When it comes to baseball, Bowman, Bowman Chrome, and Bowman Draft are the king of rookie cards. Its been that way for years, and I don’t see anything changing. They can write all the “rookie card logo” rules they want. At the end of the day, that prospect card will almost always be viewed as the true rookie compared to the one featuring that rookie card logo. Values can be different though. A low numbered autographed parallel with the rookie card logo will be worth more than a base prospect card of the same player. But throwing all that extra stuff to the side, I’ll never consider a card containing the rookie card logo the real rookie if that specific player has had cards in earlier versions of a Bowman product.
Prospectors and set collectors look forward to the first Bowman set of the year. Some will even treat it like a national holiday. Collectors will spend countless hours browsing through stats hoping to find that one player that everyone else overlooked. They’ll then start snatching up that player’s cards hoping that he’ll pan out so they can cash in. This doesn’t happen very fast, and many times not at all. There will always be duds. But if and when it does happen, it sure is fun to watch. People are willing to spend thousands on a player with little to no MLB experience. That’s always been a hard concept for me to grasp. Then again, who am I to tell people what to spend their money on.
Topps took a less traditional route when it came to the design of 2016 Bowman. They took this approach with their flagship baseball set, so its not much of a surprise that it carried over here. Bowman has usually been one of their best looking products. You just can’t beat chrome stock with on-card autographs. As was the case in 2015, my favorite cards are the Rookie Recollections Autographs. Bowman is targeted towards young talented players. The Rookie Recollections cards are the complete opposite. They feature retired players. Its cool to see retired guys on chrome stock, especially when they’re signed. I want to see more of this.
Some of the top prospects to look for are Alex Bregman, Yoan Moncada, Victor Robles, and Jhailyn Ortiz. Lets not forget about Kenta Maeda too. The last time we had a big name prospect come over from Asia was with Masahiro Tanaka. He’s done alright, but Maeda has had an incredible start. His Bowman cards are a huge draw and command massive sales. Tanaka has yet to sign anything for an American card company. Even though Dansby Swanson was included in Bowman Draft last year, you’ll find a card of him in his new Braves uniform.
Bowman is a card collecting institution that has the beat on the next generation of MLB players. Prospecting sets like this always bring attention to the hobby, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Here is what I pulled:
- Ryan Klesko Rookie Recollections Auto #’ed/200
- Jose Altuve Silver
- D.J. Stewart Blue #’ed/150
- Keury Mella Green Shimmer Refractor #’ed/99
- Jeff Conine Rookie Recollections
- Joey Gallo Bowman Scouts’ Top 100
- Rafael Devers Bowman Scouts’ Top 100
- Steven Matz Bowman Scouts’ Top 100
- Rafael Devers/Andrew Benintendi Turn Two
- Phil Nevin/Tyler Nevin Family Tree
- Juan Soto International Ink
- Wander Javier International Ink
- Byron Buxton Sophomore Standouts
- Rusney Castillo Sophomore Standouts
- Addison Russell Sophomore Standouts
Other Notable Cards
- Yoan Moncada Bowman Prospect #149
- Jhailyn Ortiz Bowman Prospect #31
- Kenta Maeda Bowman Prospect #142
- Trey Mancini Bowman Prospect #38
- Trey Mancini Bowman Chrome Prospect #38