Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pro Debut Cubs 2014

I've had my 2014 Pro Debut Cubs cards for a couple weeks now.  They kinda got lost in the shuffle when Series Two arrived.  Thinks have settled down, so I've got time to get to them now.

First, I have to start with my annual "What is this set?" rant.

The product is called "Pro Debut."  That means it should feature players that are making their Pro Debut.  Or maybe the set has players making their baseball card debut.   Somehow there should be pros making some sort of debut.

Does that make logical sense?

For me yes; for Topps, no.

There are ten Cubs prospects among the 220 players--a pretty decent representation.  How many of the ten made their pro debut last season?

All ten should be the answer.

It's not.

Try none of them.  Most had their debut in 2012 or 2011.

OK, then how many are making their baseball card debut, or at least their Topps products debut?

Again, the answer should be all ten.

Again, it's not.

Of course the answer is none of them.

None of the ten Cubs prospects in Pro Debut made their pro debut last season or are making their Topps debut in Pro Debut.

In fact, six of the ten had a card in last year's Pro Debut.  In what world do you get to have more than one debut?

In Topps' worlds.

End rant...on to the cards.

First off are the four players that are new to the set.



Of the four, C.J. Edwards is the one to watch.  The Cubs got him last season in the Matt Garza trade.  He started the season in AA, but some shoulder trouble has slowed him down.  He's been rehabbing in Arizona and the Cubs hope to get him back to AA for the second half of the season.

Now the players making their debut²




Two of the "Core Four" were included (Almora and Soler) while Javier Baez and Kris Bryant were left out.  Baez was in the 2012 and 2013 set, so I guess it's good that he was omitted....three cards in Pro Debut would really be crazy!  And Bryant, who made his Pro Debut last season; leaving him out makes no sense.


  1. Topps really would be better served calling the set "Pre-Rookie" or "Prospects" or something... I guess maybe "Pro Debut" resonates with some people who equate "pro" with "Major League", as if minor leaguers were all amateurs....

    My big complaint with the set is that it shows players with their minor league team from the prior year - and even then, they're sometimes photoshopped into last year's uniforms, like C.J. Edwards seems to be. As someone who attends his share of minor league games, it's frustrating to watch a guy play in the minors and then pull his card only to find him in the uniform he wore last year in a different league.

  2. Unfortunately, Topps doesn't have to make sense doing anything. If only because you are holding all of those cards in your hands, they accomplished what they wanted. It's the same thing we as Cubs fans have heard for years - if you keep going to a ballpark that is falling apart, buying the overpriced concessions, paying the marked up prices for June weekend games (against the Pirates and Padres...really?!?!), then there is no reason why anything needs to be changed. Topps hasn't made sense with a lot of their choices, but as long as people continue swarm to their products - whether its Gypsy Queen or A&G which virtually is the same thing, or Opening Day, or Pro Debut or the myriad of "premium" hit packages where you get three cards that likely sell on eBay for a fraction of the MSRP.
    And I'm completely with you on the befuddlement of using the same photos on their products. I understand if you don't have a large database for a guy from the 70s. But there is no reason Topps can't find different photos of current ballplayers to use for their 15 products. I am a sports photographer. I can find 10-15 different photos of a high school kid if I needed to. I could shoot one game and get that. The AP and Getty photographers are shooting every day, and uploading thousands of photos.