The Pro Debut line is a lynchpin of Topps license to produce minor league cards to go with their major league exclusive. The players in this product cannot have appeared in the major leagues when they are featured in the product. This is a neat idea in that Topps can use a wide mix of players and although none of the players’ futures are guaranteed, the odds are pretty decent that several players from this product each year will have long-lasting major league careers.
One important difference in the 2011 Topps Pro Debut is that unlike 2010, there will only be one series of this product. Last year the first series did pretty well in the secondary market while the second series tanked. Yet, when I later reviewed the players I got in each series, the second series actually had a player selection as good if not better than the first series. Collectors, however, originally believed most of the better prospects were in the first series, thus the reception for the second series wasn’t as good.
If I recall correctly, I pointed out that the second series needed more oomph to be as good as the first series. I think the issue was there didn’t seem to be enough autographs or hits in the second series. This year Topps learned from the experience and trimmed Pro Debut back to one series.
This year, the boxes have 24 packs in them with eight cards per pack. In addition, each box is supposed to contain two autograph cards and two jersey/relic card. The price point at my local store is $74,95 and at Triple Card in Plano, TX the owner reports selling through two cases but has not gotten to the third case yet and says he is still not in a profit situation on that case. Major on-line retailers are currently in the $50-60 range.
And how did we do from our box?
Base Cards: 167 of 330: all different
Blue Parallel (#d to 309): Matt Curry, Avisail Garcia, Aaron Kubcz, Will Middlebrooks, Stolmy Pimentel, Donn Roach, Yordano Ventura
All-Stars: Tyson Auer, Pedro Beato, Corey Brown, Chun-Hsu Chen, Robinson Chirinos, Joshua Collmenter, Brandon Dickson, Corban Joseph, Jeff Locke, Tristan Magnuson, Brandon Short,Carlos Triunfel, Jonathan Villar
Materials: Jerry Sands, Josh Vitters
Autographs: Thomas Field, Kyle Greenwalt
While this set does not have quite the same cache yet as Bowman, there is little doubt that if one purchases this product at the reduced rates, you may very well may get considerable bang for your bucks. Four “hits” in each box with the chance of the other players becoming stars makes this product a nice long-range possibility. It’s fun to open, but almost more fun to put away for a couple of years because there’s little doubt stars will emerge from this checklist.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]