(This post is being written before his first AAA start at Gwinnett on 6/8. So, we could see some price movement based on how that goes...)
While Keuchel hasn't yet replicated his great results from his brilliant 2015 Cy Young award winning campaign, he's still a very good starting pitcher. He had a tough year in 2016 and bounced back in 2017 with a decent injury shortened campaign. He was above average in 2018, but a decreased strikeout rate apparently gave some teams pause in making a long term commitment to the lefty.
The Braves only have about 13 million dollars on the line. He could end up being a bargain and the anchor the Braves desperately needed at the beginning of June. Keuchel is at worst a #3 starter, but he is usually a bit better than that. Keuchel is leaving the only organization he has ever known in Houston for Atlanta. The funny thing is that it’s not his first time in the National League, as he pitched for the 2012 Astros who were still in the National League Central. In any case, the league change should be refreshing for him.
What’s Dallas Keuchel’s Best Rookie Card?
Oddly enough, Dallas Keuchel is a bit atypical for most recent players as he doesn’t have an autographed 1st Bowman card. Don’t let that on-card signature fool you - that’s not a real autograph on his 2009 Bowman Draft Prospects card, just a fascimile! However, that means his 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects card is his key rookie card. Collectors like Keuchel’s 2012 Topps Update RC and 2012 Bowman Chrome Draft RC, as well. That he doesn’t have a rookie autograph card is both good and bad. Good, he’s very affordable. Bad, his cards have a bit of a limited ceiling.
For our purposes, we’ll first look at the 2009 Bowman Draft Chrome Dallas Keuchel in PSA 10
At the end of May, a lot of four PSA 10 examples went for $19.50 plus shipping. That buyer made out handsomely, as raw copies of these cards often fetch $4 to $5 each on eBay.
And his 2012 Topps Update PSA 10?
Talk about all over the place! The raw cards sell around $4, but the Walmart Blue parallel and gold parallel are somewhat rarer, yet don’t sell for a premium - which is odd to me. We’ll see what happens with the 2012 Topps Update, but for now, I’d be focusing on the 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft as it’s his 1st Bowman card, autograph or not.
There are Dallas Keuchel autograph cards, of course, but they aren’t close to being rookie cards. For investment purposes, I’d stick to the Bowman Chrome Draft and Topps Update in PSA 10, personally.
Steamer (2019 RoS): 3.64 ERA, 101 IP, 17 GS, 7.64 K/9, 2.61 BB/9, 0.84 HR/9
THE BAT (2019 RoS): 3.49 ERA, 151 IP, 24 GS, 6.66 K/9, 2.79 BB/9, 0.81 HR/9
To expect much appreciation in his rookie cards, he’ll have to pitch pretty well. Still, these are reasonable projections based on his decreased 2018 strikeout rate. He’ll have real life value to the Braves most likely. Whether that success translates to his cards, we shall see, but right now, he looks like a buy low and hold in PSA 10. However, I would wait and see how his first few starts back in the MLB shape up before looking to invest.