When 2015 Topps Pro Debut Baseball was originally released, I had dropped by my local card store (Triple Cards, Plano TX) and his customer’s primary comment was “Well, we have cards of many of these players already.” And to be reasonable, that ‘complaint” is probably somewhat accurate as there are only so many players, even in the minors, who have a reasonable chance of reaching the majors.
However, Pro Debut, which was released a couple of weeks ago, is designed to be a minor league product—the first of the year for Topps. And, not every player is obviously going to be a Joey Gallo (yes he is in this set) or a Kris Bryant (so is he). It’s a chronicle of the 2014 MLB Draft along with some guys who were—at the start of the year—within shouting distance of the majors.
Sometimes the player is a beloved minor leaguer such as Guilder Rodriguez who was given a courtesy call-up at the end of the 2014 season. So with that understanding in mind, the idea of having players in a set such as this is a decent idea.
Pro Debut, which mimics the 2015 Topps flagship set in design, were issued in boxes with 24 packs and eight cards per pack. Each box promises two relics and two autographs. Among the new inserts are the Fragments of the Farm relics and auto relics, Distinguished Debuts which includes 25 standouts who made the greatest professional debuts in 2014 and Promo Night Uniforms, which showcases the wildest promo night uniforms from across Minor League Baseball. A new autograph insert is the Dual Affiliation Autographs, thematically paired players who have a common bond.
I have not recently checked with Triple Cards on his box price but leading online retailers are currently at $60-65 before shipping. In my opinion, having hits from a box at a cost average of slightly over $15 not even counting base cards, inserts or parallels isn’t bad. In addition, including some young stars such as Gallo or Bryant means some of the base cards will have decent value right away.
The base set is 200 cards and many fans and collectors enjoy using those to grab autographs of the minor leaguers.
Here’s what we pulled from our box:
Base Cards: 166 of 200 with no duplicates or short prints. I was personally relived when I read there were only 10 short print photo variations out of the set. A five percent short print photo variation is a manageable number for all concerned in a set of this size.
Gold Parallel (#d to 50): Greg Bird
Orange Parallel (#d to 25): Hunter Harvey
Distinguished Debuts: Braxton Davidson, Jacob Gatewood, Max Pentecost, Touki Toussaint
Promo Night Uniforms: Keury De La Cruz, Jhoan Urena
Pennant Patches: Hunter Harvey, Tyler Kolek
Autographs: Mike Freeman, Mike Papi (And no he is not the son of major leaguer Stan Papi). Both autographs are stickers.
Freeman is 27 years old and has not yet made the majors although he has had two solid seasons in AAA while Papi was an early 2014 selection for the Cleveland Indians but has yet to approach his college success.
With all the players who are already in the majors (the aforementioned Gallo and Bryant, and even other players such as Addison Russell and Eduardo Rodriguez), Pro Debut offers a fun ride through the path to the majors.
See what’s available from 2015 Topps Pro Debut on eBay here.