Thursday, April 30, 2015

2015 Bowman Review: Minnesota Twins

When it comes to the Twins, there's a lot of hope stored up in the minor leagues. That's what makes Bowman baseball such an exciting release for card collectors. Bowman focuses on younger players and especially on the minor leagues. This means there is a ton of Twins action in Bowman's newest release.

Bowman's 2015 base set includes 150 cards which is down from 70 cards from recent years. Bowman made up for this difference by adding 40 cards to the prospect checklist to bump this total up to 150. There are a ton of on-card autographs in the set including many Twins prospects so that could make this set very fun to collect.

The Twins featured in the base set are an interesting conglomeration. There's no Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier,Torii Hunter, or Glen Perkins. Instead there's a mix of younger players and two new additions that were added to the team last season.

34. Kennys Vargas
40. Oswaldo Arcia
85. Kurt Suzuki
92. Phil Hughes
140. Trevor May- RC

While the base set might be lacking some Twins firepower, the prospect checklist is chalk full of top tier players. Besides the fearsome foursome of Sano, Meyer, Gordon, and Berrios, it's nice to see the inclusion of players like Aaron Slegers and Chih-Wei Hu. Hu is coming off a breakout season so I'm most excited for him to have a card, his first as a professional.

Prospect Checklist
33. Miguel Sano
36. Alex Meyer
75. Nick Gordon
91. Jose Berrios
105. Aaron Slegers
112. Chih-Wei Hu

The Chrome Prospects Autographs set includes the likes of Nick Gordon, Stephen Gonsalves, Adam Walker, Jason Wheeler, and Zack Jones. Some players like Gordon and Walker have already had autographs in previous sets but Gonsalves and Jones can only strengthen prospect collectors sets.

May and Vargas are featured in the base set and both players have an autograph available to find. May is included in the Rookie Autographs set while Vargas is featured in the Sophomore Standouts Autographs. Vargas has been regularly featured in the autographs from Topps this year so it's no surprise to see him again.

Top prospect Byron Buxton has been missing from the set so far. His first card in the set is part of the Bowman Scouts' Top 100 insert set. Buxton is still considered the top prospect in the game by Bowman and he's joined by Sano (8), Gordon (26), Stewart (48), Berrios (51), and Meyer (82). Buxton, Sano, and Gordon all have autograph versions of their Top 100 cards as well.

The other top insert set for collectors is called The Farm's Finest. This set includes Twins prospects Buxton, Berrios, Stewart, Sano, and Gordon. There are also autographs available for Buxton, Stewart, Sano, and Gordon.

Bowman's only memorabilia cards in the set are from last year's Futures Game at Target Field. The cards are numbered to 25. Berrios and Meyer both get cards so it's interesting to see that Vargas isn't featured especially after being featured so heavily in the other releases from this year.

For top tier collectors, one of the toughest Twins cards to track down will be a dual autograph of Buxton and Gordon. There are also Pages of History Book Autograph Booklets that include the signatures of Gordon, Stewart, Sano, and Buxton.

This set is a dream for fans of the Twins minor league system. While the regular Twins cards that are part of the base set leave a little something to be desired, the prospect focus helps to redeem this release. It's nice to see the likes of Gonsalves, Hu, Jones, and Wheeler being added to the set for the hardcore prospect fan.

No comments: