Home Grading News Top Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Players of the 2000s – One-Sheet Collections

Top Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Players of the 2000s – One-Sheet Collections

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The One-Sheet Collections idea is a simple concept with infinite possibilities. Take a single nine-pocket sheet and a reasonable $100 budget, and build a nine-card collection with a unifying theme.

This time around my  focus was the best Topps All-Star Rookie team selections of the 2000s.

A while back, I built a nine-player team using the top Topps Rookie Cup cards of the 1990s. Now it’s time for the 2000s version, with the best player at each position based on their career accolades making up our 2000s Topps Rookie Cup All-Star team.

2010 Topps Chrome X-Fractors #35 Andrew McCutchen ($5)

McCutchen was the No. 11 overall pick in the 2005 draft, and he made his MLB debut four years later as a 22-year-old top prospect. He hit .286/.365/.471 with 47 extra-base hits, 22 steals and 2.3 WAR to finish fourth in NL Rookie of the Year voting, and four years later he helped the Pittsburgh Pirates snap a 20-year playoff drought while winning NL MVP honors.

His 2010 Topps flagship card also has Topps Chrome, Topps Chrome Refractors, Topps Chrome X-Fractors, Gold Border (/2010) and a wide variety of colored Refractor parallels with limited print runs.

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2000 Topps Chrome Refractors #178 Carlos Beltran ($8)

After receiving a 14-game cup of coffee in 1998, Beltran hit .293/.337/.454 with 27 doubles, 22 home runs, 108 RBI, 27 steals and 4.7 WAR to win AL Rookie of the Year honors over Seattle Mariners right-hander Freddy Garcia. He went on to tally 24.8 WAR in seven seasons in Kansas City before he was traded to the Houston Astros in his final year of club control.

Beltran first appeared in the 1995 Topps Traded set, and he didn’t pop up again on the Topps flagship checklist until 2000 following his standout rookie campaign.

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2002 Topps Chrome Gold Refractors #225 Ichiro Suzuki ($25)

Few rookies have impacted the game the way Ichiro did when he became the first position player to make the jump from the Japanese League in 2001. The 27-year-old hit .350/.381/.457 with 242 hits, 56 steals and 7.7 WAR to win the AL batting title and AL MVP honors for a Seattle Mariners team that won 116 games.

Others up for consideration for a spot in the outfield included Adam Dunn (2002), Matt Holliday (2005), Jason Bay (2005), Nick Markakis (2007), Andre Ethier (2007), Hunter Pence (2008) and Jay Bruce (2009).

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2002 Topps Chrome Gold Refractors #164 Jimmy Rollins ($5)

One of the best shortstops of the past 25 years, Rollins hit .274/.323/.419 with 29 doubles, 12 triples, 14 home runs, 54 RBI, 97 runs scored and 46 steals during the 2001 season. He finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting behind Albert Pujols and Roy Oswalt and also received a few down-ballot MVP votes while earning an All-Star selection.

Rafael Furcal (2001), Hanley Ramirez (2007) and Troy Tulowitzki (2008) were also in the running at shortstop, and all three won NL Rookie of the Year honors in their respective debuts.

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2007 Topps Chrome Refractors #76 Justin Verlander ($4)

The Tigers selected Verlander with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2004 draft out of Old Dominion. After making a pair of starts the following year, he stepped into a regular rotation spot during the 2006 season. The hard-throwing 23-year-old finished 17-9 with a 3.63 ERA in 186 innings to win AL Rookie of the Year honors, though he tallied just 124 strikeouts while settling in at the MLB level. 

Considering there are multiple pitchers selected each year, it’s a bit surprising there were not more quality options. Roy Oswalt (2002), CC Sabathia (2002), Brandon Webb (2004) and Dontrelle Willis (2004) were among the other notable potential choices.

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2008 Topps Chrome Refractors #66 Dustin Pedroia ($3)

Pedroia hit .317/.380/.442 for a 112 OPS+ with 48 extra-base hits and 3.9 WAR in 139 games during the 2007 season to win AL Rookie of the Year over Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Delmon Young and help lead the Boston Red Sox to a World Series title. The following year he took home AL MVP honors.

Alfonso Soriano (2002) and Dan Uggla (2007) were the other impact players at second base who earned the rookie cup during the 2000s.

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2002 Topps Chrome Gold Refractors #160 Albert Pujols ($25)

It’s easy to forget that Pujols began his career as a third baseman before shifting to left field and eventually settling in at first base. He had one of the best rookie seasons in MLB history in 2001, hitting .329/.403/.610 with 47 doubles, 37 home runs and 130 RBI to finish fourth in NL MVP balloting while taking home Silver Slugger honors and earning an All-Star selection. 

Ryan Zimmerman (2007), Ryan Braun (2008) and Evan Longoria (2009) each made a splash at third base over three consecutive seasons, delivering on their first-round pedigrees.

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2005 Topps Chrome Refractors #368 Joe Mauer ($5)

Mauer only played 35 games during the 2004 season, but that was enough to earn the catcher spot on the 2005 Topps All-Star rookie team. He hit .308/.369/.570 with 15 extra-base hits and 1.4 WAR in his abridged debut before developing into one of the best pure hitters the catcher position has ever seen in the years that followed. 

Standouts Brian McCann (2006) and Russell Martin (2007) followed Mauer at the catcher position the next two years.

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2009 Topps Gold #390 Joey Votto ($5)

According to FanGraphs, Votto has only attempted to bunt seven times in his career, so the fact that his rookie cup card is a shot of him bunting is comical to say the least. After impressing as a September call-up in 2007 he hit .297/.368/.506 with 32 doubles, 24 home runs and 84 RBI in 151 games the following year to finish second to Chicago Cubs catcher Geovany Soto in NL Rookie of the Year balloting.

Mark Teixeira (2004) and Prince Fielder (2007) are the other big names at first base from the 2000s rookie cup teams.

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Total: $85