15 Most Valuable 2022 Topps Chrome Baseball Cards

Written By Ross Uitts

Last Updated: May 11, 2024

With multiple big-name rookie cards in its checklist, anticipation for 2022 Topps Chrome baseball cards was sky-high prior to the set's release.

And then, chaos...

Some of those big-name rookie cards didn't make it into the base set...

Collectors hoping to see names like Bobby Witt Jr., Julio Rodriguez, and Spencer Torkelson were soon disappointed.

Topps issues a PR statement (more on that later) to try to quell the outrage.

And they later issued four-card silver packs to customers who purchased certain products, which contained randomly inserted "extended base set" cards.

The 2022 Topps Chrome release could have gone much smoother.

Still, once the dust settled, it turned out to be a pretty good set.

And in this guide, we'll take a look at the 15 most valuable.

Let's jump right in!

2022 Topps Chrome #1 Shohei Ohtani

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $40

If not for Aaron Judge, Shohei Ohtani likely would have been just the second player in MLB history (Barry Bonds, 2001-04) to win back-to-back-to-back MVP awards from 2021 to 2023.

Call it the Ohtani curve.

If the 27-year-old unicorn were judged based on his two-way impact alone, he'd easily pile up MVPs season after season.

In '22, he was both an All-Star power hitter and a top-four Cy Young candidate.

One of those is good enough for MVP votes.

To put together both of those in the same season is unheard of.

Still, MVP voters must judge Ohtani against himself, leaving room for other candidates to make their cases.

Ohtani hit .273 with 34 home runs, 30 doubles, six triples, 11 stolen bases, 95 RBIs, and a .875 OPS in 157 games.

Those numbers are fantastic in a vacuum, but the OPS drop of 90 points from 2021 was used against him by a large swath of voters.

Yet, how could that even begin to cancel out what he did on the mound?

Ohtani finished 15-9 on the year with a 2.33 ERA while finishing third in the AL in strikeouts (219), sixth in batting average against (.203), and fifth in WHIP (1.01).

Still, he picked up just two of thirty first-place MVP votes as Judge grabbed the award in a landslide.

2022 Topps Chrome #1 Shohei Ohtani Baseball Card

2022 Topps Chrome #84 Albert Pujols

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $30

Albert Pujols was a Hall of Fame lock by the end of his eleventh season.

The St. Louis Cardinals icon's list of accomplishments from 2001-2011 is staggering:

  • Two World Series titles
  • Three MVPs
  • Four MVP runner-ups
  • A Rookie of the Year award
  • Six Silver Sluggers
  • Two Gold Gloves
  • A batting title (among others)

There was no way Pujols could be knocked off his Cooperstown pedestal.

Even a decade of injuries and faded production couldn't do it.

Following a solid 2012 debut with the Los Angeles Angels, the Dominican Republic-born star did not post an OPS over .790 from 2013-2021, missing large chunks of time with various injuries.

This is what makes Pujols' 2022 swan song so great.

Returning to St. Louis for one final campaign, the 42-year-old DH turned back the clock.

Pujols was named to his 11th All-Star team in 2022, and it wasn't just a career achievement award.

He had his best season at the plate since his MVP runner-up in 2010, slashing .270/.345/.550 with 24 home runs and 68 RBIs in 109 games played.

Sadly, the Cardinals' playoff stint was brief as St. Louis lost two consecutive home games, ending Pujols' career on a bittersweet note.

The beloved slugger went down swinging, going 2-for-4 in a highly emotional goodbye.

2022 Topps Chrome #84 Albert Pujols Baseball Card

2022 Topps Chrome #93 Yadier Molina

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $30

Given its physical toll on the body, you rarely see a catcher play for 19 seasons in Major League Baseball.

Nor do you often see a player spend their entire 19-year career with one team.

Yadier Molina checks both of those boxes.

From 2004 to 2022, Molina spent season after season behind home plate for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Only eight catchers in MLB history played in more seasons than Molina, while only three caught more games than the future Hall of Famer.

It would be an understatement to say it was tough for Cardinals fans to see Molina retire after the 2022 season.

Not only was he gifted on defense, being a nine-time Gold Glover and four-time Platinum Glover, but Molina was also a consistent threat with the bat.

He was a career .277 hitter with 2,168 hits, 176 home runs, 1,022 RBIs and 777 runs scored, earning one Silver Slugger and ten trips to the All-Star Game along the way.

During his final season in 2022, Molina played in 78 games, slashing .214/.233/.302 with five home runs, 24 RBIs and 19 runs scored.

His better days were long behind him, but his legacy as one of the greatest catchers was well intact.

2022 Topps Chrome #93 Yadier Molina Baseball Card

2022 Topps Chrome #95 Buster Posey

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $30

Over his 12 seasons in the Big Leagues, there were certainly catchers who were better with the glove than Buster Posey.

But few, if any, were better with the bat.

And there's no better testament to his offensive ability than his MVP season in 2012 when he hit for an MLB-best .336 average with 24 home runs, 103 RBIs, and 78 runs scored.

It was one of the best offensive seasons for any catcher in MLB history.

Even more impressive may have been that he accomplished the feat in his first full season back from a broken leg sustained in a collision with a base runner in 2011.

During his 12 years with the Giants, Puster finished as a .302 hitter with 1,500 hits, 158 home runs, 663 runs scored and 729 RBIs.

To go along with his MVP trophy, Posey was also voted NL Rookie of the Year in 2010 and earned 5 Silver Sluggers and a Gold Glove.

And then, after his seventh All-Star season in 2021, Posey shocked and saddened San Francisco Giants fans when he announced his retirement after the season.

At 34, he seemingly had so much left to give.

However, Posey cited injuries and a desire to spend more time with family as reasons for starting a new chapter in his life.

2022 Topps Chrome #95 Buster Posey Baseball Card

2022 Topps Chrome #96 Miguel Cabrera

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $30

As soon as Miguel Cabrera becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2029, he is certain to walk right into Cooperstown on his first ballot.

For 21 seasons, Cabrera was one of the most feared hitters in the game, a guy who could hit for both average and power.

A career .306 hitter, he won four batting titles with the Detroit Tigers from 2011 to 2015 while belting home runs and driving in runs at an incredible rate.

And his 2012 season was particularly memorable as his .330 batting average, 44 home runs, and 139 RBIs landed him the first hitting Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski did it in 1967.

In 2022, Cabrera played in 112 games and earned his twelfth All-Star selection, but he was clearly on the back end of his career.

So, after the 2023 season ended, Cabrera hung up his cleats for good, marking an end to an incredible career that started with the Floridan Marlins back in 2003.

The Venezuelan native retired as just one of seven players with at least 3,000 hits and 500 homers, putting him in the company of guys like Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray and Albert Pujols.

2022 Topps Chrome #96 Miguel Cabrera Baseball Card

2022 Topps Chrome #99 Aaron Judge

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $30

Before the 2022 season, Aaron Judge declined an eight-year $230.5 million extension from the New York Yankees heading into his walk year.

It may have been one of the smartest sports bets ever placed.

The New York Yankees outfielder had been a game-changing talent since his 2017 AL Rookie of the Year splash, a year in which he also finished second in the league's MVP race.

However, the lights shine brighter in NYC.

And the criticisms can be much louder and more pointed on baseball's most famous stage.

Judge's detractors referenced his checkered injury history and high strikeout rate as reasons not to offer him a break-the-bank contract.

They said he'd never put it together and become the kind of player that deserved Mike Trout money.

They were wrong. So wrong.

In a year where the New York Yankees at times looked like the championship-stacking Bronx Bombers of old more often than not, Judge was an MVP front-runner.

All season long, Judge chased after fellow Yankees slugger Roger Maris's single-season mark of 61 home runs.

And on the last game of the season against the Texas Rangers, Judge sent a solo shot into left at Glove Life Stadium to give him 62 for the year.

The bet Judge placed on himself paid off big time to the tune of a nine-year $360 million contract.

2022 Topps Chrome #99 Aaron Judge Baseball Card

2022 Topps Chrome #14 Freddie Freeman

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $25

Since finishing second in the National League Rookie of the Year race in 2011, Freddie Freeman had been a staple in the Atlanta Braves lineup.

A fan favorite known for his work ethic, Freeman tirelessly honed his craft to earn five trips to the All-Star Game, three Silver Sluggers, a Gold Glove and the 2020 MVP Award as an Atlanta Brave.

Unfortunately for Braves fans, the 2021 season would be his last with the team.

Though Atlanta offered him a five-year $140 million deal to stay, the deadline for the deal passed without him signing.

Thinking that Freeman was signaling he'd likely be signing with another team, Atlanta soon moved to sign Oakland Athletics slugger Matt Olson.

Whether it was a lack of communication or something else, the apparent mix-up shocked Freeman, who later signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers for $162 million over six years.

The face of the Braves franchise parted with the team on a weird note and with mixed emotions.

But he sought to make the best of his new chapter with the Dodgers.

Freeman settled in quite nicely in Dodger blue in 2022, slashing .325/.405/.511 with 21 home runs, 100 RBIs, an NL-best 117 runs scored while leading the Majors in hits (199) and doubles (47).

2022 Topps Chrome #14 Freddie Freeman Baseball Card

2022 Topps Chrome #82 Paul Goldschmidt

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $25

Throughout the 2022 season, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt flirted with a hitting Triple Crown that would have been the talk of the Majors.

But when the dust settled, his .317 batting average stood as the third-best mark in the NL while finishing fifth in home runs (35) and second in RBIs (115).

He didn't get the Triple Crown, so he had to settle for the first MVP Award of his career.

Not a bad consolation prize.

It wasn't the first time Goldschmidt had nearly taken home the ever-elusive Triple Crown.

In 2013, while still with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Goldschmidt led the National League in home runs (36) and RBIs (125), but his .302 average wasn't quite good enough.

But that's more or less how Goldschmidt's 13-year career has gone so far.

He's seemingly always good for at least 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and a .300 batting average.

Will he ever seal the deal?

He's now 35 years old, so time will be the most significant factor as it's anyone's guess how many more high-level seasons he's got left under his belt.

2022 Topps Chrome #82 Paul Goldschmidt Baseball Card

2022 Topps Chrome #100 Mookie Betts

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $25

The Los Angeles Dodgers' stellar start to the 2022 MLB season had a lot to do with Mookie Betts.

Nagging injuries had plagued the Dodgers star outfielder for years.

However, he found a way to manage them effectively while functioning as a top-of-the-order catalyst for one of the game's deepest starting nines.

While Betts's batting average and OPS weren't at the peaks of his 2018 AL MVP campaign in Boston, he made up for it with an impressive surge in overall production.

By season's end, he set a career-high of 35 home runs (since broken again) to go along with 82 RBIs and an NL-leading 117 runs scored.

Oh yeah, and we still need to talk about Mookie's glove.

A five-time Gold Glover leading into the 2022 season, Betts' cannon arm and unparalleled instincts make him a unique weapon when the opposing team's at bat.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts even occasionally used him at second base.

That's the kind of versatility that such a one-of-a-kind player like Betts gives a skipper.

It all culminated with a sixth Gold Glove for the Dodgers superstar.

Now a seven-time All-Star, six-time Silver Slugger, and two-time World Series champion, Betts has embraced Los Angeles just as tightly as L.A. has embraced him.

2022 Topps Chrome #100 Mookie Betts Baseball Card

2022 Topps Chrome #128 Oneil Cruz Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $25

There isn't a more intriguing prospect in the game than Oneil Cruz.

The Pittsburgh Pirates phenom is a one-of-one.

Shortstops are not meant to be six-foot-seven and his combination of dynamite exit velocity and blazing throwing speed is incredible, even in an age of increased weight training and strict diets.

In 2022, Cruz was a meme-level regular on social media as his tape-measure shots and machine gun throws are tailor-made for our digital age.

He hit .233 on the year with 17 home runs and 54 RBIs in 87 games.

Extrapolated out to a 162-game schedule, Cruz would have hit around 32 home runs while driving in 100.

That's not to say Cruz doesn't have his faults.

The Buccos rookie struck out 126 times in 331 at-bats and committed 17 errors at the six in just over half a season of play.

The former is expected of a 21-year-old rookie.

The latter, depending on his progress, might eventually signal a shift to an outfield.

Cruz has emerged as their X-factor as the Pirates continue their lengthy rebuild.

If he can stay healthy and evolve at the plate and in the field, he could be the centerpiece of a Pittsburgh baseball renaissance. 

2022 Topps Chrome #128 Oneil Cruz Rookie Card

2022 Topps Chrome #129 Juan Soto

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $25

Juan Soto is an on-base outlier, joining the immortal Ted Williams as the only two hitters to amass over 100 home runs and an OBP above .425 through their age-23 seasons.

And while Soto struggled early in 2022 for a rudderless Washington Nationals team at the bottom of the NL standings, his .495 OBP and 1.111 OPS in July were reminders of just how transcendent he can be.

Business is business, however, and that’s where things went off the rails for Soto early in ‘22.

After reports leaked that he turned down a 15-year, $440 million deal to remain with the Nats, he instantly became the most talked-about trade chip heading into the deadline.

Would Washington pull the trigger on a Soto deal, letting another generational talent slip through their organization’s fingertips (see: Harper, Bryce.)?

The lead-up to the deadline was a headache for Soto.

He said multiple times that he just wanted the trade drama to end, one way or another.

And then, a few hours before the 2022 MLB Trade Deadline, it actually happened.

The Padres sold the farm to bring Soto to Southern California, punctuating a massive deadline haul that also included the acquisition of Milwaukee Brewers All-Star closer Josh Hader.

2022 Topps Chrome #129 Juan Soto Baseball Card

2022 Topps Chrome #165 Ronald Acuña

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $25

Ever since Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. went down with a right ACL tear on July 10th, 2021, there was a hole in the lineup that couldn't be plugged.

Yes, the Braves rebounded to capture their first World Series title since 1995.

Yes, Atlanta played better as a whole with Acuña out in ‘21.

But, Acuña is the kind of player that everything seems to gravitate towards.

In six short years, his charisma, power, and charm have given him the keys to Atlanta.

And Acuña’s return in ‘22 was an event that energized both Braves fans and baseball fans alike.

As for the particulars of his ‘22 season, the easiest way to put it is "productive", as he slashed .266/.351/.413 with 15 home runs, 50 RBIs, 29 stolen bases and 71 runs scored.

When in the lineup, he alternated from sizzling to ice cold and back again.

But in 2023, he remained consistent and proceeded to have one of the greatest seasons in MLB history.

Now a four-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger, there’s plenty of time left for the young wunderkind to lock in and lead Atlanta’s charge towards a more World Series rings.

2022 Topps Chrome #165 Ronald Acuña Baseball Card

2022 Topps Chrome #183 Clayton Kershaw

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $25

Arguably the greatest pitcher of the 2010s, Clayton Kershaw has been dogged by injuries since the turn of the decade.

After a top-ten finish in the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign, Kershaw took in on the chin in two consecutive years.

2021 was a rough go.

Kershaw pitched to an uncharacteristic 3.55 ERA, his worst since his 2008 rookie season and was forced out of the postseason with discomfort in his throwing elbow and forearm.

2022 was much better.

In his ninth All-Star campaign, Kershaw pitched to a sub 1.000 WHIP (0.942) for the second time in three years.

He finished 12-3 with a sterling 2.28 ERA, surrendering just 96 hits and 23 walks in 126.1 innings while striking out 137.

Pelvis and back injuries cost him about 1/3 of the season, yet Kershaw punched through in trademark gutsy fashion.

The 34-year-old lefty was perfect through seven innings in two different starts, foiled by a pitch count and a double, respectively.

He shouldered the load even as his body failed him, earning a ninth All-Star selection.

In October, Kershaw's old playoff bugaboo took center stage.

He pitched a five-inning no-decision at home against the rival Padres in Game 2 of the NLDS, giving up six hits and three runs.

The Padres won the game, 5-3, and took the series three games to one.

2022 Topps Chrome #183 Clayton Kershaw Baseball Card

2022 Topps Chrome #200 Mike Trout

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $25

Entering the 2022 season, the Los Angeles Angels looked primed for a long-overdue breakthrough.

A healthy Mike Trout, returning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani, and a deep 40-man roster felt like the ticket for the franchise's first playoff appearance since 2014.

After playing just 36 games in 2021 due to a calf injury, Trout returned to form with an elite start to 2022.

And while he cooled off considerably in June and early July, his .270/.368/.599 slash line, 24 home runs, 55 runs scored, and 51 RBIs in 79 games (326 plate appearances) were still enough to warrant an All-Star starting nod.

Then, on July 12th against Houston, Trout left the contest with what initially appeared to be back spasms.

Further examination revealed a rare back condition that could follow the three-time MVP for the rest of his career.

During a month-plus on the shelf, Trout put the fears to rest by rehabbing to get back into world-beating shape.

After returning, he homered in seven consecutive games from September 4th to September 12th, breaking the Angels record and falling one short of the all-time MLB mark.

2022 Topps Chrome #200 Mike Trout Baseball Card

2022 Topps Chrome #220 Bryce Harper

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $25

For reigning MVP Bryce Harper, the 2022 campaign was shaping up to be a second-consecutive MVP season.

In 64 games and just 275 plate appearances, the Philadelphia Phillies right fielder/ designated hitter slashed an impressive .318/.385.599 with 15 home runs, 21 doubles, 49 runs scored, 48 RBIs, and an MVP-caliber 174 OPS+.

With the Phillies jockeying for position in a muddled NL Wild Card race, there was a prime opportunity for Harper to outlast the field and become the first repeat NL MVP since Albert Pujols in 2008-09.

One errant pitch changed all of that.

Harper took one off his left thumb on June 25th and landed on the IL as a result.

“I’ll be back when I need to, right?” Harper said recently. “I don’t want to give anybody a timetable because I don’t know.”

Fortunately for the Phillies, he rejoined the team on August 26 and helped them to a Wild Card playoff berth.

Harper played brilliantly as the Phillies steamrolled their way through the NL competition en route to a World Series showdown against Houston.

Harper even earned NLCS MVP honors for his blistering work against the Padres.

Unfortunately, he cooled off in the World Series as Houston erased the Phillies' title hopes with a 4-1 victory in Game 6. 

2022 Topps Chrome #220 Bryce Harper Baseball Card

2022 Topps Chrome Baseball Cards In Review

I really enjoy the 2022 Topps Chrome design and the crop of rookie players who made it into the base set.

Let's not forget the huge blunder that Topps made right out of the gate: five key rookie cards were glaringly absent.

Because of a mix-up, cards #221 - 225 were never issued in packs and appeared late in production as refractors.

Labeled as "Extended Base Set Rookies", the five cards included:

  • #221 Bobby Witt Jr.
  • #222 Julio Rodriguez
  • #223 Spener Torkelson
  • #224 Hunter Greene
  • #225 CJ Abrams

Eventually, Topps issued an official statement regarding the problem:

"Topps' highest priority is our customers, and we want to provide you all with an update regarding the 2022 Topps Chrome Baseball product. After discussions with our manufacturer, we understand that the planned bonus short print variations of five rookie subjects were incorrectly not included in the collation of select product SKUs. As the short print variations were originally not part of the set and later added for an additional chase element, there was unfortunately a technical miscommunication about the product mix in the production process.

This issue does not pertain to all 2022 Topps Chrome Baseball products. The short print rookie variations were included in the Hobby Lite product available only on Topps.com, and the Sonic and Logofractor Edition products, which will both be available at a later date.

For those who purchased the Hobby or Hobby Jumbo products that did not contain the short print rookie variations, Topps is providing 1 additional 4-card silver pack for each 2022 Topps Chrome Hobby and Hobby Jumbo Baseball box purchased through Topps.com, hobby shops or breakers that purchased directly from us. Topps has updated these additional silver packs to include 4 cards, and the short print variations will be randomly inserted in these packs. Additional cards may include a mix of 2022 Chrome Baseball base cards, along with inserts and other surprises.

Topps is working directly with every distribution channel of the product to ensure these packs are properly distributed through the original sellers, with shipments starting on September 30, 2022."

Unopened Box of 2022 Topps Chrome Baseball Cards

Every year, collectors look forward to the Topps Chrome release.

Aside from the mishap regarding the extended base set cards, this set was generally well-received.

As long as some of the big-name rookies in the checklist hold up over time, it will only rise in popularity.