Unlike Basketball and Football, the baseball amateur draft is always a venture into the unknown in a lot of different ways. Many of the rookies that are drafted in the many rounds are rarely MLB ready, some even may be years from seeing their first big league pitch. Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects is the first product to feature cards of the new guys, and for many of the prospects, its their biggest autograph they will sign during the course of their big league career.
Here are some of the hits up so far:
This is the third product of the year to use the 2013 Bowman design, before we eventually switch to the new 2014 design early next year. This was one of the better years of Bowman, and the rookie class is definitely a lot better than last year’s was at draft time. Pitchers like Mark Appel have already had cards released, and have sold well for a while. Unless you are really clued into the prospect game, its likely you haven’t been on top of his stuff.
The crazy thing is, there is such a significant washout rate among people in these products (much like other sports), but it can take that much longer to find out they are busts. A player can sit for five years and eventually hang it up, and in that time, many collectors are not willing to wait. Every once in a while, you have a player like Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg who will fly through the minor leagues. Other times, it’s a few years like what will likely happen with Twins’ star prospect Byron Buxton.
I love that there is this element to card collecting, and I think it’s a line of products that has a big place at the table. I just don’t know enough to jump in for multiple cases along the way. The breaks are fun, no doubt about it, and I encourage everyone to try out a box or two. On the other hand, your patience may be tested along the way. Don’t let the wait scare you, as Mike Trout has famously shown, but be prepared.