NCAA baseball has always been a bit of the odd one out when it comes to the major sports’ cardboard as the best MLB players are often drafted out of high school.
Unlike football and basketball, where we have seen college teams on cards en masse for years, college baseball wasn’t really at the forefront for baseball brands.
The arrival of 2015 Panini Contenders from Panini America changes that a bit as it’s a prospect brand loaded with college colors. Sure, there are MLB prospects found inside who are already in the minors or guys who were signed internationally or out of high school, but there are many NCAA logos we haven’t seen a lot of on baseball cards as draft picks sets have exploded in the hobby since the 1990s.
There’s a mix of oldschool big-leaguers in this one along with the newcomers. Don’t expect many active MLB players — unless they were newcomers this year (think Kyle Schwarber) — but what you can expect to find are the guys who you’ll see in The Show sometime soon.
As we previously noted here, there are plenty of reasons to pick up Contenders, which packs at least six autographs into a box and sometimes more (four times) per case.
Below you can see a small sampling of cards pulled by collectors so far.