2008 pacific coast league top prospects set review

2008 Pacific Coast League Top Prospects
Official Score – 6-4-3 DOUBLE PLAY
Manufacturer: MultiAd Sports
Sponsor: VisitLasVegas.com*
Release Date: June 2008
Retail price: $ 10.00 (most PCL team shops) and up (secondary market)

You would be hard pressed to locate a set of minor league baseball cards loaded with more talent than the 2008 PCL Top Prospects. If you don’t recognize the majority of the names as you read through the checklist, then I would suspect that your fantasy baseball team is probably in a world of hurt.

1 – Checklist: 36 cards
2 – Brett Carroll (of) – Albuquerque Isotopes
3 – Eulogio “Frankie” De La Cruz (p) – Albuquerque Isotopes
4 – Greg Reynolds (p) – Colorado Springs Sky Sox
5 – Seth Smith (of) – Colorado Springs Sky Sox
6 – Ian Stewart (inf) – Colorado Springs Sky Sox
7 – Emmanuel Burriss (inf) – Fresno Grizzlies
8 – Patrick Misch (p) – Fresno Grizzlies
9 – Sam Fuld (of) – Iowa Cubs
10 – Sean Gallagher (p) – Iowa Cubs
11 – Jon Meleon (p) – Las Vegas 51s
12 – Xavier Paul (of) – Las Vegas 51s
13 – Mitchell Boggs (p) – Memphis Redbirds
14 – Chris Perez (p) – Memphis Redbirds
15 – Colby Rasmus (of) – Memphis Redbirds
16 – Hernan Iribarren (inf/of) – Nashville Sounds
17 – Luis Pena (p) – Nashville Sounds
18 – Michael Abreau (inf) – New Orleans Zephyrs
19 – Adam Bostick (p) – New Orleans Zephyrs
20 – Eric Hurley (p) – Oklahoma Redhawks
21 – Doug Mathis (p) – Oklahoma Redhawks
22 – Luke Hochevar (p) – Omaha Royals
23 – Chris Lubanski (of) – Omaha Royals
24 – Tyler Lumsden (p) – Omaha Royals
25 – Matt Antonelli (p) – Portland Beavers
26 – Chase Headley (of) – Portland Beavers
27 – Mark Saccomanno (if) – Round Rock Express
28 – Chad Reineke (p) – Round Rock Express
29 – Carlos Gonzalez (of) – Sacramento RiverCats
30 – Gio Gonzalez (p) – Sacramento RiverCats
31 – Nick Adenhart (p) – Salt Lake Bees
32 – Brandon Wood (inf) – Salt Lake Bees
33 – Wladimir Balentien (of) – Tacoma Rainiers
34 – Jeff Clement (c) – Tacoma Rainiers
35 – Emilio Bonifacio (inf) – Tucson Sidewinders
36 – Max Scherzer (p) – Tucson Sidewinders

The set contains 16 pitchers, a single catcher, 1 league logo card /checklist, and 18 infielders and/or outfielders. It is quite possible that this will represent the final minor league card for a number of these gifted players.

I’m not sure who selected the players included in the set, but I would hazard a guess that the decision was left to the individual teams. The PCL opted to go with a brownish-maroon variation of MultiAd’s (Style F) template. I say brownish-maroon for lack of a better description. The color is completely off the Munsell Soil Color Charts– coming closest to 10R 3/4 (“dusky red”). RBG values are 116, 52, 66- html color value = 743442. Not that any of this matters, I suppose, since it “works.”

Additional research is needed to determine whether MultiAd actually offers thicker card stock to customers. However, I am a bit hesitant to call them and ask as I suspect I will be disappointed if I am confronted by the reality that these cards don’t HAVE to be as flimsy as they are. It is a shame that the keystone set for the PCL isn’t printed on thicker cardstock- especially given the higher than average price tag associated with the set.

The card backs consist of two-color (black and brownish-maroon) printing over white matte, player stats, short bios and miniature grayscale representations of the images found on the card fronts. The non-glossy surface is nice because the cards do not require special preparation prior to autographing.** That said, getting this entire set autographed will prove quite a challenge given the number of players that are already contributing to major league teams. Of course, the best graphers enjoy a good challenge.

On average, the images used on the cards range from good to very good. Coming up short of the low end of the average, the images of two of the three Omaha Royals players, Luke Hochevar and Tyler Lumsden, are screaming for a “do over” as they are out of focus. There is enough going on in the background of the Chris Lubanski card that it passes as average.

For comparison, the above-average cards in the set (ranked in order of image clarity and overall composition) include Nick Adenhart, Sam Fuld, Eulogio “Frankie” De La Cruz, Brandon Wood and Michel Abreu.

The photo used in the creation of Nick Adenhart’s card is arguably the clearest in the entire set. This shot has me anticipating an absolutely wonderful 2008 Salt Lake Bees team set.

Kudos to the photographer responsible for shooting the Iowa Cubs players! Probably no Ansel Adams, but this person appears to have a keen eye for framing a great shot- pulling the viewer into the game and capturing the intensity on Sam Fuld’s face as he appears to be eager to add even more dirt to his uniform.

** This scan of Frankie De La Cruz’s 2008 PCL Top Prospects card demonstrates that even non-glossy card surfaces can result in a smudged autograph if the player immediately slides it under a second card after signing.

Again, this photo of Brandon Wood launching a moon shot has me looking forward to reviewing the Salt Lake Bees team set. Nicely done!

Michel Abreu… focused and in focus- that’s what I’m talking about!

After considerable study and reflection, I ended up scoring this set as a “6-4-3 DOUBLE PLAY”- extremely useful, yet somewhat routine. A solid defensive effort that lacks originality and leaves many fans questioning whether the second baseman actually touched the bag, or if the umpire had better things to do and was in a hurry to hit the shower. All things considered, I recommend picking up this set of cards, and tucking them safely into individual penny sleeves.

Subjectively yours,

– Kris

* Don’t forget that Las Vegas will be hosting the 2008 Baseball Winter Meetings (December 8-11)!

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