Bowman signs the firsts, Panini fills in the rest
With 2012 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects and 2012 Panini Elite Extra Edition now out, six of the 2012 draft picks have new autographs. Gavin Cecchini and Kevin Plawecki made their debuts with Bowman, while Matt Reynolds, Matt Koch, Branden Kaupe, and Logan Taylor had to wait for Panini’s clock to strike 2012 in January 2013. Reynolds did have redemption cards for Bowman Black autographs, but those have yet to ship. Panini had to settle for redemptions for Kevin Plawecki in Elite Extra Edition, leaving Gavin Cecchini as the only player with live autographs in both products.
Gavin Cecchini leads off the era of capped draft spending
With new rules limiting spending and a rather unspectacular draft class, it was anyone’s guess how this draft would play out. Would the top talent fall to late in the first round or beyond? Would teams risk losing future picks to sign this year’s picks? Would signability dominate the early picks in the absence of a consensus top pick? Will players opt for college or football over the diminished bonus pot? The results won’t be known for a few years, but for now it looks the Mets are playing it safe with signable known quantities over signing, injury, or talent risks. You can’t really fault them for that approach in this draft. And Cecchini looked pretty damn good in Mets pinstripes while getting giddy over the thought of playing alongside David Wright.
When it comes to cards, you can’t really expect much from draftees on draft day, especially high schoolers. It was a surprise seeing three players in this year’s draft class who already had Team USA certified autograph and game-used memorabilia cards (first-rounder Gavin Cecchini, second-rounder Matt Reynolds, and 34th round pick Mikey White), plus two more with cards from the AFLAC/Perfect Game All-American game (Corey Oswalt and Stefan Sabol) that may show up signed in packs of future products (and are available now without certified autographs). Of those listed, only Stankiewicz and White remain unsigned (White is said to have declined to sign in favor of college). The early signings resulting from the earlier signing deadline mean that several of this year’s draft picks are already playing with Kingsport and Brooklyn.