Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Bowman Baseball Trap

I have plenty of other posts queued up, but after reading Gavin's and (Evil) Zippy's rants about 2018 Bowman, I thought I'd add my two cents.  I had a Target gift card burning a hole in my pocket and then last week we received a special "$5 off of $15 purchase" coupon in the mail in celebration of our local Target's now-finished remodel.  The time was ripe for some discounted card purchases.  I picked up a couple blasters (which I am saving for a later date) and three loose packs of Bowman.  I'm usually not a fan of Bowman because I'm just not much of a prospector, but I figured that if Bowman this year is just a lottery ticket for a Shohei Ohtani card that could bring in some extra cash, then I'd buy a few lottery tickets and hope to find some cards that I could keep.

I pulled these prospect cards out of those three packs.  Rutherford and Flaherty are the only names that sound familiar, but that doesn't mean that I know them to be great prospects.  Flaherty I only know because he has already made his Major League debut with my team's rival.  I do like the Eric Pardinho card, however.  I had never heard his name before, but learning that he is Brazilian was cool.  I gravitate to Brazilian athletes in the US since I lived in Brazil for a few years.  There aren't  too many baseball players who come from Brazil to play pro ball in America.

Here are the Chrome Prospects.  Once again, nobody I had heard of, but at least one is a Cub.  That's a keeper.   I should probably know the guy who is currently ranked as the Cubs' #5 prospect, but I don't.  In my mind, the Cubs' farm system currently consists of Jose Quintana, Mike Montgomery, Justin Wilson, and Aroldis Chapman, since that's where the investment of prospects has gone in the past few years.

From the "veterans" portion of the set, I need the Cody Bellinger for my ROY binder.  It's still embarrassingly skimpy on Bellingers.  I kinda, sorta collect Arenado, at least in the sense that I tend to hang on to the cards I pull.

With one insert per pack, I pulled these three.  At the beginning of the year, I was holding onto Willie Calhoun as a ROY candidate, but right now it seems that Ohtani is running away with the AL award.  Lindor is a great player, but I don't care much for the Birthdays inserts.  Something about them just doesn't work for me.

I was completely underwhelmed with my packs, but I don't know what I expected.  I mean, I knew that at least half the pack would be players who I would have to research just to have any notion of who they were.  But I bought it anyway.  That's not the end of the story, though.  I could have ranted like some of my fellow bloggers and been done with it.  But no.  I had to buy more.  Yes, a few days later, I saw a combo pack with 3 packs and 5 Camo parallels, and I bought myself another Ohtani lottery ticket.

The combo pack brought these prospects.  Yay!  I know Jordan Hicks!  Boo!  He's a Cardinal!  At least Jeren Kendall is the 1st Bowman card.

Some shiny prospects.  If you've really been paying attention, you probably noticed that three of these four have already been shown as the paper version.  Somehow I ended up with many of the same players from my two purchases.

Case in point: Bellinger, Buxton, Crawford, and Donaldson are all repeaters here.  Mejia and Banda are supposed to be pretty good down the road, but they both have struggled early in their MLB careers.

Nothing to complain about with these inserts.  Albies is a viable ROY candidate this year while Tatis should be something big later.

It's a Dodgers hot pack!  I'm not gonna lie--Senzel was the only name I recognized here.  But apparently Juan Soto is a pretty good prospect for the Nats.

This combo pack was better than the loose packs, but I've saved a little something for the end.  One pack was just what a pack should be.

Three veteran base, including a Rhys Hoskins rookie.  I won't complain about that.  Not one, but two inserts, and a parallel to boot.  Nick Williams has struggled a bit after a good call-up stint last year, but he still looks like a good enough player that I'm excited to pull an insert of him.  Not only did I pull a Chrome parallel, but it's also numbered to 50 and a Cub.  That goes straight to the collection.  And what's this last card in the pack?  It's a prospect card of Wunderkind Ronald Acuna!  This is one great pack.

Overall, I'm still not a fan of Bowman.  I can probably think of better ways to have spent $20.  But as I said before, I knew what I was getting into and throwing money after a chance to come away a big winner is never too bad when you get some other cool cards as consolation.  Still, a large part of me is wondering what possessed me to go buy Bowman again after it failed to impress me the first time.  I think I can safely say now that this will be the extent of my Bowman purchases this year.

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