First up are a couple of rack packs of 2012 Bowman Platinum. I was not a fan of the Platinum products when they first hit the shelf but over the years I have found an affinity for the products. The product has changed from year to year so that may be the reason for my change of heart.
Each rack pack contains 3 packs with 4 cards each and 3 retail exclusive Purple parallels.
The 2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball set is pretty small containing only 100 base cards. The parallels for the base cards are Gold, Emerald and Ruby.
The base checklist includes a nice mixture of veterans (Ichiro, Jeter, Chipper Jones and Cliff Lee, etc.), young players (Michael Pineda, Mike Trout, Justin Morneau, David Price and Andrew McCutchen) and rookies (Yu Darvish, Bryce Harper and Yoenis Cespedes).
I pulled some nice base cards from these packs. I was able to get three of the top five AL pitchers as well as 2 of the top five AL batters. With the NL counterparts I grabbed 2 of the top NL pitchers and two top NL batters.
Toss in David Freese and Cole Hamels Gold parallels and a Prince Fielder Green parallel.
The Bowman Platinum Prospects, also a 100 card checklist, includes a larger selection of parallels, all refractors; Refractor, X-Fractor (1 per hobby box), Green Refractor (#/399), Blue Refractor (#/199), Gold Refractor (#/50), Red Refractor (#/25), Atomic Refractor (#/5) and Superfractor (1/1).
One thing Bowman is known for is offering up a large selection of prospects. Some go on to stellar careers, some have solid careers and some end up selling shoes in a couple of years. This checklist is made up of players who will probably fit in all three categories. The big names are here led by Bubba Starling followed up by many Machado, Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole. Embarrassing as it is, I have to admit that there are some names I do not recognize on the checklist but I do not always follow prospects very well.
Interestingly you will notice a slight difference between the base cards and the Platinum Prospects cards. The design is very similar with the player's elements standard but the base card has the player's name/team over a black background with a team color border, the Prospects are reversed with the name/team over the team color background and a black border. The etchings along the side/bottom are over a black background on the base cards and over a silver foil background on the Prospects cards and finally the border up the side on the base cards is missing from the Prospects cards. I also noticed, at least with the cards that I pulled, that the base cards use images of the players that seem closer where as the Prospect cards use player images that appear further back thus showing more of the player's body.
My Prospects were a little less exciting; Trevor Bauer topped my list as well as Vincent Catricala from the Mariners.
With each rack pack containing 3 Purple Refractors I pulled 6 total led by Gerrit Cole. Wil Myers and Jordan Swagerty have some nice potential too.
I was surprised to pull two X-Fractors because they are listed as 1 per hobby box (1:20 packs). Has anyone else come across this from rack packs?
Sadly, they two are pitchers who together may make it to just about a .500 win percentage and an ERA just north of 3.70.
I close out with my inserts;Top Prospects Tim Wheeler and Tyler Skaggs
Autograph Prospects- Telvin Nash Gold Refractor #/50
Not that I am complaining, but when the odds are 1:1,029 packs (For the Gold Refractor parallel) to pull an Autograph Prospect you would think that the checklist would be more solid. There is no reason to force 44 players in to a checklist, especially if those players may never be a true prospect.