I decided that instead of opening the packs one by one and reviewing each player, that I would open the whole box. I have done many stories about the players in this product as most of them are from this year’s draft. When I got this in the mail (thank you TRISTAR!) I wasn’t too sure what to make of the product. It is essentially all of the first round picks and some of the better extended picks into last season’s draft.
Some of the highlights of the brand include 75+ different autographed cards, 20+ multi autographed cards (dual, triple and quad), cut signature cards of Strasburg, Reggie Jackson and Johnny Bench, 15 different Strasburg variations, 45 different Ackley variations and 25 different Tate variations. There are also dual signed cards that feature Tome Seaver, Ryne Sandberg and Dale Murphy as one of the signatures. The parallels (and there are plenty of them) come numbered to 50,25,5, and 1. Otherwise all signature cards that are not parallels are numbered to 199.
One of the exciting features of Prospects Plus is that each 20 pack regular box contains 11 guaranteed hits. Each box will contain 4 autographed cards, 2 parallel cards, 2 Crystal Ballers cards 2 short print cards and 1 Obak Update card. The variation box is called a hot box. These boxes contain 10 packs of 6 cards each and 26 guaranteed hits, including 10 autographs (one per pack), 4 parallel cards, 2 Crystal Ballers cards 5 short print cards and 5 Obak Update cards.
The product releases on 11/27/09 and is limited to 2400 total boxes. I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the packs, gone were the seemingly blank designs of the 2006 and 2007 editions, 2008 was a step in the right direction and this year they really made the card flashy. The gloss is much like the Panini cards, very high gloss and unfortunately not the best for through the mail autograph requests. The cards though are very sharp and definitely a nice collectible.
Other things I noticed were cards featuring multiple players. I loved this since most of the cards grouped players together, by position, school, parent club, draft pick number, etc. I just like to see that kind of thought put into a product like this. The list of players that was gotten is pretty impressive, but right away the biggest standout is the lack of a MiLB contract. The player’s teams have been photoshopped off the uniforms. Although I have to admit, that I didn’t notice it at first and for the most part the shots they used were very good at hiding that fact.
The final critique I have for the product is not having the right to use Stephen Strasburg’s name. Instead, his cards have the moniker of “Introducing the #1 Pick”, plus it is a sketch card (see below) and not a photograph. Although they did use his name in the cut signature card (which is 1/1) so I am assuming there is some legal loophole there.
Bottom line, it’s a quality product and for between $70 – $80, there is a chance to get some very nice autographs as you will see soon enough. I give it a 4.0 / 5.0, mainly because of the great set checklist that this product has.
One final note, every insert card will be given away in upcoming contests. Usually posting them Saturday morning and winner will be picked Monday evening. First contest will be this Saturday so check back!
Current price – $80 pre-sell on eBay
Guarantees – 120 cards, with 11 “hits” – 4 autographed cards, 2 parallel cards, 2 Crystal Ballers cards 2 short print cards and 1 Obak Update card
So What is So Good?:
Dual, Triple and Quad autographs available.
Great looking base cards.
So What is So Bad?:
Although less parallels that recent releases, still quite a few.
No MiLB license.
No use of Strasburg picture or name on base cards.
The 11 Hits:
Autograph – Jared Mitchell #’d to 199
Autograph -Time Wheeler #’ to 50
Autograph – Dustin Ackley / Donovan Tate #’d to 25
Autograph – Madison Younginer #’d to 199
Parallel – Indiana University Draftmates – #’d to 5
Parallel – Dustin Ackley – #’d to 25 (short print version)
Crystal Ball – Brett Jackson and Reymond Fuentes
SP cards – Tony Sanchez and Matt Hobgood
Obak Update card – Matt Hobgood
Final Grade: B-