As many of us have been sitting around avoiding human contact the last few months, it made the wait for new 2020 releases seem like an eternity. With Bowman 2020 still hot within #thehobby, I wanted to get something out that can help you make some good buying decisions while others are focused solely on the 2020 product. In my previous articles on Bowman cards, many wanted some more unknowns they could go after. After some thought I felt who better to ask for some sleepers than our very own Prospects1500 team. I asked the team for any prospects in the system or league they cover that they like more than most and why. We got some great answers and hopefully some gems for you to discover collecting! These prospects range across multiple year products and a couple are in 2020 Bowman.
Edwin Uceta, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers, 2019 Bowman Chrome (@1baseballchick)
Prospects1500 writer Gail Verderico says: Edwin Uceta quietly put up stellar numbers at High-A Rancho Cucamonga last year, and his efforts were rewarded with a mid-year promotion to AA Tulsa where he continued to impress. His combined stats for the year were 11-2, 2.77 ERA, 49 BB, 141 SO. His best pitch is his changeup that he mixes with a solid fastball and curveball. He doesn’t have the size (6’0”, 155) and tools that most prospects have, but he makes up for it with good control and deception.
Hobby angle: Pitchers are not as desired by the hobby but this is a deep sleeper. However, I think they should be valued more and I love this pick by @1baseballchick. He only has a prospect autograph in 2019 Bowman Chrome. Uceta’s orange auto sold for only $50, and that is an awesome deal for an autograph /25. His base autographs are going for under $5. There is little risk here, but make sure to let Gail know if you hit big!
Kameron Misner, OF, Miami Marlins, 2019 Bowman Draft (@stoffer81)
Prospects1500 writer Stoffer Cochran says: Being a supplemental 1st round pick playing the same position as the first-round pick kind of muddies perception, but Misner is no scrub as he possesses legit 5 tool potential. His 2019 was a “down” year (coming off a broken foot in 2018) but he showcased his skills in pro ball right away. If he can find the line between patience and aggressiveness at the plate, his size (6’4”, 219) and batting approach projects to be a legit 30/30 candidate and a steal in the draft!
Hobby angle: Misner is another player who is overlooked because he is the 2nd most coveted player in the 2019 Bowman Draft product for the Marlins. JJ Bleday is the top player hobbyists are going for in team breaks and collecting, and in turn, it has caused Misner’s value to drop way lower than it should. As Stoffer mentioned he has the tools that you want to see and can provide value in the hobby. You can pick up a Sapphire 1st Bowman card for $7 or even a purple 1st bowman refractor auto /250 for $50. Very affordable for the talent and upside he offers.
Luis Garcia, SS, Washington Nationals, 2018 Bowman Chrome (@jacob_swain3)
Prospects1500 writer Jacob Swain says: I was very excited to see how the 2020 season was going to unfold for Garcia. The 2019 season was somewhat of a disappointment for those who are high on him as a player. I would argue that those numbers weren’t too bad for an 18/19-year-old playing in AA. The excitement for me started with his performance in the Arizona Fall League. In 87 PA, he sported a .345 OBP and drew eight walks to 13 strikeouts. One area in which Garcia needs to show improvement in his discipline at the plate. He doesn’t strike out much because of his plus hit tool, but drawing walks and getting on base have been a struggle for him. His AFL numbers started to show a more concerted effort at being patient. Garcia then got an invite to Spring Training and he made the most of his time there. Again Garcia showed patience drawing two walks to 4 strikeouts in only 27 PAs. He also collected a home run on his way to a .462 OBP.
Hobby angle: Garcia is also a favorite of mine like Jacob. He is 1st auto is found in 2018 Bowman Chrome. That’s a very expensive product that has Yordan Alvarez and Kristian Robinson 1st Bowman autos, along with the heavily coveted RC Autos of Ronald Acuna Jr. and Shohei Ohtani. Garcia, as Jacob mentioned, had a mediocre season last year, in turn dropping him down in the hobby world. His 1st Bowman autograph base card can be had for around $40 ungraded. If you go the graded route you can find it around $80-$100 for a PSA 10. If he starts to come into his own and bounces back this year, that value has a lot of room to grow. Don’t let one mediocre year turn you away from this talented player.
Hudson Head OF San Diego Padres, 2019 Bowman Draft (No Auto) (@Alex_W_Sanchez)
Prospects1500 writer Alex Sanchez says: Head has an elite natural bat speed that he combines with an uncanny ability to keep his bat in the zone. Above-average tools across the board and he had a wonderful debut as an 18-year-old when the biggest question was his lack of strong competition. He also received the highest signing bonus ever for a third-round pick meaning that people won’t quite be on board with him like others for Bowman cards due to his later round selection.
Hobby angle: Head’s base chrome and paper 1st Bowman cards can be found in 2019 Bowman Draft. He is another player who doesn’t have an autograph in 2019 Bowman Draft or 2020 Bowman, so he may be on deck for 2020 Bowman Chrome for his first Bowman autograph. However, his base non-autos are still worth checking out. Overall for not having an autograph card, Head’s color refractors are doing pretty well. His Bowman Sapphire cards are going about $10 apiece and his red refractor /5 recently sold for $150. Looks like there is a good amount of hobbyists who are liking Hudson Head like Alex. Look at the rainbow he’s building!
Brandon Howlett, 3B Boston Red Sox, 2020 Bowman (Auto Only) (@Scotty_Ballgame)
Prospects1500 writer Scott Greene says: Howlett at the age of 20 had a solid development year last year while registering a .341 on-base percentage. He does flash some power and can project as an everyday 3rd baseman with contribution from his power in the line up.
Hobby angle: As long as Howlett can show a better plate approach than his autograph approach we will be in good shape. For those of you that follow the 2020 Bowman product, Howlett missed the autograph line on all of his cards. It is pretty funny but still is an on-card autograph. Howlett only has autographs in 2020 Bowman and no base cards. I was lucky to hit a couple of his speckle autographs and Greene landed the orange parallel auto (via trade) shown here. He is a cheap option right now as Jarren Duran has established himself as the main Red Sox target in 2020 Bowman. That makes Howlett a nice buy-low/ sleeper pick.
Niko Hulsizer, OF, Tampa Bay Rays, 2020 Bowman 1st Edition (@GatorSosa)
Prospects1500 writer Jake Wiener says: “The Hulksizer” is a big righty with loud raw power. Hit 23 HR in only 83 games in the PCL with the Dodgers last season before being traded to the Rays. He plays a strong LF with a rocket arm and has the well-rounded skills to stick in a lineup and on the diamond
Hobby angle: Hulsizer is just entering the Bowman world. He is in the 2020 Bowman 1st Edition packs. His 1st Bowman base chrome and a paper card are in the 2020 Bowman product, however, he does not have a 1st Bowman autograph yet. Potentially can see that coming out in 2020 Bowman Chrome. As of now, you can pick up most of Hulsizer’s Bowman 1st edition cards under $5, and if you want a nice color parallel like the yellow /75 card you can grab that for $20. Rays have had some heavy prospects lately in Bowman and Niko is a guy that could be overlooked in their system.
Josh Stowers, OF, New York Yankees, 2018 Bowman Draft (@PaulWoodin1)
Prospects1500 writer Paul Woodin says: Stowers was drafted in 2018 by the Mariners and moved in a 3-team deal. He has a smooth right-handed swing that allows him to spray line drives to all fields. His defense leaves some to be desired but his long term outlook is centered around his ability to hit. He has great plate discipline and has the deceptive speed to get around the bases. Projected to arrive in the bigs in 2022.
Hobby angle: Stowers shows up the 2018 Bowman Draft for the Mariners. He is another player that is very affordable for the collector, which is why we have him on this list. His true blue refractor auto recently sold for $16. That’s a very affordable high-end color autograph to take a chance on a valued hitter in the Yankees organization.
Dominic Fletcher, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks, 2019 Bowman Draft (@JWeisser88)
Prospects1500 writer James Weisser says: Fletcher is a talented hitter that helped Arkansas make it to 2 consecutive College World Series appearances. He has an advanced bat that should allow him to make it to the majors quicker than Kristian Robinson, Alek Thomas, and Corbin Carroll. His brother David is a major leaguer with the Los Angeles Angels. Although he might appear undersized he is still able to hit for power and is a very good defensive outfielder who could be a regular in the Dbacks lineup in a few years.
Hobby angle: Fletcher’s 1st Bowman card and autograph can be found in 2019 Bowman Draft. I love this pick by James because most hobbyists are chasing Carroll in the 2019 Bowman Draft product. Fletcher is often considered a miss when hitting in breaks, and in turn his cards are very affordable. Fletcher’s base 1st Bowman autograph is selling for a cheap $8! You can pick up a purple refractor autograph /250 for $20! Crazy good deal! This is the type of sleeper you want to check out.
Dasan Brown, OF, Toronto Blue Jays (@CoachBarbaRoja)
Prospects1500 writer Bryan Woodward says: Brown is the definition of freaky athletic. An 80-grade speed on all accounts is Brown’s calling card. Constant sub 4.1 home to first times and incredible range in CF makes it quite easy to see why the Blue Jays gave Brown over slot to pass up Texas A&M. A bit raw at the plate to this point, he does show the ability to square the ball up, but it’s often with less than average pop at this time. Brown could likely develop into average power to go with the world-class speed. The Jays will have to teach him to hit off-speed stuff, but if Brown reaches his potential, I could see Victor Robles type comp as being accurate.
Hobby angle: Brown shows up in 2019 Bowman Draft. He hits the mark for a sleeper as you can pick up his base autograph for under $10. He is also on a weaker team for the 2019 Bowman Draft checklist, so as a fan you could pick up the Blue Jays pretty cheap and get some chances to hit a nice Dasan Brown autograph.
Hope this sleeper list gives you direction and options to find some hidden gems. In sports cards it’s prospects cards and rookie cards that drive the hobby! Enjoy the chase!