Ronald Acuna Rookie Card Guide and Prospect Card Highlights
Ronald Acuna cards haven’t been around for long but they sure caught on quickly. That’s what happens when you’re one of the top prospects in all of baseball. On some lists, Acuna entered 2018 as the best player on the verge of MLB stardom.
Having just turned 20 in the off-season, Acuna still has plenty of time on his side. And a spot on the Braves’ big league roster is a very definite possibility this year.
Acuna moved quickly through the minor league ranks in 2017, starting with the A-Advanced Florida Fire Frogs and ending with the Triple-A Gwinnett. Along the way was an appearance in the All-Star Futures Game. Following the regular season, Acuna took his game to the Arizona Fall League where he hit .325 with seven home runs in 25 games. It earned the young outfielder AFL MVP honors, making him the youngest ever to do so.
Ronald Acuna Rookie Cards began with 2018 Donruss Baseball and its wrapper redemption. From there on out, a steady flow began that should continue to the end of the baseball card season. That said, there were already plenty of prospect and minor league cards to choose from prior to that.
With this in mind, here’s a look at the evolving Ronald Acuna Rookie Card lineup as well as some of his key early cards.
Ronald Acuna Rookie Card Guide
This is a breakdown of Ronald Acuna Rookie Cards that are part of 2018 base sets. Inserts, parallels and variations are not included here, just cards with the RC tag in the Beckett Baseball Card Database and Price Guide.
More cards will be added in the months ahead as the number of Ronald Acuna Rookie Cards grows. Cards are listed alphabetically.
2018 Donruss Ronald Acuna RC #283
The 2018 Donruss Ronald Acuna Rookie Card is part of the product’s wrapper redemption program. Those that sent in 24 empty wrappers from the set received a three-card pack that came with three cards that put a bookend on the checklist. Acuna was one of them. While the card doesn’t have any parallels, there is a variation version that has his full name on the front and a slightly different photo.
2018 Donruss Optic Ronald Acuna RC #63
2018 Donruss Optic Baseball is intended to give a more chrome look to the main Donruss release. It’s similar to what Bowman Chrome is to regular Bowman. While the construction is an upgrade over the more traditional glossy white of Donruss, this should remain a reasonably priced Ronald Acuna Rookie Card. More than a dozen colorful parallels bring a certain level of challenge.
Parallels: Bronze, Holo, Pink, Purple, Red and Yellow, Shock, White Sparkles, Aqua (/299), Orange (/199), Blue (/149), Red (/99), Carolina Blue (/50), Black (/25), Gold (/10), Cracked Ice (/7), Green (/5), Gold Vinyl (1/1)
2018 Topps Allen & Ginter Ronald Acuna RC #207
Bringing an old-time antique flair, there isn’t much that’s complicated with the 2018 Topps Allen & Ginter Ronald Acuna Rookie Card. While the set is extremely popular, it’s also plentiful. Plus, the gimmicks are left out of the base set so there isn’t anything that would drive the price of this one up. The vast majority of the card’s parallels are done in a mini format meant to mimic old tobacco cards.
Acuna has an autograph in 2018 Allen & Ginter as well.
Full-Sized Parallels: Glossy Silver, Glossy (1/1)
Mini Parallels: Mini, Mini A&G Back, Mini Black Border, Mini Glow in the Dark, Mini Gold Border, Mini No Number (50 copies), Mini Brooklyn Back (/25), Mini Framed Printing Plates Black (1/1), Mini Framed Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Mini Framed Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Mini Framed Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Mini Glossy (1/1), Mini Wood (1/1)
2018 Topps Big League Ronald Acuna RC #369
Big League Baseball is a new brand for 2018. Aiming in many ways to be something along the lines of Opening Day, only with a standalone design and checklist, this is an entry-level product that doesn’t translate into big secondary market prices for most aspects of the checklist. That includes the base cards, like Acuna’s Rookie.
Parallels: Blue, Gold, Rainbow Foil (/100), Black and White (/50), Red Foil (1/1)
2018 Topps Chrome Ronald Acuna RC #193
The base version of the 2018 Topps Chrome Ronald Acuna Rookie Card is shiny, but it’s not overly fancy or high-end. The chase comes in a couple of other forms. For starters, there’s the massive Refractor rainbow. It’s not just colors this year, but several have “Wave” versions that bring in patterned backgrounds. Acuna is also one of the key Rookie Autographs in 2018 Topps Chrome Baseball. These cards come with on-card signatures and another rainbow to hunt for.
Parallels: Refractors, Negative Refractors, Pink Refractors, Prism Refractors, Sepia Refractors, Xfactors, Purple Refractors (/299), Blue Refractors (/150), Green Refractors (/99), Green Wave Refractors (/99), Blue Wave Refractors (/75), Gold Refractors (/50), Gold Wave Refractors (/50), Orange Refractors (/25), Red Refractors (/5), Red Wave Refractors (/5), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Superfractors (1/1)
2018 Topps Clearly Authentic Ronald Acuna RC #CAA-RA
The 2018 Topps Clearly Authentic Ronald Acuna Rookie Card isn’t your average autograph. It’s done on acetate, giving a translucent appearance in the background. It also gives the signature a way to pop a little more.
Parallels: Green (/99), Black (/75), Red (/50), Blue (/25), Purple (/10), Orange (/5), Gold (1/1)
Ronald Acuna Pre-Rookie and Minor League Card Highlights
2016 Topps Heritage Minor League Ronald Acuna #165
Ronald Acuna appeared in just one set in 2016 — Topps Heritage Minors. While it may not carry a lot of value compared to his key 2017 autographs, it’s still significant for being a definitive first card. And that has helped interest considering it’s by no means a high-end card.
Parallels: Blue (/99), Peach (/25), Black (1/1)
2017 Bowman Prospects Ronald Acuna #BP127
Found in 2017 Bowman Baseball, this is the first set to feature Acuna in his MLB uniform. Between the Chrome version and the autograph, this one is largely overlooked and carries the lowest prices. Other than collectors going deep on Ronald Acuna cards, this one is best suited for those on a tight budget. Even then, Chrome doesn’t cost that much more and comes with the added shine.
Parallels: 70th Anniversary Logo Red, Yellow, Silver (/499), Purple (/250), Blue (/150), Green (/99), Gold (/50), Orange (/25), Red (/5), Black (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)
2017 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs Ronald Acuna #CPA-RA
As far as readily available Ronald Acuna cards go, this is the best by many. It has the distinction of being the first Bowman Chrome autograph, something that many treat as similar to an old-school Rookie Card. Other cards may eventually come along and be more valuable, but this one is the key card that acts as a benchmark for all Ronald Acuna cards.
Parallels: 70th Anniversary Blue Refractors, Refractors (/499), Purple Refractors (/250), Blue Refractors (/150), Green Refractors (/99), Green Shimmer Refractors (/99), Gold Refractors (/50), Gold Shimmer Refractors (/50), Orange Refractors (/25), Orange Shimmer Refractors (/25), Red Refractors (/5), Red Shimmer Refractors (/5), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Superfractors (1/1)
2017 Bowman Chrome Prospects Ronald Acuna #BCP127
The 2017 Bowman Chrome Ronald Acuna autograph is expensive and out of many collectors’ price range already. Even many of his alternative autographs aren’t much better. If that’s the case, the 2017 Bowman Chrome Prospects card is out there. It looks solid with the chromium stock. But it comes at a fraction of the cost of the signed version. And don’t overlook the massive Refractor rainbow that brings in plenty of color and potential rarity.
Like the regular Bowman and Bowman Chrome autograph, this card can be found in packs of 2017 Bowman.
Parallels: 70th Anniversary Blue Refractors, Blue Shimmer Refractors, Mega Box Refractors, Refractors (/499), Mega Box Purple Refractors (/250), Purple Refractors (/250), Blue Refractors (/150), Mega Box Green Refractors (/99), Green Refractors (/99), Green Shimmer Refractors (/99), Gold Refractors (/50), Gold Shimmer Refractors (/50), Mega Box Orange Refractors (/25), Orange Refractors (/25), Orange Shimmer Refractors (/25), Red Refractors (/5), Red Shimmer Refractors (/5), Mega Box Black Refractors (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Superfractors (1/1)
2017 Bowman Chrome Scouts’ Top 100 Update Autograph Ronald Acuna #BSU-RA /150
It might not leave the lasting impression as his main Bowman Chrome Prospects Autograph, but right now any Ronald Acuna autograph draws attention. A parallel of sorts to the main Scouts’ Top 100 Update insert set, it’s limited to 150 copies plus one Superfractor. To find it, you’ll need to bust packs of 2017 Bowman Chrome.
Parallels: Superfractors (1/1)
2017 Bowman Topps Holiday Ronald Acuna #TH-RA
This version of the 2017 Bowman Ronald Acuna came in special promo packs given out during a hobby shop promotion leading up to Christmas. Design-wise, it’s virtually identical to the regular Bowman card. But when you get into the themed parallels, things get a little more fun. These include things like snowflakes, a Thanksgiving turkey stamps and different colors of ugly sweater patterns.
Parallels: Ugly Sweater Green (/99), Blue Snowflake (/50), Turkey (/35), Ugly Sweater Red (/10), Ugly Sweater Gold (1/1)
2017 Bowman’s Best Baseball America’s Dean’s List Autographs Ronald Acuna #BADL-RA /75
This is another signed version of a regular insert. The design doesn’t scream autograph and it’s certainly not Acuna’s most notable signature card. But with just 75 copies, it’s pretty rare and a draw for those more focused on tough cards.
Parallels: Superfractors (1/1)
2017 Bowman’s Best Best of ’17 Autographs Ronald Acuna #B17-RA
As it has been since Bowman’s Best returned, this is a solid alternative to the Ronald Acuna Bowman Chrome autograph. He’s in his Braves uniform. It has all the MLB marks. It’s signed on-card. Yet, the price tag is a fraction of Bowman Chrome. That’s largely because Bowman’s Best autographs don’t have nearly the same history as Chrome. But what they lose in that regard, they make up for with a bolder design.
This card may not carry the same potential as far as value goes, but for those looking for a MLB autograph card, it’s one to consider.
Parallels: Refractors, Green Refractors (/99), Gold Refractors (/50), Atomic Refractors (/25), Red Refractors (/10), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Superfractors (1/1)
2017 Elite Extra Edition Autographs Ronald Acuna #31
Elite Extra Edition has been around for a long time. In its early days under Donruss, it was similar to a traditional traded set highlighting rookies. But as licenses and the hobby as a whole evolved, it has become more prospect-driven. Done with foil stock and a somewhat bold design, it’s biggest draw is affordability compared to Acuna’s Bowman Chrome autograph.
Parallels start with colors, although many are also die-cut, another tradition with the Elite brand.
Parallels: Aspirations Purple (/100), Status Die Cut Red (/75), Aspirations Blue (/50), Emerald (/25), Status Die Cut Emerald (/25), Aspirations Tie Dye (/10), Tie Dye (/10), Status Die Cut Tie Dye (/5), Aspirations Gold (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Status Die Cut Gold (1/1)
2017 Elite Extra Edition Future Threads Silhouette Autographs Ronald Acuna #14 /99
2017 Elite Extra Edition Baseball also has the first Ronald Acuna autographed memorabilia card. Done with a Silhouettes format, it involves layering the jersey under a die-cut image. The base version has 99 copies and parallels drop significantly from there.
In addition to this card, 2017 Elite Extra Edition has several other inserts with swatches from Acuna gear.
Parallels: Silver (/49), Red (/35), Purple (/10), Emerald (/5), Blue (/3), Gold (1/1)
2017 Florida Fire Frogs Choice Ronald Acuna #14
Taking the traditional minor league approach, this card from Choice came as part of a team issue set. Because it was aimed largely at local fans, it’s not the easiest card to find. And if the design on the front seems familiar, it is. The layout has a lot of similarities to 2013 Topps Baseball.
2017 Leaf Metal Draft Ronald Acuna Autograph #BA-RA1
Another Bowman Chrome autograph alternative, 2017 Leaf Metal Draft has everything on Refractor-esque Prismatic stock. Another bonus with Leaf’s card that some may overlook is that the edges have etching. It may seem like a small detail to some, but it adds considerably to how much it pops.
Parallels: Wave Prismatic, Blue Prismatic (/25), Purple Prismatic (/15), Pink Prismatic (/10), Black Prismatic (/7), Green Prismatic (/5), Red Prismatic (/3), Gold Prismatic (1/1), Gold Super Prismatic (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)
2017 Leaf Valiant Ronald Acuna Autograph #BA-RA1 /99
The solid background, even on the base version, helps Valiant standout from Leaf Draft. The base version also comes serial numbered, something that Leaf Draft is not. 2017 Leaf Valiant Baseball comes with a BGS-graded card in every box. That means many of these have already been slabbed.
Parallels: Blue (/35), Orange (/25), Purple (/15), Yellow (/10), Black (/5), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Red (1/1)
2017 Panini Contenders Draft Picks Prospect Ticket Autographs Ronald Acuna #7
2017 Panini Contenders Draft Picks Baseball brings the brand’s trademark “ticket” approach to a late-season prospect release. Acuna is part of the Prospect Ticket Autographs checklist, which aren’t numbered. However, several parallels are. This is one for collectors looking for something a little cheaper (but no certified Ronald Acuna autograph is cheap) but still with a signature.
Parallels: Draft Ticket (/99), Cracked Ice (/23), Playoff Ticket (/15), Championship Ticket (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)
2017 Topps Heritage Minors Real One Autographs Ronald Acuna #ROA-RA
Although minor league autographs don’t carry the same clout as MLB ones, there’s still a fair bit going for the 2017 Topps Heritage Minors Ronald Acuna Real One Autograph. Almost anything Heritage carries a lot of popularity. It carries history in both the vintage set it emulates plus the Heritage name. This particular card is based on 1968 Topps and comes hard-signed.
Parallels: No First Name, Blue (75), Gray (/25), Orange (1/1)
2018 Topps Photo Variations Ronald Acuna #698
Ronald Acuna made his 2018 Topps Baseball debut in Series 2 packs. That said, his main card in the product is only a variation. Because these sorts of variations are treated like inserts, it doesn’t get the RC tag in the Beckett database. The 2018 Topps Heritage Shohei Ohtani is a similar situation. Some will see it differently and it doesn’t take away from the card in any way. It’s relative scarcity should ensure it holds up over time. It’s also not an extremely tough to the point where it’s near-impossible to find. For something a little easier, 2018 Topps Baseball factory sets have a slightly different version that’s basically a variation of the variation.
Acuna also has a 1983 Topps Autograph in 2018 Topps Series 2.
2018 Topps Living Set Ronald Acuna #19
The Topps Living Set Ronald Acuna has a couple of things going for it. First, it was made available right after he was called up, giving it a little historical significance. Sold on the Topps website for a week, a record 46,809 copies were ordered. By comparison, the number is more than double what Shohei Ohtani did a couple of weeks earlier.
The idea behind the Topps Living Set is that players don’t get a new card unless they change teams. So while the checklist expands over years, as long as Acuna is on the Braves, he won’t get another card.
2018 Topps Stadium Club Variations Ronald Acuna #223
Similar to 2018 Topps Series 2, Ronald Acuna only appears in 2018 Topps Stadium Club as a variation short print. So because it’s like an insert, it doesn’t have the RC tag in the Beckett database. This card replaces Hank Aaron on the main checklist. This will likely be a fairly tough card to find down the road as variations are 1:109 hobby packs and there are 50 in the set. So finding this particular card is roughly every 20 to 25 cases. Acuna also has a Base Autograph in 2018 Stadium Club that uses the same photo and design.
2018 Topps Now Ronald Acuna #125
Ronald Acuna got his first card as a major leaguer within hours of his Braves debut. 2018 Topps Now documented his first game with not only a regular card but an autograph as well. Like all regular Topps Now cards, it was available for just 24 hours with the print run determined by how many were ordered. That number came in at 11,131 copies. So there’s a lot of them out there.
It didn’t take long for Acuna to get more 2018 Topps Now cards. The in-season nature of the checklist means he’s likely to have several before the season is done.