2021 Bowman Heritage Baseball Review

If you’re feeling nostalgic, the Heritage line is for you! The 2021 release of Bowman Heritage Baseball features a throwback design akin to the 1993 Bowman cards. Along with rookies and veterans, the release features a long list of prospects. But is this release for you? Read our 2021 Bowman Heritage Baseball review to find out.

History Of Bowman Heritage Baseball

The Heritage line debuted in 2001, and the first Bowman Heritage set was released at the end of the year. Topps’ version of Heritage has been released annually since. However, the Bowman set lasted from 2001 to 2007 before being resurrected in 2019.

The first Bowman Heritage release was based on the 1948 Bowman set, boasting a massive 440 card checklist. The set configuration was straightforward: a large base set, 110 short-printed cards, select Chrome parallels, a few original reprints inserted into packs, and even fewer autographs.

From 2002 to 2007, the Bowman Heritage set recreated six additional Bowman releases from 1949 to 1956. Each year, the releases got better. They began to feature game-used relics, more autographs, exclusive parallels, and even the occasional umpire. Early Bowman Heritage releases focused primarily on big-league players. The 2006 and 2007 releases were the only ones to designate a separate prospect set.

Topps slimmed it down when the Bowman Heritage line was revived in 2019. It now featured a 250-card set featuring rookies, veterans, and prospects. However, the structure remains the same today.

In 2019 Topps relaunched Bowman Heritage, with a large checklist. Look for boxes of 2019 on eBay.

2021 Bowman Heritage Baseball Review Of The Pros

Nostalgia! Collectors who enjoy vintage cards and want to see today’s stars and up-and-coming prospects travel back in time will appreciate the 2021 Bowman Heritage release. Like last year, however, Topps pushed Bowman Heritage from the 1950s to the 1990s. As a result, it’s not as vintage as it could be. Nonetheless, the 2021 Bowman Heritage release is still a fun set to rip, especially if you loved the 1993 Bowman design.

2021 Bowman Heritage Baseball Review Of The Cons

Topps’ 582 Montgomery Club members get exclusive access to the Bowman Heritage release (and others) before the set is made available to the public. This decision has not been popular among collectors considering the exclusivity and membership fee for the Topps 582 Montgomery Club. Print runs are unknown, but the small number of publicly available boxes has drastically increased the re-sale price.

2021 Bowman Heritage: What To Consider

One thing to monitor with this and other releases is changing the numbering. For example, the 2021 Bowman’s Best release included prospects, rookies, and veterans in the base set with no separate designation. Because of this, Beckett has decided to label those prospect’s cards as official Rookie Cards even though they have not made their Major League debut.

Additionally, Wander Franco’s Rookie Card was supposed to debut in 2022, but Beckett will now list Franco’s 2021 Bowman’s Best card as his official Rookie Card. You can read more about that decision here.

2021 Bowman Heritage Baseball Review Of Formats

The 2021 release of Bowman Heritage Baseball will be available as a hobby-only, online exclusive. It was initially set to go on sale in early January but has been pushed back twice. No new release date has been set, but we’ll update this post when we know more.

The 2021 Bowman Heritage Baseball release price is unknown, but Topps sold the previous two sets for $100 exclusively on their website. We will see how the Montgomery Club release affects the pricing.

Hobby Box

  • 10 cards per pack
  • 24 packs per box
  • Each box includes: 1 autograph, 48 Chrome Prospect cards refractors, 240 total cards
  • Release date: TBA
  • Price: TBA

2021 Bowman Heritage Baseball Review Of The Top Ten Prospects

So much for the basics. But who are we chasing in 2021 Bowman Heritage? Here are the best prospects to keep an eye on.

  1. Julio Rodriguez, OF in Seattle Mariners organization

2022 MLB Prospect Rankings

Baseball America: 2

Baseball Prospectus: 3

The Athletic: 9

Season (Age) Name Level G H HR SB BB% K% BA OBP SLG
2018 (17) Julio Rodriguez DSL 59 69 5 10 11.8% 15.7% .315 .404 .525
2019 (18) Julio Rodriguez A 84 107 12 1 6.8% 20.7% .326 .390 .540
2019 Fall (18) Julio Rodriguez AZFL 15 15 0 4 12.7% 25.4% .289 .397 .365
2020 (19) Julio Rodriguez DWL 18 11 0 3 9.4% 25.0% .196 .297 .250
2021 (20) Julio Rodriguez A&AA 74 101 13 21 12.6% 19.4% .347 .441 .560

Julio Rodriguez has the most professional experience of the prospects on this list, touting incredible power and stealing more bases as of late. He excelled in his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League and maintained a high level of success when he moved stateside in 2019. Before struggling in the Dominican Winter League last year, Rodriguez dealt with a broken wrist, but scouts aren’t worried as Julio adjusted in Single- and Double-A this season. He’s said to have a strong understanding of the strike zone that allows him to make solid contact on pitches away and flash his power when he turns on pitches inside.

An athletic right fielder with plus-plus power and some feel to hit, Rodriguez is just a few approach tweaks away from stardom.

Julio Rodriguez is a top-tier prospect. Look for his autos on eBay.
  1. Grayson Rodriguez, RHP in Baltimore Orioles organization

2022 MLB Prospect Rankings

Baseball America: 6

Baseball Prospectus: 5

The Athletic: 14

Season (Age) Name Level G W L IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA WHIP
2018 (18) Grayson Rodriguez Rk 9 0 2 19.1 9.3 3.3 0.0 1.40 1.24
2019 (19) Grayson Rodriguez A 20 10 4 94.0 12.4 3.5 0.4 2.68 0.99
2021 (21) Grayson Rodriguez A&AA 23 9 1 103.0 14.1 2.4 0.9 2.36 0.83

Grayson Rodriguez is the only pitcher I include here because even though the hobby tends to be apathetic towards pitchers, he forced his way onto top prospect lists with his performance in 2021. The right-hander works with an upper-90s fastball, above-average slider and curveball, and a changeup that’s improving. In addition, his strikeout rate was off the charts in High-A and Double-A, far better than any pitcher in the minor leagues. As a result, scouts were high on Rodriguez coming into the 2021 season, and he did all he could to prove them right and then some.

[He was] just 21 for all of the 2021 season, and his combination of size, stuff, and feel for pitching all look like a future frontline starter.

  1. CJ Abrams, SS in San Diego Padres organization

2022 MLB Prospect Rankings

Baseball America: 9

Baseball Prospectus: 11

The Athletic: 5

Season (Age) Name Level G H HR SB BB% K% BA OBP SLG
2019 (18) CJ Abrams Rk&A 34 59 3 15 6.7% 8.5% .393 .436 .647
2021 (20) CJ Abrams AA 42 48 2 13 8.2% 19.7% .296 .363 .420

CJ Abrams played like a star before a sprained knee, and broken leg ended his 2021 season early. His plus-plus (70) hit tool and elite (80) speed have earned him comparisons to Kenny Lofton. Fortunately, The Athletic’s Keith Law reports Abrams is healthy and doesn’t look to be affected by the knee/leg injury at all. Abrams has excellent bat speed and control, hits the ball hard, and may grow into a bit more power as he gets stronger. Scouts are split on whether he’ll remain an infielder or move to centerfield, but they expect Abrams to excel at either position.

This is the best leadoff-hitting prospect in baseball.

CJ Abrams projects to be an extraordinary leadoff hitter. They have his autos on eBay.
  1. Francisco Alvarez, C in New York Mets organization

2022 MLB Prospect Rankings

Baseball America: 13

Baseball Prospectus: 10

The Athletic: 8

Season (Age) Name Level G H HR SB BB% K% BA OBP SLG
2019 (17) Francisco Alvarez Rk 42 49 7 1 11.5% 20.3% .312 .407 .510
2021 (19) Francisco Alvarez A 99 89 24 8 13.8% 22.2% .272 .388 .554

Although just 17 years old at the time, Francisco Alvarez impressed on both sides of the game in his first professional season. He hit for average and power, showed a strong arm behind the plate, and connected with his pitchers. This earned him an invitation to the Mets’ alternative training site once covid canceled the minor league season, where he continued to impress. The catcher is among the youngest players at each level he’s played at but continues to prove he belongs. Law Alvarez has quick hands, a balanced swing, and above-average power — and he’s only 20 years old.

With his exceptional physical strength and explosive swing, Alvarez appears poised to do damage each time he steps to the plate. He has massive raw power and knows how to get to it during games, making hard, fly-ball contact using a leveraged right-handed swing. Alvarez also finds the barrel consistently and is comfortable hitting to all fields, thanks to an approach that belies his age and experience.

  1. Anthony Volpe, SS in New York Yankees organization

2022 MLB Prospect Rankings

Baseball America: 10

Baseball Prospectus: 14

The Athletic: 10

Season (Age) Name Level G H HR SB BB% K% BA OBP SLG
2019 (18) Anthony Volpe Rk 34 26 2 6 15.3% 25.3% .215 .349 .355
2021 (20) Anthony Volpe A 109 121 27 33 15.2% 19.7% .294 .423 .604

Anthony Volpe wasn’t all that impressive during his 34 games in rookie ball. If that wasn’t bad enough, he missed out on an entire development season because of the pandemic. However, he proved why the Yankees drafted him in the first round when he returned. Projected to be a contact-heavy hitter, Volpe’s strikeout rate was a bit concerning in 2019. However, when this season got going, Volpe struck out less, made better contact, and showed some unexpected power. Along with a robust offensive profile, Volpe has shown to be an above-average defender and intelligent on the base paths. His performance in Single-A encourages the Yankees that he could be their shortstop of the future.

While Volpe isn’t physically imposing, he’s an advanced hitter with a compact right-handed swing…After initially projecting as a hit-over-power guy who might reach double digits in home runs once he added strength, he’s now driving the ball more, hitting it harder than ever, and looking like at least a 20-homer threat.

Anthony Volpe may be the Yankees shortstop of the future. Does that make buying his autos on eBay worthwhile?
  1. Marco Luciano, SS in San Francisco Giants organization

2022 MLB Prospect Rankings

Baseball America: 17

Baseball Prospectus: 9

The Athletic: 15

Season (Age) Name Level G H HR SB BB% K% BA OBP SLG
2019 (17) Marco Luciano Rk&A 47 54 10 9 14.8% 20.8% .302 .417 .564
2021 (19) Marco Luciano A 106 102 19 6 10.6% 26.9% .258 .344 .471
2021 Fall (19) Marco Luciano AZFL 21 19 3 0 12.6% 32.2% .253 .356 .373

Scouts rave over Marco Luciano’s bat speed and how balls explode off his bat. MLB Pipeline listed the shortstop from the Dominican Republic as their fifth-best prospect in baseball mid-way through 2021, with FanGraphs not far behind at nine. He crushed opposing pitchers in rookie ball, hitting 21 extra-base hits in 38 games. Although he didn’t completely lose developmental time because he spent time at the Giants’ alternate training site during the pandemic, he struggled when promoted to High-A in 2021. His power evaporated, and strikeouts piled up, but scouts remain optimistic about Luciano’s upside.

A few lucky scouts and media folks had a religious experience watching the sweetest-swinging teenager on Earth absolutely roast balls fed to his barrel by a high-speed pitching machine. Because of how close you can sit next to the field there, you can feel the sonic force of bat-to-ball impact radiate into your body. When Marco Luciano connects, you feel it to your core. He is not normal. To find bat speed comps you need to look toward Javier Báez, Eric Davis, or whoever the top of your mental catalog might be.

  1. Jordan Walker, 3B in St. Louis Cardinals organization

2022 MLB Prospect Rankings

Baseball America: 24

Baseball Prospectus: 7

The Athletic: 30

Season (Age) Name Level G H HR SB BB% K% BA OBP SLG
2021 (19) Jordan Walker A 82 103 14 14 9.0% 23.8% .317 .388 .548

Walker has only played 82 professional games, but he made a fantastic impression. Fifty-five of those games were in High-A, where he was nearly three and a half years younger than most players at that level. Jordan is big, strong, and has the power to prove it while also showing his ability to make consistent contact and adjust when opposing pitchers challenge him. Walker’s defense might not be good enough to stick at third base, but that may not matter if he keeps hitting the way he did in 2021.

Walker’s showcase summer look was among the most exciting in the entire 2020 draft class…Walker pitched and played shortstop during his pre-draft summer, and had among the best present raw power and pretty clearly the best raw power projection of any of the 2020 high schoolers because of his huge frame.

  1. Zac Veen, OF in Colorado Rockies organization

2022 MLB Prospect Rankings

Baseball America: 22

Baseball Prospectus: 25

The Athletic: 23

Season (Age) Name Level G H HR SB BB% K% BA OBP SLG
2021 (19) Zac Veen A 106 120 15 36 13.4% 26.3% .301 .399 .501

Along with his on-field performance, Zac Veen has impressed the Rockies with the mental approach he carried throughout his first professional season. His work ethic is unmatched, and he came into the draft with advanced knowledge of the game. In addition, Veen’s got lots of power from the left side and an above-average arm in the outfield. Although his speed was questionable, he squashed those doubts when he stole 36 bases in 2021. The well-rounded tools and huge power upside are something to get excited about.

The left-handed hitter has a pretty swing with plus bat speed and can create leverage and loft when he stands more upright, drawing some Cody Bellinger comps along the way.

Zac Veen has plenty of power and speed. You may want to check out the price of his cards on eBay.
  1. Robert Hassell, OF San Diego Padres organization

2022 MLB Prospect Rankings

Baseball America: 30

Baseball Prospectus: 26

The Athletic: 24

Season (Age) Name Level G H HR SB BB% K% BA OBP SLG
2021 (19) Robert Hassell A 110 134 11 34 12.8% 19.2% .303 .393 .470

At No. 8, Hassell was the first high schooler selected in the 2020 draft. Many scouts saw him as the best hitter in that year’s prep class, citing his ability to get to pitches anywhere in the zone and line balls to all fields. During his first stint in professional baseball, he exceeded these expectations, hitting for average and getting on base at a rate second-best in his Single-A league. Although scouts saw his speed as just a smidge above average, Hassell stole 34 bases and showed enough speed and instincts in centerfield to quiet doubts about him being able to stick up the middle defensively. The most significant question mark in Hassell’s game is the power tool. He should, at worst, have at least average power, making his profile one that flaunts a high batting average and on-base percentage.

Hassell wielded arguably the most advanced bat of the 2020 draft’s high school hitters, spraying contact to all fields against upper-echelon high school pitching during his pre-draft summer.

  1. Nick Yorke, 2B in Boston Red Sox organization

2022 MLB Prospect Rankings

Baseball America: 31

Baseball Prospectus: 40

The Athletic: 37

Season (Age) Name Level G H HR SB BB% K% BA OBP SLG
2021 (19) Nick Yorke A 97 123 14 13 11.8% 15.6% .325 .412 .516

Yorke came into the 2020 draft as the 139th and 165th ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline and FanGraphs. No one in the industry predicted Yorke would be off the board after the first three rounds, so shock reverberated through the baseball world when the Red Sox selected him with the 17th overall pick. There wasn’t much concern with his offensive profile, but rather the question of whether Yorke’s arm was good enough to play second base after undergoing significant shoulder surgery in high school. He heard the doubters but, to his credit, used it as fuel on his way to a fantastic first professional season. He hit for average power and kept his strikeout rate low and walk rate high. After watching him play second base in 2021, the Red Sox are confident in the strides he’s already made and believe in his athleticism moving forward.

Yorke has a pretty right-handed swing and advanced plate discipline and pitch recognition. He hits the ball to all fields with authority, and while most of his over-the-fence power presently comes to his pull side, he’s adding strength and could develop into a .300 hitter who produces 20 homers annually. He joined Boston’s alternate training site toward the end of the summer, and though he was the youngest player there and had no pro experience, he didn’t look out of place.

Prospects I’m Questioning from a Hobby Standpoint

JJ Bleday, OF in Miami Marlins organization

Bleday had a rough start in 2021, hitting .199 with minimal power through the season’s first four months. He did, however, have a fantastic few weeks in the Arizona Fall League and looks to have bulked up over the offseason. As a result, 2022 seems like a make-or-break season for the former top prospect.

Xavier Edwards, 2B in Tampa Bay Rays organization

Edwards has the misfortune of being a top prospect in the same organization as Wander Franco, the current holy grail of prospect and rookie stars. I question him from an investing standpoint because he possesses below-average raw power that translates to game power similar to Billy Hamilton’s. Edwards’ 80-grade speed and a potential for a plus hit tool might sustain him as a utility man for the Rays, but that’s not a promising profile for collectors.

Xavier Edwards has a bright future but may not have enough power for the hobby. If you disagree, you may be able to get his cards on eBay before they explode.

D.L. Hall, LHP in Baltimore Orioles organization

Hall has nasty stuff that scouts believe can make him a front-end starter, but he’s shown command issues in the minor leagues. His fastball sits in the high-90s, his changeup in the low-80s, and his curveball possesses plus spin rate. Unfortunately, along with his control/command issues, Hall had his 2021 season cut short due to an elbow injury. He didn’t have the dreaded Tommy John surgery, but pitchers’ elbow injuries are always a cause for concern.

2021 Bowman Heritage Baseball Review Of The Checklist

There are 250 cards in this year’s Bowman Heritage base set. Veterans and rookies make up the first 100 cards, with 150 prospects to follow. While parallel details are unknown, we know that 20 players have image variation cards, and all prospects have Chrome inserts. In addition, 27 prospects and six rookies have autographed cards; those names are listed below.

There are many Chrome variations to go around and several Chrome Autographs. The inserts are slim, featuring swapped images for some base cards.

2021 Bowman Heritage Baseball Parallel Breakdown

Base Parallels:

  • TBA will update when announced

Image Variation Parallels:

  • TBA will update when announced

Chrome Prospects Insert Parallels:

  • TBA will update when announced

Chrome Prospects Autograph Parallels:

  • TBA will update when announced

Chrome Rookie Autograph Parallels:

  • TBA will update when announced

2021 Bowman Heritage Baseball Insert Breakdown

  • Chrome Prospect Inserts: 20 cards

2021 Bowman Heritage Baseball Autograph Breakdown

2021 Bowman Heritage Baseball Review Of Value

The release has traditionally been oriented towards collectors rather than investors. Having said that, what value do Bowman Heritage cards hold?

Wax

The 2019 and 2020 releases are the only two Bowman Heritage sets in recent years. Both were initially sold for $100 and have increased in value, but not to a substantial level where holding wax to flip at a future date will be extremely valuable. Still, with this release possibly being more limited due to the Montgomery club and the Franco rookie, it may have a higher value than either.

2019 Bowman Heritage Baseball $250
2020 Bowman Heritage Baseball $180

Singles

While some autographed cards can sell for a couple of hundred dollars, you can find most Bowman Heritage base cards for less than a dollar. Some rookies have parallels valued between $5-$10, but the vast majority of recent Bowman Heritage Baseball cards do not hold their value.

Luis Robert, the White Sox’s outfielder who was second in 2020 AL Rookie of the Year voting, has some of the most valuable cards in the set. His base and black & white parallel cards are valued at the higher end of this release, as is the Gold Refractor Auto listed below.

2020 Bowman Heritage #18 Luis Robert RC $8
2020 Bowman Heritage #18 Luis Robert RC Black & White Parallel $30
2020 Bowman Heritage #18 Luis Robert RC Gold /50 $100
2020 Bowman Heritage #92RA-LR Luis Robert RC Gold Refractor /50 Autograph $553
Luis Robert’s Bowman Heritage cards perform particularly well, as you can see on eBay.

Bottomline Of The 2021 Bowman Heritage Baseball Review 

The Bowman Heritage line is a niche set that will appeal more to collectors than investors. Although the sets have maintained their value, the increase is negligible compared to other Topps and Bowman releases. The wax does relatively well, but the singles usually perform pretty weakly. For this reason, investors are likely to look elsewhere. But if you’re a collector who appreciates older designs, look no further than the 2021 Bowman Heritage Baseball release.

Nicole Cahill

Nicole Cahill

Nicole Cahill is a freelance writer with sports bylines at Baseball Prospectus, Fish Stripes, and Pitcher List. She also writes about mental health and recently founded a nonprofit. When she’s not fighting stigma or exploring Baseball Savant visuals, you can find Nicole enjoying a cup of coffee and a good book. View her portfolio at NicoleCahill.com or find her on Twitter at @NicoleCahill_


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