The Definitive Guide to 2021 Topps Rookie Baseball Cards

2021 Topps Series One

Much like the initial sighting of a Robin signals the first sign of spring, so to does the release of Topps baseball cards. Topps Series One is scheduled to hit stores on February 10. The long awaited checklist was released today. The Topps checklist is jam packed with rookie baseball cards of up and coming stars. Here is your definitive guide to 2021 Topps rookie baseball cards.

This year is much different than any other season because of the Covid-shortened season in 2020. Opening Day was delayed and that meant players making their debut would not get a rookie card in Topps Update. Many former hot prospects climbed the ladder and made their big league debut in 2020.

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As many anticipated in the hobby the rookie checklist in 2021 is very strong. If you are unfamiliar with prospects and young players, here is a guide to help you identify the hot rookies this year.

The prospect rankings used in this article are from MLB Pipeline. Since the Top 30 team rankings have yet to be published, I will use team rankings for 2020. In some cases a player had already exhausted his prospect status when MLB Pipeline updated their rankings in the middle of 2020, so I had to go back and use the 2019 ranking. Examples of the latter include Deivi Garcia, Alec Bohm, and Jo Adell.

Before I break down the prospects by team, let’s take a look at the amount of top prospects with a rookie card in 2021 Topps Series One. A total of TWENTY rookies in this product are ranked in the Top 100 prospects in baseball, or were just ahead of their big league debut. That is a tremendous amount of top prospects in a single Topps set.

Top 100 Prospects

Twenty rookies in the 2021 Topps Series One set are currently ranked in the Top 100 prospects in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline, or were ranked just before debuting. For a further breakdown check out MLB Pipeline for rankings and scouting reports.

2021 Topps Series One Jo Adell Rookie Card

#5 ranked prospect (2019) – JO ADELL – Angels
Jo Adell was one of baseball’s hottest prospects recently. He made his big league debut in 2020 and struggled, but remains one of the game’s more promising players.

#10 ranked prospect (2021) – NATE PEARSON – Blue Jays
Pearson ranks as one the top pitching prospects and debuted for the Toronto Blue Jays last season. Pearson broke into the top 10 in MLB Pipeline’s most updated prospect rankings heading into the 2021 season.

#11 ranked prospect (2021) – CASEY MIZE – Tigers
The number one overall draft pick in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft: Casey Mize. His much anticipated debut for the Detroit Tigers took place in the shortened 2020 season.

#12 ranked prospect (2021) – CRISTIAN PACHE – Braves
Pache made his big league debut with the Atlanta Braves at the age of 21 on August 21, 2020. Pache turned 22 this past November. The outfielder only appeared in two games and went 1-for-4 at the plate in Atlanta.

2021 Topps Cristian Pache Rookie Card

#13 ranked prospect (2021) – DYLAN CARLSON – Cardinals
Carlson launched three home runs as a rookie in 2020. The outfielder also landed seven doubles, but hit just .200 as a big league freshman.

#15 ranked prospect (2021) – SIXTO SANCHEZ – Marlins
Sixto Sanchez came up with the Philadelphia Phillies before a trade to Miami. Sanchez not only spent time in the big leagues with the Marlins, he even logged postseason innings in the MLB Playoffs. The 22-year old pitcher went 3-2 with a 3.46 ERA last year in 39 innings.

#18 ranked prospect (2021) – IAN ANDERSON – Braves
Another Braves prospect that hit the show in 2020 was right handed pitcher Ian Anderson. Anderson was brilliant as a rookie going 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 32.1 innings.

#19 ranked prospect (2021) – LUIS PATINO – Padres
Now with the Tampa Bay Rays as a piece in the Blake Snell trade, Patino broke into the top 20 prospects this year. Patino appeared 11 games, with one start, for the Padres in 2020. He struck out 21 batters in 17.1 innings.

#23 ranked prospect (2021) – JOEY BART – Giants
The heir apparent behind the plate to Buster Posey is Joey Bart. His highly anticipated debut in San Francisco occurred on August 20, 2020. He hit .233 in 103 at bats, but struck out 41 times.

#24 ranked prospect (2021) – TARIK SKUBAL – Tigers
Skubal was hit hard in his first MLB season. He logged 32 innings with a 5.63 ERA. Skubal did have a 37K/11BB rate in his eight games – seven as a starter.

#34 ranked prospect (2019) – ALEC BOHM – Phillies
Bohm was the Phillies’ third overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. Making his big league debut on August 13, 2020, Bohm appeared in 44 games for the Phillies. The corner infielder looked impressive on the big stage sporting a .338/.400/.481 slash line, 4 home runs, 23 RBI while drawing 16 walks and striking out 36 times.

#40 ranked prospect (2021) – NICK MADRIGAL – White Sox
Madrigal will provide hits and he proved that in his rookie season. The Oregon State product hit .340 in 29 games, and only struck out seven times in 103 at bats.

#42 ranked prospect (2021) – SPENCER HOWARD – Phillies
Howard pitched 24.1 innings in 2020 and sported a 1-2 win-loss record with a 5.92 ERA. The second round draft pick out of Cal Poly debuted on August 9, 2020.

#51 ranked prospect (2021) – TRISTON MCKENZIE – Indians
Triston McKenzie was very impressive in his rookie campaign. The Indians hurler started eight games with a 3.24 ERA. McKenzie struck out 42 while walking just nine batters in 33.1 innings.

#57 ranked prospect (2021) – KEIBERT RUIZ – Dodgers
The future backstop of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Keibert Ruiz. Ruiz had just turned 22 when he made his Dodgers debut. The catcher appeared in two games and went 2-for-8 at the plate and hit his first big league home run.

#62 ranked prospect (2019) – DEIVI GARCIA – Yankees
Garcia was quite impressive as a Yankees starting pitcher in his debut. He is still 21 years old (turns 22 on May 19). In six starts last season, Garcia went 3-2 with a 4.98 ERA and struck out 33 batters while walking only six.

#77 ranked prospect (2021) – RYAN MOUNTCASTLE – Orioles
Mountcastle launched five home runs his rookie season. The outfielder/first baseman appeared in 35 games and hit .333 while drawing 11 walks to his 30 strikeouts.

#91 ranked prospect (2019) – LUIS GARCIA – Nationals
2020 was the year of Luis Garcia much like the NBA of the 1990’s with Charles Smith. Three, that’s right, THREE, players by the name of Luis Garcia appeared in the MLB during 2020. Two of them made their debuts. This particular Luis Garcia is a shortstop for the Washington Nationals. Garcia just turned 20 when he debuted on August 14, 2020. Over the course of his 40 games, the youngster hit .276 in 134 at bats.

#91 ranked prospect (2021) – DANE DUNNING – White Sox
Now with the Texas Rangers, Dane Dunning’s rookie card will have him as a member of the Chicago White Sox. Dunning landed in Chicago a few years ago in the Adam Eaton trade and made his first big league appearance on August 19, 2020. Dunning sports a spotless 2-0 win-loss record with a 3.97 ERA.

#93 ranked prospect (2021) – BOBBY DALBEC – Red Sox
In only 23 games as a rookie Bobby Dalbec hit eight home runs. This will be Dalbec’s age 25 season coming off his rookie season shortened by Covid in which he slashed .263/.359/.600.

#95 ranked prospect (2021) – TYLER STEPHENSON – Reds
Stephenson, a catcher, hit .294 in his brief time as a Cincinnati Reds rookie. He did hit a pair of home runs in the eight games he appeared.

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Organization Prospect Rankings

For those outside of baseball’s top 100 prospects, here we take a look where each rookie falls in their respective organizations. Again, based on when they lost prospect status we will use either 2019 or 2021 MLB Pipeline rankings.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Daulton Varsho – #5 Diamondbacks prospect in 2019
Humberto Mejia – #30 Diamondbacks prospect in 2021

Atlanta Braves
See top prospects

Baltimore Orioles
See top prospects

Boston Red Sox
See top prospects

Chicago White Sox
Codi Heuer – #23 White Sox prospect in 2019

Chicago Cubs
No rookie cards in 2021 Topps Series One

Cincinnati Reds
See top prospects

Cleveland Indians
Daniel Johnson – #18 Indians prospect in 2020

Colorado Rockies
Ryan Castellani – #15 Rockies prospect in 2019

Detroit Tigers
Isaac Paredes – #6 Tigers prospect in 2020
Beau Burrows – #15 Tigers prospect in 2020

Houston Astros
Cristian Javier – #9 Astros prospect in 2019
Brandon Bielak – #10 Astros prospect in 2019
Blake Taylor – unranked

Kansas City Royals
Brady Singer – #2 Royals prospect in 2019
Kris Bubic – #6 Royals prospect in 2019
Nick Heath – #28 Royals prospect in 2021
Edward Olivares – unranked

Los Angeles Angels
See top prospects

Los Angeles Dodgers
Mitch White – #9 Dodgers prospect in 2020

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Miami Marlins
Jesus Sanchez – #5 Marlins prospect in 2020
Monte Harrison – #10 Marlins prospect in 2020
Nick Neidert – #11 Marlins prospect in 2020
Eddy Alvarez – unranked

Milwaukee Brewers
No rookie cards in 2021 Topps Series One

Minnesota Twins
No rookie cards in 2021 Topps Series One

New York Yankees
Albert Abreu – #12 Yankees prospect in 2020

New York Mets
Andres Gimenez – #3 Mets prospect in 2019
David Peterson – #7 Mets prospect in 2019

Oakland Athletics
James Kaprielian – #12 Athletics prospect in 2020

Philadelphia Phillies
See top prospects

Pittsburgh Pirates
No rookie cards in 2021 Topps Series One

San Diego Padres
See top prospects

San Francisco Giants
Chadwick Tromp – unranked

Seatte Mariners
Evan White – #4 Mariners prospect in 2019

St. Louis Cardinals
Kodi Whitley – #14 Cardinals prospect in 2020

Tampa Bay Rays
No rookies in 2021 Topps Series One

Texas Rangers
Leody Taveras – #4 Rangers prospect in 2020
Anderson Tejeda – #8 Rangers prospect in 2020

Toronto Blue Jays
Santiago Espinal – unranked

Washington Nationals
See top prospects

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FULL 2021 Topps Series One ROOKIE Checklist

#10 Daulton Varsho Arizona Diamondbacks
#12 Joey Bart San Francisco Giants
#25 Sixto Sanchez Miami Marlins
#26 Bobby Dalbec Boston Red Sox
#32 Edward Olivares Kansas City Royals
#41 Deivi Garcia New York Yankees
#43 Jo Adell Angels
#53 Andres Gimenez New York Mets
#65 Isaac Paredes Detroit Tigers
#78 David Peterson New York Mets
#88 Albert Abreu New York Yankees
#92 Tarik Skubal Detroit Tigers
#103 Daniel Johnson Cleveland Indians
#113 Nate Pearson Toronto Blue Jays
#122 Nick Heath Kansas City Royals
#123 Beau Burrows Detroit Tigers
#126 Monte Harrison Miami Marlins
#139 Humberto Mejia Arizona Diamondbacks
#143 Ryan Mountcastle Baltimore Orioles
#144 Anderson Tejeda Texas Rangers
#145 Kodi Whitley St. Louis Cardinals
#151 Evan White Seattle Mariners
#153 Tyler Stephenson Cincinnati Reds
#167 James Kaprielian Oakland Athletics
#169 Brady Singer Kansas City Royals
#177 Ryan Castellani Colorado Rockies
#183 Cristian Javier Houston Astros
#187 Cristian Pache Atlanta Braves
#193 Brandon Bielak Houston Astros
#197 Nick Madrigal Chicago White Sox
#205 Luis Patiño San Diego Padres
#221 Chadwick Tromp San Francisco Giants
#228 Blake Taylor Houston Astros
#231 Dane Dunning Chicago White Sox
#238 Kris Bubic Kansas City Royals
#239 Ian Anderson Atlanta Braves
#243 Santiago Espinal Toronto Blue Jays
#244 Spencer Howard Philadelphia Phillies
#256 Keibert Ruiz Los Angeles Dodgers
#264 Leody Taveras Texas Rangers
#269 Jesus Sanchez Miami Marlins
#270 Mitch White Los Angeles Dodgers
#277 Alec Bohm Philadelphia Phillies
#285 Dylan Carlson St. Louis Cardinals
#298 Luis Garcia Washington Nationals
#311 Codi Heuer Chicago White Sox
#319 Triston McKenzie Cleveland Indians
#321 Casey Mize Detroit Tigers
#324 Nick Neidert Miami Marlins
#326 Eddy Alvarez Miami Marlins

What’s my grade for the rookie class of 2021 Topps? A+. This is a dynamic rookie class with plenty of talented baseball cards to chase. The only unfortunate part, for me, is that there are zero Chicago Cubs rookie cards.

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