by Rich Klein
First of all, I apologize for the long delay in writing this review. As we discussed in a previous Rich's Ramblings, life took a turn (or in my case a t-bone without the steak) and I have been on the hobby DL for a while. Needless to say, box reviews come second to health issues.
The other aspect that came out of the car wreck was the return of car payments. And like many things that are new, the Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects product features many new players to Topps each year. In fact, with some of the changes in the collective bargaining agreement between the MLBPA and owners, next year will be more interesting since the deadline for signing draft picks moves up about one month and Topps may be able to get players signed even sooner.
When I started writing box reviews for this web site, the Bowman Draft product was one of the first products I wrote about. This is now the third year of writing reviews of Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects and to the best of my memory, with all the different sets in the product, there has never been a duplicate in any of the boxes we have received.
The boxes have 24 packs with seven cards per pack with the promise of one autograph per box. The current "on-line" retail of these boxes is between $55-60 and when I checked with my local store (Triple Card in Plano, TX) a couple of weeks ago his price was $74.25 per box and he had gone through 16 cases at that price. He said he knew of two very nice patch cards being pulled from his boxes. Even blasters are yielding the occasional autograph.
In every pack, there are two Bowman Chrome cards, one from each of the two base set. There are refractor versions that fall at a rate of 1 every 4 packs.
You’ll get a lot of variety in DP&P, considering the base, chrome, refractors, parallels and other designs that are part of the Bowman line. The cards are pretty clean looking. You can get a better look at the card designs—and see a nice pull—from the Sports Collectors Daily blaster box break below.
Here’s what we pulled from our hobby box of 2011 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects:
Bowman Draft: 46 of 110 About 40 percent of the base set
Bowman Draft Prospects 72 of 110. About 65 percent of the "base" set
Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects: 21 of 110
Bowman Draft Blue Parallel (#d to 499): Trevor Clifton, Matt Young
Bowman Chrome Refractors: Brandon Crawford, Eric Fryer, Mark Hamilton
Bowman Chrome Draft Refractors: Steven Gruver, Nick Martini
Bowman Chrome Draft Autograph Refractor (#d to 500): Archie Bradley
Overall, that grouping of cards is what we expect each year from Bowman Draft. That is, a nice mixture of cards with no duplicates and the autograph per box. Obviously, the success of Archie Bradley will determine just how well we did from this box. And when one purchases a box at the current online levels, the downside risk isn’t bad. Bowman Draft has proved to be a long-term success so the only possible issue will be how does the CBA changes affect, if at all, the 2012 and forward iterations of this product. If you love prospecting or getting an early look at some potential future stars and a chance at one of their first autographs, the 2012 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects is for you.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]