The interesting (and cool) thing about Bunt is that it functions very much on the checklist for 2015 Topps baseball, as the digital cards mirror the physical cards. In case you are unaware of what that means, last year, if a player does not have a card in Series 1, they did not have a card in Bunt until the next series is released. Series 2 usually comes out in physical near the middle of the year, so it was a while. I am guessing it will be the same this year.
This brings about a very important question – who isnt in series 1 that we should all care about?
Jeff Samardzija – I was intrigued when I saw that the White Sox picked him up during the offseason, considering the main part of his career was spent with the Cubs before heading to the As at the deadline. I think he was a top Bunt pitcher last year, but its going to be interesting to see how he performs on the other side of Chicago.
Chris Sale – Speaking of White Sox pitchers, Sale was among the top consideration for the AL Cy Young. He doesnt look like he will have a base card to start the year, which is unfortunate. He was a consistent top guy last year, and rarely had a bad outing.
Jon Lester – Now that he has gone to the Cubs, you would think that he would have a card, but it doesnt look like he is on the roster for Series 1. He was another guy that Oakland picked up at the deadline as a rental, but they werent able to keep him long term.
Andrew McCutchen – A fan favorite and one of the original sigs in Bunt last year, Cutch had a solid year for the Pirates. With the way Bunt was structured, he didnt see much time in lineups because of his position. He still hit over 300 and put up 25 HRs, but no card in Series 1.
Max Scherzer – Another AL Central pitcher on the move, this time to Washington from Detroit. Scherzer put up some big strikeout numbers in 2014, and was a highly coveted free agent before the National picked him up. He should do well there as long as he stays healthy.
Robinson Cano – This is an interesting one, as the Mariners dont have many superstar players that arent Felix Hernandez. Not only does he hit for power and average, but he is great on the basepaths and the field. Definitely one of the better guys in the game.
Albert Pujols – With Josh Hamilton on the shelf for a bit, Pujols is going to have to be the guy that picks up anything Trout cant do himself. He is getting on in age, which might be a factor, but lets not forget this IS Albert Pujols.
James Shields – As a part of the miracle that was the 2014 Kansas City Royals world series run, Big Game James is not going to get the treatment in Series 1. He had some rough outings, but when he was on target, he was unhittable.
Victor Martinez – Everyone points to Miguel Cabrera as the superstar in Detroit, but Victor Martinez has turned it around over the last few years. He hit a monster .330 last year, coupled with over 100 RBIs. Not bad at all.
Johnny Cueto – This one hurt. Cueto was easily among the top pitchers in Bunt last year, but it looks like we will have to wait on his card. He had a tiny ERA and a ton of strikeouts, and was easily one of the most consistent guys. Really too bad.
You can view the full checklist here, which also may provide a free preview at some of the inserts we might be seeing released across the first few months of the year. Keep in mind that even if the players DONT have a regular base card in Series 1, does not mean they wont get the insert treatment early on. Similarly, just because they HAVE a base card, does not mean they will be in Bunt necessarily.
Last year, guys like Felix Hernandez and Clayton Kershaw were part of the opening day set, even though they were not part of Series 1. Fear not, your favorite player and top point scorer will get a card.