2006 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects

What I pulled--

White Parallel - Stephen Drew (#10/225)
Refractors - Homer Bailey, Andre Ethier, Howie Kendrick
Xfractor - Joey Votto

Relics and Autograph:
Futures Game relic - George Kottaras yellow jersey
Signs of the Future - Jay Bruce

Here it is - the set every rookie card collector waits for every year with unabated excitement.

Unfortunately, the MLBPA rules instituted this year rear their ugly head, forcing a set that many will view as
a disappointment. The result is a set broken into three parts, which might cause more confusion for
collectors than is really necessary.

As is the norm, each pack contains for regular cards, one gold parallel and two Chrome cards. Each box
promises one relic and one autograph. Then, it gets a little different. First in the checklist are 55 cards of
players who made the major league debut this year, earning them the "Rookie Card" logo. Then, there are
45 Futures Game prospect cards and, finally, the 95 Draft Pick cards (the first 65 unsigned, the last 30
containing autographs). Each set is separately numbered, with a separate designation in the number for
each set. Got all that? Unfortunately, the new rules have backed Topps into a corner and forced them to
make these decisions, so the angry finger can't be pointed in their direction.

However, where Topps DOES fall short is with the autographs. I was unlucky enough to pull a "Signs of the
Future" autograph, as opposed to a base variation of one of the Draft Picks. In a product such as this, I
would be much happier, as would most collectors, with a so-so draft pick than a non-rookie auto (even
one of one of the top prospects in the game, as is the case with Jay Bruce). The rookie autos are the allure
of this set, so I think one should be in every box. I recently read this same argument in Beckett magazine
and, having gone two years in a row with a SOTF auto rather than a Draft Pick one, I couldn't agree more.

All of the parallels we have grown to love with this set are back, from the white regular car parallels to the multiple colored
refractors and XFractors. Aska collector who pulls a highly-sought after Blue Refractor about how happy he or she is and you'll
know just how popular they are. Even better, go check out the premium they warrant on the auction sites.

Is Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects a disappointment? Yeah, I think it is this time around. But I refuse to put all of the blame
on Topps. We all knew it was going to take a couple seasons for the new MLBPA rules to really work themselves out, and this
is one of the sets, unfortunately, where it has made a noticeable impact.

Now, about those autographs....................