Hot Hobby Standout: 2015 Panini Elite Extra Edition Baseball
Article written by A.J. Faymore
Welcome to a new concept we are hoping to establish here at Steel City Collectibles. We are going to start with a series called Hot Hobby Standouts, a look back at a product released in the past that is making waves now due to the content and/or players that are included within its unopened packs.
That first product is 2015 Panini Elite Extra Edition Baseball. Released on New Year’s Eve in 2015 and typically seen as the budget version of 2015 Bowman Draft, this product is making noise of its own, mostly due to the surprisingly strong content and checklist, and added value by Panini on release. This is a release that boasts a minimum of 6 autographs per box, and more often than not, includes more. An impressive 12 boxes out of a 20 box case include either 8 or 10 autographed prospect autos per box, supplying an impressive array of signed cards from a lot of today’s top prospects, and giving increased value to an already strong product that has been known in the past for it’s hot boxes that include more autos than a normal box.
The checklist, however, is probably the biggest reason that this product can be so appreciated for its value. Bolstered by an impressive list of already hot major leaguers that include Andrew Benintendi and Dansby Swanson, the checklist is also stacked with many of the current prospects on the top 100 list. Not many products can boast a selection of autos such as Yoan Moncada, Brendan Rodgers, Alex Bregman, Ian Happ, Cornelius Randolph, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and many more future young stars. The strengths don’t stop there, as there is plenty of content that also goes away from the prospect side, and concentrates on the connections that these players make with the game. Another always popular series of autographs in the brand, Passing the Torch dual autos include an impressive slate of family ties or similar ability to a current or past young prospect, most times giving extra value to a product that is already spilling out the sides. This allows for the inclusion of autographs from top players and Hall of Famers, such as Cal Ripken, Mariano Rivera, and Vladimir Guerrero, all of whom anyone would be happy to pull an autograph of, especially for a comparatively reasonable price point.
Yet another inclusion that makes 2015 Extra Elite Edition even stronger is the Prospect Status signatures. A list of 30 names that includes Kyle Schwarber, Aaron Judge, Yoan Moncada and ROY Corey Seager, this adds extra autographs of a nice mix of current young stars and budding prospects for collectors and prospectors alike to chase. Technically considered a base insert set with its parallels being autos, these autographs are visually appealing and may be the best looking cards in the set, and this shows on the secondary market, including an impressive amount for this Yoan Moncada auto /10. Another autographed insert set, Back to the Future, includes another exciting selection of current Major Leaguers and top prospects, including some of the same names, and some new ones, such as Miguel Sano, Trevor Story and Trea Turner. Overall, it makes this checklist one of; if not the best checklists this product has ever had in terms of ink.
Sometimes lost in this product is the base and insert content. The base set mirrors the autograph set, including the same prospect, giving you about 35% of the base set per box, on average assuming no duplicates, supplying a great chance at hitting some of the bigger names on the checklist. Some of the insert sets in this include Collegiate Legacy, where we get a look back at the players’ college days, and International Pride, focusing on the diversity of these prospects and a look into what country they originated from. On average, 5 insert are included in each box, making the inserts not overly common, which differs from most other sets that see multiple of each insert set in a box. This provides additional value and gives these non-autographed cards a better chance of being viable on the secondary market.
My favorite set in this product may be the Future Threads Silhouettes signature insert set. With varying numbering, and patch versions numbered to /25 or less, these cards are very easy on the eye and include even more chances to pull more of today’s best players. The patch versions are amazing looking cards, and lend themselves to have very nice looking patches. These cards do well on the secondary market as well, as collectors are starting to notice the visual appeal of these, and I firmly believe these cards will not only hold, but increase in price as some of these players grow further and get deeper into their careers. Just take a look at this amazing patch, and you'll find yourself wanting more of the cards from this set.
Last but not least, this product also has a USA Baseball aspect to it, including one jersey card per box with the chance at limited autographed versions. A lot of these players are younger, waiting for the chance to show off their talent for MLB teams to be selected in the draft, but others are already making an impact. One notable inclusion is 1st overall pick in 2016, Phillies prospect Mickey Moniak, who has both a dual jersey and 18U USA autograph in this set, including the 1/1 version that recently fetched a mind boggling $470 on eBay.
Overall, this set is one that tops the charts in terms of content and both current and future value. There are plenty of other prospects in this set that are still on their minor league teams, just waiting for their star to shine in the major leagues. Once some of these kids start rising through their respective farm systems, we will see the full potential that this already star-studded cast of young ballplayers has displayed up to this point. If you are looking to purchase boxes of this set, we offer both single hobby boxes and 20-box hobby cases. Happy hunting collectors!