Players who were selected in the 2015 draft take center stage, and a 200-card base set includes them and a few other prospects.
A hobby box contains 24 packs, with seven cards to a pack. Price range should be in the $55 to $65 range, depending on the retailer.
Topps is promising one on-card autograph per hobby box. A typical pack will contain three base cards, along with two chrome cards that mirror the base set. The configuration is slightly different when inserts, paper parallels and chrome parallels are thrown into the mix.
I also pulled a green refractor chrome parallel of Mets pitching prospect Chase Ingram, numbered to 99. There also was an unnumbered refractor and blue sky refractor. Blue refractors also come numbered to 150. Like the regular parallels, the gold (numbered to 25) is a hobby exclusive card. A red refractor (numbered to 5) and 1/1 SuperFractors and printing plates round out the parallels.
The autograph I pulled had some local ties to Tampa — pitcher Jake Woodford, who compiled a 7-0 record and 0.67 ERA at Plant High School. The signature was on-card and fairly legible, with well-defined penmanship.
Draft Night is a four-card subset that shows players photographed at the MLB venue (Studio 42) on the night of the 2015 draft. The cards I pulled were of Rays prospect Garrett Whitley, chosen 13th overall; and Rockies prospect Mike Nikorak, picked 27th overall.
The other two players in the set were Nikorak’s possible teammate, Brendan Rodgers (also taken by Colorado) and the Royals’ pick, Ashe Russell.
This insert set also has parallels in orange (numbered to 25) and red (5).
The second insert set, Draft Dividends, is a 15-card set making its debut this year. This focuses on players who were drafted out of high school but decided to go to college, waiting for perhaps a higher draft possession after playing at the college level. The two cards I pulled were of Mike Papi (drafted by Cleveland in 2014) and James Kaprelian (chosen by the Yankees in 2015).
There are autograph and auto parallels of this set in orange (numbered to 25) and red (5).
For example, Cubs prospect Ian Happ was compared to Ben Zobrist — which is bad news for Happ, since the former Rays sparkplug signed a four-year, $56 million deal with Chicago two weeks ago, reuniting him with former manager Joe Maddon.
And Kyle Zimmer is compared to Max Scherzer, with Topps’ copy writers noting that his “fantasy ceiling is towering.”
There is also a 15-card autograph parallel for this subset.
Bowman Draft is a dream set for those collectors who enjoy chrome cards, autographs and prospects that might make an impact down the road.