Sunday, June 4, 2017

Hello, 2017 Bowman

It's going to be a lazy Sunday. I can feel it already. I was half awake, as usual, from about 4:30 AM until about 6:45 AM. I started drifting back to sleep, and then *boom* a huge clap of thunder rattled around outside.

I'm awake! I'm awake!

So I got up and heard the rain just pouring down on the roof. The way my brain works, this sequence of events immediately put a song into my head.

I don't even care that I've posted this video before here, even if I try not to duplicate songs. At one point, I thought about going back and cataloging all the songs I'd posted here. Then I realized I had more important things to do with my time, like pretty much everything else I could possibly do.

So, what's on tap today? It's another one of Chris's charity case breaks from Crackin' Wax:

If you're inclined, you can watch all 3+ hours of the case break right there. 

The 2017 Bowman case break excited me. The Brewers farm system is one of the best, and (for a change) the Brewers were reasonably well represented in the prospect set. Sure, they didn't have the most cards in the prospect range -- that honor went to the Yankees, of course, with Topps's usual over-abundant love for all things Yankees...I mean, it's still Topps, after all -- but the Brewers did get six players in the set: 3B Lucas Erceg (#7 MIL prospect), P Freddy Peralta (#19), SS/2B Mauricio Dubon (#9) P Phil Bickford (#12), P Josh Hader (#3) and P Luis Ortiz (#4). 

In addition, the Brewers have 7 players in the Bowman Scouts' Top 100: Hader, Ortiz, Bickford, Corey Ray, Lewis Brinson, Trent Clark, and Isan Diaz. Throw in some chrome prospect autographs and a couple of those Scouts' Top 100 autographs in addition to a few other inserts, and I had hope for a really nice return from the case.

So, before we evaluate this case, let's look at the cards. First, the Major League base:

The Bowman brand scaled back the base cards to just 100 major leaguers. You can tell how much in advance that the checklist was put together, though, because the set featured an entirely unnecessary card for David Ortiz, whose love from Topps last year put the fawning over the New York Yankee Rookie flavor of the month to shame. So, with its usual ham-handedness, we get 7 Cubs and 7 Red Sox (and 7 Astros!) from Topps, but only 1 Red (Votto), 1 Angel (Trout), and just 3 Indians, a team I could have sworn played against the Cubs in the World Series last year.

The only Brewer missing here that has shown up in almost every other set this year is Jonathan Villar, last year's stolen base leader in the National League whose struggles at the plate during the first two months of this season have a lot of Brewers fans concerned. I can understand the concern, of course -- it's never good to have a guy slashing at .210/.284/.319 and striking out as many times (71 in 233 plate appearances) as he has. But, he did change positions to second base, and that adjustment can take away from a person's other abilities. It's not easy to change a mindset like that, and I'm sure he focused a lot on fielding in spring training this year.

Okay, let's move onto the paper prospect base cards:

Design-wise, Bowman's design this year seems to be following the trend that the Flagship has set: lots of blurry backgrounds, weird smoke/haze/fog effects on the margins of the cards, and a logo and nameplate area that appears to be designed for ease of use within the Bunt app rather than for use as a physical card. The problem with this, especially when we are talking about Bowman and its parallel-happy printing job, is that some of the parallels are nearly impossible to notice as parallels.

Such as the Silver parallel. The card on the right is the Silver parallel for Freddy Peralta and it is serial numbered to 499. The card on the left is his base card. You have to look really closely to notice that there is a silver coloration in the upper left hand corner near the Bowman logo and along the nameplate at the bottom. Or, you have to run the card under lights and move it back and forth to see the little dotted line feature that comes across far better on the scan here along the left-hand side of the card.

Unfortunately for me, this Peralta was the only Brewers parallel of any kind that came in the case. 

On to the Chrome:

During the video, every time a Chrome card showed up, the lights in Chris's house made it appear as if the card was a refractor. The Chrome parallel is really shiny this year. 

Unfortunately for me, I did not get any refractors -- only base Chrome Prospects cards.

As I mentioned above, the Brewers have seven players in the Scouts' Top 100. I didn't do very well here either:

Out of the 7, I only got 2. The collation on the boxes in this case was terrible. I actually received a total of four cards of the Brewers in this subset -- three of Trent Clark to go with the Brinson. Now, don't get me wrong -- I'm a Trent Clark fan, even if he is essentially a top trade chip with the outfield depth within the Brewer system -- but it would have been nice to get other Brewers from the subset. 

Instead, I'm now surfing eBay to look at pricing on getting the rest.

There were other inserts in the set as well:

I've mentioned this elsewhere before, but it seems like typical Topps to jam Orlando Arcia into the "2017 Rookie of the Year Favorites" subset. Why? Because Arcia is not rookie-eligible any more. Like I said about the David Ortiz card, Topps/Bowman clearly put the checklist together way too early -- I'm guessing that they started in mid-year last year -- and didn't fact check themselves after the season to make sure that everyone listed as a ROY favorite was eligible for the award.

Arcia isn't the only one is this position, either. Alex Bregman and David Dahl also exceeded the number of at-bats/days on the active roster allowed to retain rookie status. So, out of a subset of 15 players allegedly highlighting potential Rookie of the Year candidates, fully 20% of them were not actually eligible to win the award.

Well done, Bowman!

So, you've now seen what I got from this case. All in all, it was quite honestly a terrible case for me. That's not Chris's fault, obviously -- he didn't put the cards in the case. But it means that I'm going to have to hit the aftermarket pretty hard to complete my Bowman run for this year. 

That's a real shame for me.

1 comment:

  1. I've pretty much stopped opening any Bowman products. I love prospects sets, but Bowman is always much better on the secondary market if your team doesn't have an uber prospect.