for such steals.

-Update- We found our first big hit in the Moniak Bowman Draft Chrome Autograph market. A Green Refractor /99 PSA 10. While their are no current raw comps, the latest BGS 9.5 grades have sold for $162.50, $104.50 and $127.50. These prices are all down significantly from the 2020 season and picking up our PSA 10 for $139.99 is a huge win in our book! We can’t wait to see what Moniak is able to do with a full season on the horizon.

The Ebay Hunt for Gem Mint cards!

Now that we have built up a little capital from our Matthew Stafford Refractor rookie card flip. We are now on the hunt for the greatest maximization of profit, finding an undervalued raw card, grading it and selling it for a massive profit. We’ve identified several key indicators when narrowing down our search for raw cards.

First and foremost is condition, obviously we need a card that looks almost PERFECT via pictures because inevitably it is very difficult for pictures to 100% accurately capture the condition of a card. If a card looks to be Gem Mint quality online and it comes back slightly less than that we can still hope for a Mint quality grade and still make a profit.

The second key parameter is a large enough spread between raw and graded to maximize profits but also allow us to incorrectly assess a card and still make a profit. A good rule of thumb we are using is hunting for a card that in a PSA 10 sells for 10x of raw. These are typically undervalued players or older cards whose condition is much harder to maintain over the years.

The third parameter we are utilizing is the projected increase in market value of a particular player. We evaluate these in several different areas but the most notable are; Off-season transitions to better environments that will improve the chance for a) individual success and b) team success. Also previously injured players with a chance to rebound during the season and players currently mid season, whose team has a good chance of making a deep playoff run. Past examples that we’ve utilized are Josh Allen, whose market value was very minimal early in the 2020 season but whose play, and team success (AFC Championship game) led his value to skyrocket. Baker Mayfield, Randy Arozarena and Tom Brady are other notable names.

The players and cards we have currently identified as potentially good raw to graded investments are:

Kevin Durant – 2007-08 Fleer and 2007-087 Topps Rookie Cards – Durant has enjoyed an extremely successful revival with the Brooklyn Nets. Not only is Durant currently posting a 29 ppg, 7.3 rbg and 5.3 apg on better than 50% shooting but he has helped position the Nets as a premier contender in the Eastern Conference. In addition cards from that era of the hobby are notoriously hard to grade because of poor centering across the board, in addition to the predictable decline in condition over a 13 year period. The 2007-08 Fleer Durant Rookie Cards has 2 main cards, his base and his ’86 Retro variations both of which are currently trading at over 10x raw to PSA 10.

Carson Wentz – Wentz is hoping to enjoy a Kevin Durant type return performance in the 2021 NFL Season. Just 2 seasons ago Wentz was the front runner for NFL MVP before injuries derailed his 2019 campaign. Injuries and poor offensive line play completely destroyed his 2020 season before he was inevitably benched for Jalen Hurts. Indianapolis provides a reunion with form Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich, as well as one of the best offensive line and running games in the league. If Wentz can propel an Indianapolis team back to the playoffs, and play at a high level, it bodes well for his market value. The cards we are currently targeting are 2016 Panini Prizm Silver, 2016 Select Silver (and numbered) and 2016 Optic base and Holo Prizm variations. The 2016 Optic Base provided the lowest entry point at an average of $20 per raw card while their PSA 10 variations are currently trading in the $200 range. Likewise Prizm Silver and Select Silver cards under the $50 raw range are providing 8-12x increases in their PSA 10 variations. We expect these numbers to drastically increase if Wentz shows he can return to elite status as a quarterback.

Matthew Stafford – Stafford is another quarterback whose situation in Detroit has limited his demand in the hobby. Stafford is only 33 years old and is the fastest player to 40,000 passing yards in NFL history. He is also the fastest to 3,000 completions and has the most comeback victories in the NFL since his debut in 2009. With his move to the LA Rams, a franchise that won a playoff game last year, it gives him an extraordinary opportunity to cement his legacy as an all-time great quarterback. Given his rookie cards are now 12 years old, the pop reports on his PSA 10s are extremely low. We’ve already made an impact flipping his Chrome Refractor and are now targeting his base ’09 Topps as well as any variations such as the Gold variation /2009. The base Topps version is currently trading at 8x raw to PSA 10 while the Gold is 10x.

Gleyber Torres

The player we’ve targeted in our Kyle Lewis project is Gleyber Torres. Gleyber struggled to being the 2020 season and the hype surrounding him significantly died off. The plus side is he finished the 2020 season strong, he is also only 24 years old and won’t be 25 until after the conclusion of the 2021 season. This will be his fourth full big league campaign. He is a two-time all-star that in his last full season (2019) hit .278 with 38 home runs. Playing for the most legendary franchise in the sport is another cause for tremendous optimism entering the 2021 season. We targeted his 2018 Topps Chrome RC PSA 10 due in large part to the fact that we purchased one for cheaper than his 2018 Topps Update PSA 10. Chrome PSA 10s will typically achieve up to 50% higher prices than their standard paper counterparts. The market on Gleyber is already starting to trend upwards and getting into a PSA 10 Chrome at such a low entry point gives us an excellent opportunity to quickly turn it around for a profit and then move our way up to higher dollar figure cards. With the left over profit from our Kyle Lewis flip we picked up a 2020 Topps Series 1 Bo Bichette PSA 9 and will attempt to flip it for a quick profit.

2009 Topps Chrome Matthew Stafford Refractor Rookie Card

The gem of our $65 six card Stafford lot was this 2009 Topps Chrome Rookie Refractor. Stafford’s value has drastically increased since it was announced he was being traded from Detroit to the high powered offense of the LA Rams. This is a signature iconic rookie card. We instantly threw this one up on our Ebay store and sold it in under 2 hours for a 3x profit not counting the other 5 cards in the lot! The hunt continues.

Kyle Lewis

Kyle Lewis is the player at the forefront of our 2nd round of Flip or Hold. This time we are going with a PSA graded refractor, his 2020 Topps Chrome Pink Refractor Rookie Card. Kyle Lewis is a player I feel has been extremely undervalued in the hobby. Current comps are sitting in the $130-$140 range in this card at a PSA 10. This surprises me because four other players in this 2020 rookie class have the same card selling for higher currently. Considering Lewis was the unanimous AL Rookie of the Year the price discrepancies are nothing short of mind boggling. In my opinion there are two main reasons for the lack of excitement over Kyle Lewis. The first is that he will turn 26 years old during the 2021 season, the second being that he plays in a smaller market on a team who hasn’t been to the postseason since 2001. Neither of these factors, at least in my opinion, should lead to such lower dollar amounts for his cards. 

This is exactly why we chose Kyle Lewis as our next Flip or Hold project. We also chose a card that has an enormously high ceiling given where it currently is trading at. The height of that ceiling is Fernando Tatis, JR whose 2019 Topps Chrome Pink Refractor PSA 10 RC’s are currently going north of $1,000. Given the age of Tatis vs Lewis, it is extremely unlikely that his card prices will ever approach that range. The biggest disrespect is the fact that Lewis is currently trading under prices of Arozarena who is actually a few months older than Lewis. The biggest factor that could help boost Lewis into the national scene would be the core of young Seattle players coming up and leading them to their first postseason birth in 20 years. Even without team success a strong 2021 season could drastically improve Lewis’ stock among hobby enthusiasts. 

Kyle Lewis SOLD!

Our 2020 Topps Chrome Kyle Lewis Pink Refractor PSA 10 Rookie Card has sold on our Ebay store for $145. After Ebay fees we are left with a net balance of $118.90. The hunt begins for our next Flip item!

Burrow SOLD!

We are in business! Our 2020 Panini Prizm Joe Burrow Base Rookie Card just sold via our Ebay store for $85. After all of the fees charged by Ebay we are left with a balance of $70.89 to begin our flipping journey!

2020 Panini Prizm Joe Burrow Base RC

The first item up on the docket for our Flip or Hold is Joe Burrow’s Flagship Rookie Card from 2020 Panini Prizm. The card was almost shot down before it was even released. Burrow, one of the hottest rookies of the 2020 Class had his season cut short on Nov 22nd when he tore his ACL/MCL against the Washington Football Team. Less than two weeks later, Prizm Football was released. The injury definitely put a damper on the Burrow RC market but news of his recent success in his recovery has bolstered the market on this card. 

Anytime we are contemplating a Flip or Hold scenario it is important to take a step back and look at the best and worst case scenarios for not only the player, but their cards as well. A couple good comparisons for Burrow, in my mind, are Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen. Both players were drafted high to under performing teams in markets that have not had much recent success. Both Buffalo and Cleveland had not won a playoff game since 1995 until their recent success in the 2020 NFL Playoffs. When comparing relative card values I like to use the PSA 10 market because it takes out the variable of condition of the card. Over the past 90 days Josh Allen’s 2018 Prizm Base PSA 10 RC has seen auction prices near $1,000, while Baker Mayfield’s 2018 Prizm Base PSA 10 RC has seen prices exceed $300. This represents two very important factors when evaluating the potential of a players card. One is the teams ability to succeed, while the other is the players ability to succeed. Josh Allen led his franchise to postseason success while riding an MVP caliber season, while Mayfield had an up and down season but still led the Browns out of their long history of futility. Either of these scenarios are entirely possible on the upside for Joe Burrow in 2021. For comparison 2020 Joe Burrow Prizm Base PSA 10 RC’s have seen prices exceed $600. 

This scenario makes Burrow the perfect candidate for our first iteration of Flip or Hold. One one hand the market for Burrow has the ability to double in a short amount of time, while it is also very feasible that the market loses steam and his prices are cut in half based on his 2021 season.