Rays Top Prospect Wander Franco's Signed Card Sells for $200K at Auction

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIMay 23, 2021

Tampa Bay Rays' Wander Franco, looks up after he hits a home run in the first inning during a spring training baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in Port Charlotte, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Wander Franco hasn't made his major league debut, but his rookie card is already pulling in the big bucks. 

A signed 2019 Bowman Red Refractor graded PSA 10 sold for $198,030 on Saturday. It's one of just five copies.

Goldin Auctions @GoldinAuctions

Final Sale Price: $198,030<br><br>An all-time record for any Wander Franco card. pic.twitter.com/LyrfHhBiQU

Franco, who is playing for Tampa Bay's Triple-A affiliate, is ranked as the No. 1 prospect in MLB. 

The infielder has appeared in 16 games for the Durham Bulls this season, hitting .269/.333/.493 with three home runs and 10 RBI. He had not played above the High-A level since he signed with the Rays in July 2017. 

The 2018 Appalachian League MVP spent the 2020 season at the team's alternate training site and was a member of the taxi squad during Tampa Bay's run to the World Series (where they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers). 

On Friday, Tampa Bay traded shortstop Willy Adames to the Milwaukee Brewers as part of a package that netted the Rays a pair of pitchers, which could soon make room for the 20-year-old Franco in the big leagues—though the team called up his current teammate Taylor Walls instead.

Even without Franco on the roster, the Rays have managed to edge their way past the New York Yankees into second place in the AL East at 28-19, one game behind the first-place Boston Red Sox.

When Franco does finally get the call, interest in his key rookie cards will undoubtedly reach a fever pitch.