Bowman Draft is the flagship of the prospecting world. This product is a release that Topps can be proud of.
In recent days the Chrome line has suffered from horrible Bowman Chrome checklists with more fluff than substance. Bowman Chrome’s offerings in 2008 and 2009 were just not very good products. The sets were loaded with guys who just do not have a shot at playing in the majors, and everyone that follows prospecting pretty much knows it.
2008 Bowman Draft was a surprisingly wonderful product. With outside pressure from another company scooping up draft picks in exclusive contracts, Topps thought creatively and went after prospects that didn’t have autographs yet. The addition of established prospects like Jesus Montero, Wilmer Flores, and Michel Ynoa were huge hits last year. Add to that Topps successfully signing the guy who should have been AL Rookie of the Year Gordon Beckham, and the Golden Spikes Award winner Buster Posey and you have a product that did not disappoint. A quick check on wax prices of 2007 Bowman Draft versus 2008 Bowman Draft on Charm City Cards (they were the only one who had both products) shows that the 2008 product was a major improvement.
The 2009 set does not deliver the star power that the 2008 set did. There is no Gordon Beckham tearing up Major League Baseball, or Yankee phenom Jesus Montero crushing through the minors. But there is MAJOR talent in this product. Evaluators have been gushing about Tyler Matzek, Zach Wheeler, and Jovanni Mier. There is plenty to love in this autograph checklist, and some sleepers in the base checklist.
The addition of way too many World Baseball Classic cards hurts the bust value of this product, as lots of people busting in mass count on base Chrome sales and non-autographed Refractor parallel sales to help them recoup funds. Perhaps Topps could have kept them out of this product and stuck to draft picks and the MLB Futures Game as is their tradition.
Our box was above average. We hit a nice Aflac autograph of one of the better prospects in the base set, David Nick. Also in the box was a base autograph of Steve Matz, an exciting arm in the Mets organization, and a scrappy Cincinnati Red in Mark Fleury.
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