Monday, February 6, 2023

2022 Topps Update Blaster

Topps Update is another set that I look forward to every year.  I like getting cards of new players with the Red Sox and it seems like Update includes one very obscure player every year.  Time will tell if any of the players in this year's set will only appear in it, but there are a couple of candidates.  

Since 2005, the players who have received their only Red Sox card (or close to it) in Update have included John Olerud, Kevin Jarvis, Carlos Pena, David Aardsma, Casey Kotchman, Eric Patterson, Bill Hall, Matt Albers, James Loney, Matt Thornton, Jonathan Herrera, Kelly Johnson, Jean Machi, Alexi Ogando, Carlos Peguero, Doug Fister, Ben Taylor, Kyle Martin, Mike Shawaryn, Josh Taylor and Adam Ottavino.  We will see if there is anyone to add to the list from this year.

1.  Rob Refsnyder.  This is the first candidate.  He does have some relics in high-end products as well, but that doesn't disqualify him.  The one-time Yankee prospect had a really good season in 2022 and parlayed that into a Major League contract for 2023, so there is still a possibility he will get some more cards in 2023.  I will talk much more at length about Refsnyder very soon, so I won't delve too much into him.  Matt Strahm is the other candidate, but I was not able to pull his card.

2.  Trevor Story.  Well, we knew Story would likely appear in Update since he signed too late to make it into Series 2.  There will be plenty of Story cards.

3.  Jarren Duran.  I actually managed to get a few inserts out of this blaster.  That hasn't been happening nearly enough.  This is the Chrome version of the Stars of MLB insert.  Though I think in this case, they used the term "Stars" loosely, or it was wishful thinking.

4.  Rich Hill.  Nice to finally see Hill getting some card recognition in his, I think, FOURTH stint with Boston and his fifth year.  Hill did about what was expected from him in 2022.  He wasn't great, but he had his moments.

5.  Rafael Devers/Enrique Hernandez.  I still think these combo cards can be a little boring.  They're fine, but it would be better to do cards of more players.  There are still a ton of players from the 2022 roster that I do not have cards of.  John Schreiber in particular would have been nice to see in this set.

6.  Jarren Duran.  Here is the regular version of this card.  I know it sounds like I don't like Duran, but that's not true.  He's been very disappointing in the Majors though and I am not sure that will be changing.

7.  Pedro Martinez.  Another insert, though this one is a bit more deserved.  Martinez had some terrific moments in the postseason with the Red Sox.  He was 6-2 with the Red Sox with a 3.41 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 79.1 innings pitched.  His biggest moment was his relief outing against the Indians in the 1999 ALDS Game 5 when he threw six hitless innings, striking out eight, to wrap up the series.  

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