Monday, December 24, 2007

Box Break and Review: 2007 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects

One Box of 2007 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects (paid $59)
24 packs per box, seven cards per pack (MSRP $2.99/pack)

The Details

One over sized checklist.
One two-card pack of A-Rod Bullshit Waste-of-Space Mirrors.

Base Set: 55 cards (two-per-pack)

Prospects: 110 cards (two-per-pack)

A-Rod Waste-of-Space: 25 cards (two per chiptopper pack)

Golds: 165 cards (one-per-pack #)
Blues: 165 cards (1:29; numbered to 399)
Reds: (1:10,377; one-of-one)
Chrome: 165 cards (two-per-pack)
Chrome Refractor: 165 cards (1:11; limited, but not numbered, to 1060 copies)
X-Fractor: 165 cards (1:39; numbered to 299)
Blue Refractor: 165 cards (1:58, numbered to 199 copies)
Gold Refractor: 165 cards (1:232, numbered to 50)
Orange Refractor: 165 cards (1:463, numbered to 25)
Red Refractor: 165 Cards (1:2300, numbered to five)
Superfractor: 165 cards (1:10,377, one-of-one)
Printing Plates: (1:1294)

* All parallel sets include the 55 card base set, as well as the 110 Prospect "inserts," bundled together.
# Packs containing a Futures Relic, do not have a Gold card.

Autogamers +:
Autographed Chrome Prospects: 25 cards^ (1:38)
Autographed Chrome Prospects Refractor: 25 cards (1:118)
Autographed Chrome Prospects X-Fractor: 25 cards (1:262)
Autographed Chrome Prospects Blue Refractor: 25 cards (1:400)
Autographed Chrome Prospects Gold Refractor: 25 cards (1:1270)
Autographed Chrome Prospects Orange Refractor: 25 cards (1:2345)
Autographed Chrome Prospects Red Refractor: 25 cards (1:11,400)
Autographed Chrome Prospects Superfractor: 25 cards (1:57,814)
Head of the Class: two cards (1:4965)
Head of the Class Refractor: two cards (1:18,000)
Head of the Class Gold Refractor: two cards (1:34,500)
Head of the Class Superfractor: two cards (1:809,400)
Chrome Autographed Press Plates (1:14,255)
Futures Game Patch Relics: 45 cards (1:384)
Futures Game Base Relics: 45 cards (1:633; numbered to 135 copies)

+ Stated odds of finding an Autograph or Relic: 1:12
^ The 30 Autographed Chrome Prospects are numbered as an extension of the Prospects insert set. (DP 111-135)

The Pulls
Each seven card pack contains:

  • Two base set cards ("Greens")
  • Two Prospect "inserts" ("Blues")
  • Either a Gold Parallel, or a Relic
  • One Bowman Chrome Parallel
  • Either a second BowChro card, a BowChro Refractor, or an Autographed BowChro Prospect

Base Set: 47 of 55 (85.45%)

Prospects: 48 of 110 (43.64%)

2 A-Rod Waste of Space: #438 & #445

23 Golds
1 Blue: C. Culberson
44 Chromes
2 Refractors: O. Marmol, J. Borbon
1 X-Fractor: J. Whittleman

1 Autographed Chrome Prospect: T. Alderson
1 Futures Game Base Relic: B. Bocock

The Review

The season's over, the Chrismahanukwanzakah Holidays here, and you know what that means: It's Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects time.

First off, I have to give Topps credit. Unlike 2007 Bowman, the player depicted on all the BDP&P wrappers and display boxes actually appears in the product. Not only is Houston Astro center fielder Hunter Pence in the set, but unlike last year's BDP&P cover boy Evan Longoria, Pence is on a regular base set card -- as opposed to a short-printed, autographed Chrome card.

The 2007 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects base set consists of 54 green bordered MLBPA-approved "Rookies," and a card of Barry Bonds. This particular Bonds uses the same photo as the card that was inserted into packs of regular Bowman. However, the back of Barry's BDP&P card mentions the home run record and lists his complete 2007 statistics. And while most of the "Rookies" are of the parenth-RC variety (i.e. Felix Pie, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Ryan Braun, and the like), there are some actual true RCs; such as Kyle Kendrick, Tim Lincecum, and JOBA!!!!

The 110 "Blue" Prospects are divided into 65 Draft Picks and 45 Futures Game cards. Unlike last year, the two subsets are not numbered separately, and (unfortunately) as has become par-for-the-course for BDP&P, there are an additional 25 Draft Picks that are only available in the Autographed Chrome format.

Last year's BDP&P had less than half of the 2006 first-round draft class. And of those first rounders that Topps did include, most of them were available only as Autographed Chromes. Did Topps improve with this year's set? Well, let's see.

After analyzing the checklist, Topps was able to snag 24 of the 30 2007 first round draft picks (up from only 13 last year). Of those, 17 appear exclusively in the Autographed Chrome Prospects subset. However, of the seven unautographed first-rounders, five were top ten selections -- including the first two overall picks.

One of the positive unintended consequences of Donruss's forthcoming unlicensed draft pick product, is that they signed both David Price and Michael Moustakas (#1 and #2 respectively) to exclusive autograph contracts. Although Topps was able to get both Price and Moustakas, their 2007 BDP&P cards are unautographed -- thereby making them collectible. Thanks Donruss!

As usual, there are a slew of 2nd, 3rd, and "sandwich" round picks, as well as a few later round draftees that Topps thinks might pan out -- but probably won't. One of the most interesting cards is #BDPP2 Karl Bolt -- a first baseman selected by the Phillies with the 473rd overall selection. What makes Bolt so interesting is where he went to college: The Air Force Academy. HOO-RAH, AIR FORCE!!!

Here's an interesting nugget of information I found out by reading the card backs. Did you know that Frank Gailey (23rd round pick of the Blue Jays) AND Jason Kiley (25th rounder of the Yankees) are both West Chester University's career strikeout leaders? They both went to Archbishop Carroll High School along with Buccaneers receive Maurice Stovall? And that they both enjoy golf and were on the links when they were drafted by Toronto?

The Bottom Line:

If you're a fan of San Francisco Giants' minor leaguers, then this was the box for you. I pulled a Blue parallel of Giants "sandwich" round draft pick (51st overall) Charlie Culberson and an Autographed Chrome Prospect of first rounder (22nd overall) Tim Alderson. In addition, I received a Futures Game base card of some guy named Brian Bocock -- a ninth round pick of the Giants in last year's draft. Bocock hit .243 at Single-A last season, but was leading all of minor league baseball in stolen bases at the All-Star Break; which somehow made him worthy of a Futures Game selection.

In addition, I pulled two refractors (one of St. Louis sixth round pick Oliver Marmol and the other of Rangers sandwich rounder Julio Borbon.) and an X-Fractor of Ranger prospect and Futures Game participant Johnny Whittleman.

Product Rating: 2 1/2 Gumsticks (out of 5)

My chief complaint regarding last year's BDP&P, and of every BDP&P set since it went to this format in 2002, remains. The autographed Chrome cards are killing the collectability of this product. If Topps would have made the 25 draft picks in both autographed Chrome AND unautographed non-Chrome versions, this would easily be a 3 1/2 Gumstick set.

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