Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Topps Now Road to Opening Day Set

The one time I have really splurged on baseball cards this year has been on the Topps Now Road to Opening Day set.  For the second year in a row, I received the coupon to take 25% off so I decided to go with the set that would give me an autograph card.  The signers this year were Chris Sale, Andrew Benintendi, and Rafael Devers.  The autograph would be shipped later.  I do have it now, but the scan will be coming in a few days.
1.  Xander Bogaerts.  After a tough season last year, Bogaerts is turning in an All Star-caliber season, but he did not make it because so many AL shortstops are having great seasons.

2.  Mitch Moreland.  Moreland is the big surprise on the All Star team for the Red Sox.  He is having a nice season and first base is pretty weak this season for the AL. 

3.  Dustin Pedroia.  This has been a lost season for the great Pedroia.  It is a shame that injuries may curtail his Hall of Fame chances.

4.  Hanley Ramirez.  Thus far, Ramirez is the only player here that is no longer with the team.  He had a great year in 2016, but the rest of his time in Boston has been mostly forgettable.

5.  Jackie Bradley Jr.  Hopefully his offense will start to come around.  He has been great defensively, but he is having a rough season at the plate.

6.  Mookie Betts.  Betts is having another terrific season.  It is time for Boston to try to lock him up long-term.  The longer they wait, the more concerned I am that they will lose him.

7.  Andrew Benintendi.  Benintendi was the runner-up in the Rookie of the Year race in 2017.  He is having another very good season this year and was another All Star-caliber player.

8.  Christian Vazquez.  The biggest issue early in the season with Boston's lineup was offense from their catchers.  Vazquez had a decent season last year, though his batting average was mostly empty.  This year has not gone so well, and he is no longer the starter.
9.  Chris Sale.  Sale is having another terrific season and leads the league in strikeouts this season.

10.  David Price.  Price is wildly inconsistent.  He has times when he looks like the David Price of old, and then he will go out and get shelled.  It is very frustrating to watch.

11.  Rafael Devers.  Devers is still young and is going through some developmental issues with his defense and his selectiveness at the plate.  But the power is there and he looks like a rising star.

12.  J.D. Martinez.  Finally, my first card of Boston's big acquisition.  Martinez has been terrific this season.  I am looking forward to adding more cards of him.

13.  Rick Porcello.  Apparently the key is to have him in even-numbered years.  In 2015, he was second in the league in losses.  In 2016, he won the Cy Young.  In 2017 he led the league in losses.  This year he is having a fine season.

14.  Craig Kimbrel.  Kimbrel is having another great season, but his 2017 season will be tough to top.  He did make it to the All Star team this season.

15.  Eduardo Nunez.  Next to Martinez, this is the card I was most happy about.  Nunez has not appeared in a lot of sets with the Red Sox so far and I enjoyed watching him quite a bit last season.  He has been the primary second-baseman with Pedroia out.

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