One week from today 2018 Bowman is released. Shoheil Ohtani mania is pricing many collectors out of this product, myself included. In years past, I have trouble spending $75-80 for a hobby box. This year, hobby boxes are running close to $170. That is just insane. I’ll be stalking Target and Wal-Mart for some blaster boxes. No way am I paying hobby prices.
Since we are a week out, Topps has released its checklist for 2018 Bowman. Surprisingly, the Cubs only have three cards in the 100-card base checklist. The base checklist includes the top two players in Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. The third player is a rookie card of Jen Ho Tseng.
There are four Cubs among the 150-card prospect checklist. Those four players are: Thomas Hatch, Oscar De La Cruz, Alex Lange, and Adbert Alzolay. I am excited about Alzolay as he is typically the top prospect in the Cubs organization on many lists and had a limited numeber of cards.
Since the Cubs have traded many prospects recently, there are not too many minor leaguers in the Top 100 list. Two Cubs farmhands did make the list for the Bowman Scouts Top 100. Players making this insert set are Victor Caratini (83) and Alzolay (86).
Kyle Schwarber made the Bowman Birthdays insert set. Each team has a Talent Pipeline card with three players featured. The Cubs pipeline has Mark Zagunis, Jose Albertos, and Alzolay.
Bowman Sterling Continuity is in hobby only. Kris Bryant is among the 20 cards in the set. On the retail side, there is a Big League Breakthrough set that has 40 cards, none of them are Cubs. Two are former Cubs prospects in Eloy Jimenez and Gleyber Torres, now with the White Sox and Yankees, respectively.
For autographs, there is an Adbert Alzolay in the Top 100 insert set. Alzolay also has an autographed Chrome Prospect card, as does Thomas Hatch.
Kris Bryant has a Bowman Sterling Continuity Autograph card (hobby only).
What I am excited about, especially since I am going to be a retail buyer is the paper prospect autograph set that only appears in retail product. Charcer Burks, David Bote, and Erich Uelman are included in this set. I am a big Bote fan, so I’ll be seeking this card as well as the Burks.
Overall, it’s an average checklist for the Cubs. I would grade it a B-. The retail paper autographs boost the checklist grade for me, otherwise it would be in the C range for me.