First Look: 2014 Elite Extra Edition baseball

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A prospecting staple returns in January.

Panini America released the first looks and basic details for 2014 Elite Extra Edition on Monday, the foilboarded home of baseball’s top prospects for more than a decade. This time around, there will be six autographs per 20-pack hobby box when it arrives on Jan. 7.

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While this one is always autograph-centric, one card included in this one might have game-used collectors buzzing as American League Rookie of the Year Jose Abreu has a pre-rookie gamer included in DEEE. It’s a game-used Cuban National Team jersey cut up to make Throwback Threads cards.

Each box will include four diecut parallel cards, one Historic Picks card, one USA Baseball memorabilia card and the aforementioned six autographs. Every 20-box case will include Hot Boxes — a DEEE staple — where there is an autograph in every other pack (10 total).

While a preliminary checklist was not released, you can expect to find a deep checklist of prospects and draft picks on autographs and one can also expect to find Purple Status Diecut Prospect Signatures, which are limited to only 75 copies. There also will be Blue Status Diecut autos, too. Among the players touted for this one are Dalton Pompey, Raisel Iglesias, Gilbert Lara, Jhoandro Alfaro, Dariel Alvarez, Jose Pujols, Dermis Garcia, Nelson Gomez, Adrian Rondon, Victor Arano, Dalier Hinojosa, Joey Pankake and Luis Severino.

Elite Expectations Signatures will showcase other notable young players on cards limited to only 25 copies. Among those will be Rusney Castillo, Aaron Nola, Bradley Zimmer, Michael Chavis, Kyle Freeland, Michael Conforto, Max Pentecost, Tyler Kolek and Kyle Schwarber to name a few.

Back for another run in DEEE are Passing the Torch Signatures — a selection of dual autographs that will include Jorge and Jhoandro Alfaro, Kyle and Bradley Zimmer as well as or Gary and Justus Sheffield. Those aren’t the only multiple-player autos as Elite Status Duals will pair players based on past team ties. Among these will be cards for Trea Turner/Carlos Rodon, Tyler Beede/Nick Howard, Derek Fisher/A.J. Reed,  Howard/Fisher and, most notably, Cuban stars Abreu and Castillo.

Some past notable draft picks can also be found in this one with Historic Picks Signatures cards. There will be only five copies per player but they will include Ken Griffey Jr., John Smoltz, Jorge Posada, Tom Seaver, Chipper Jones and Mike Piazza. Another insert, Back to the Future Signatures, will include top picks from recent years. Those players will include Kris Bryant, Byron Buxton, Jon Gray, Kyle Zimmer, Miguel Sano and Carlos Correa to name a few.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

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