A blaster box of the product runs $29.99. With five packs containing five cards — plus a bonus pack with six Hyper Green & Yellow Prizms — that works out to about 97 cents per card. Blasters also have one Silver Prizm per box, on average.
As the name implies, the subject matter for this set includes draft picks and prospects.
I am going to start with the bonus pack first, since the card I pulled from that pack was the most exciting to me. It was a card of a young Sandy Koufax during his college days at the University of Cincinnati in 1954.
Koufax went 3-1 that year for the Bearcats with a 2.81 ERA. More impressively, he struck out 51 batters in 32 innings. The left-hander would sign with the Brooklyn Dodgers in December 1954 and would make his major league debut the following season.
So, it was nice to get a card of “The Left Arm of God.”
The base set contains 220 cards. I pulled 15 base cards and a silver parallel of Maddux Bruns, a pitcher who has quite a name to live up to. Yes, he is named for Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux. Could have been worse. His parents could have been big fans of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, for example.
There were three other parallels: Green Pulsar cards of Emmet Sheehan and Joe Mack, and a Blue Donut Circles card of JT Schwartz, numbered to 25.
Fun fact about one of the cards I pulled. The bio writer for Panini notes that if Jake Miller — who was drafted by Cleveland in 2021 — makes it to the major leagues, he will become the third Jake Miller to reach the big show. The others were an outfielder who played three games for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1922, and a pitcher who spent eight seasons in Cleveland (1924 to 1931) and one season with the Chicago White Sox (1933). Great research.
Granted, it was a sticker autograph — I prefer on-card signatures — but it was a bonus to receive one at all.
There were five different inserts in the blaster that I bought, starting off with a Prospects card of Alexander Canario. You may have seen Canario’s great catch in the outfield for the Tennessee Smokies on Sunday, where he made the grab and ran through the wall. Prospects has 15 cards, and Canario is one of them.
Another insert from last year is the 15-card Fireworks subset, and I pulled pitcher Andrew Painter.
The Phillies prospect, who is 6-foot-7, has a 1.38 ERA in eight starts this season and 60 strikeouts in 32.2 innings.
And I am not sure about the bios of the other Fireworks subjects, but Painter’s is certainly over the top: “Just like the fireworks of various shapes and sizes light up the sky during a display, Painter illuminates the strike zone with a sparkling array of options.”
Draft Standouts contains 15 subjects, and I pulled Shawn Goosenberg, who was drafted by the Chicago White Sox out of Northwestern.
I need to apply to write bios. I have puns that can make you groan, too.
All kidding aside, the 2021 Panini Prizm Draft Picks set has plenty of shine and colors. If you enjoy collecting cards of players who could make an impact down the road, this is the perfect set to collect.