One of the year’s most anticipated baseball products was released Wednesday. 2023 Bowman Chrome Baseball comes in two configurations: The standard Hobby box offers a total of 30 cards, including two autographs. Those who’d just as soon pass on base cards and other content can spring for an HTA box that has only three cards, but all carry on-card autographs.
When it comes to quick and dirty box breaks, the HTA Bowman Chrome might be the very definition of Tony Reid’s Brief Box Break series but he passes the baton over to me for this one.
Orioles rookie Adley Rutschman and Nationals prospect Elijah Green grace the front of the box and the wrapper.
The trio of cards is protected with a two-piece plastic box and some light foam, with white cardboard in between each card to help protect the cargo.
Our first card featured one of the youngest players in the entire product,
Ludwing Espinosa, a shortstop signed as an International Free Agent by the Chicago Cubs last fall at age 16 has barely started his pro career. A switch-hitter, he carried an OPS of .616 through 45 games in the Dominican Summer League.
His 1st Bowman is a nice portrait style shot with a baseball field in the background behind him but we can’t say much for the quality of his signature.
Next up was another Chicago property–this one in the White Sox organization. Christian Mena is a 20-year-old Dominican pitcher who is the tenth rated prospect in the Sox organization.
So far in 2023, he’s struck out 152 batters in 128 2/3 innings across AA and AAA. Mena has been one of the youngest prospects at each level.
He has a tight, sort of artsy signature.
Topps saved perhaps the best for last with a purple parallel numbered to 250 featuring Yankees shortstop prospect Keiner Delgado. The 19-year-old Venezuelan switch-hitter isn’t on the Yankees’ current list of top prospects but he’s a promising talent.
Delgado has had a pretty good season in the Florida Gulf Coast League, with an .899 OPS and the ability to hit for power and average despite his short stature.
Currently blocked at the big league level by rookie Anthony Volpe, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Delgado moved to second base or sent packing in a trade at some point.
His autograph is a basically three swooping Ps, which is a bit odd, but the image, at least, is a good one.
Like just about everyone else who opens Bowman Chrome, we’ll be standing by to watch the careers of these super young prospects to see how we fared with this box.
2023 Bowman Chrome HTA boxes are re selling for $366 and regular Hobby boxes are $289 via this page.