Franchise Mode, the heart of every sports game, is as in-depth in MLB The Show as in any game. This year’s edition is no different.
While a previous article looked at the ten best overall Minor League prospects with no MLB service time, this article will identify the best prospect at each position, again focusing on those with no MLB service time.
In The Show, the main reason I make this distinction is because injured and/or suspended players from the MLB end up on AAA or AA affiliates of the team in the game. This means that Mike Trout (injured), Jacob de Grom (injured), and Ramon Laureano (suspended) are available in The Show.
It should also be easier to trade for the players on this list than a Trout or de Grom, so that is another reason to target these players.
It’s also important to remember that not all players given the same overall rating are the same. Further, the mix of ratings with the position of each player also comes into play. Two 74 Overall center fielders may seem the same, but if one has bad defense with good speed and the other great defense and great speed, which player would you rather have?
There will be a few players here who were also listed in the previous article. This list will proceed with the numbering system in baseball (1 = pitcher, 2 = catcher, etc.). The Major League team of the player will be listed in parentheses.
1. Blake Walston, Starting Pitcher (Arizona Diamondbacks)
The first repeat on this list, Walston is highly touted with an A-grade in Potential for a reason. His 73 Overall rating already makes him a good fourth (or possibly third) starter on some teams, and his potential means that should you acquire and start him to begin the season, he could become a Gold player (80-84 Overall) by season’s end, and easily a Diamond player (85+) within a few seasons.
A southpaw, Walston has good strikeout ability with his K/9 at 74. His Stamina is decent at 65, meaning he should go at least two times through the order before gassing.
Particularly if you choose a team with one or no lefty starters, Walston would be a great choice to plug into the rotation immediately.
2. Adley Rutschman, Catcher (Baltimore Orioles)
Another repeat, Rutschman can slot in as the backup on a good team or the starter on a rebuilding one right away. He has a 70 Overall rating with an A-grade in Potential. He also plays a premium position with solid defensive ratings that will grow with further development. Importantly, he has a 66 in Blocking, an above-average score for keeping balls from going past him.
His hit tool is decidedly average, but it should grow. He does show good Plate Discipline at 60, and considering the tolls of catching every day, an 85 in Durability means Rutschman will rarely be injured. However, his Hitter Tendency is Opposite, meaning he pushes the ball to the other side more than he pulls it – a rarity.
The consensus top catching prospect in baseball, Rutschman could very well be your starter or backup to start the season.
3. Spencer Torkelson, First Baseman (Detroit Tigers)
The final repeat, Torkelson is a solid first baseman at 70 Overall and with an A-grade in Potential. He has positional versatility as he can also play third base and all outfield positions, though as noted in the previous article, his 50 in Speed makes him better suited for a corner position.
Torkelson is an above average hitter with ratings ranging from 59-65 in the Contact/Power attributes. He has great Durability with a rating of 80. His defense is average, but he should be fine at first base.
He can be an impact bat off the bench in late-game situations and a good spot-starter, though he could be an everyday player on a rebuilding team. His versatility bodes well for any user who acquires him.
4. Chad De La Guerra, Second Baseman (Boston Red Sox)
De La Guerra is a 27-year-old second baseman with no service time. Do not let the age and lack of time fool you, though; Mike Yastrzemski was a 28-year-old rookie who is now an everyday player for the league-leading San Francisco Giants.
De La Guerra boasts an absurdly high 75 Overall rating. Most players in the minors do not reach that high of a rating before reaching the majors.
Like the two before him, De La Guerra has high Durability – in fact he’s the best of the bunch with an 88 rating. He also has great Speed at 74 to go along with above average defensive metrics. He is a decent hitter, but his strengths are defense and speed.
He also plays the left side of the infield, so he has some versatility.
This could be your opportunity to acquire a Yastrzemski of your own.
5. Jake Scheiner, Third Baseman (Seattle Mariners)
Listed as a third baseman, Scheiner also has versatility as he can play both sides of the infield and right field. His great Speed of 73 coupled with above average defensive ratings all in the 60s makes him suitable for any of those positions.
His Durability is not as high as the others at 72, but he should still play most days with little risk of injury. His hit tool is slightly below average thanks to a 33 in Plate Vision, 38 in Plate Discipline, and 46 in Batting Clutch, but like with De La Guerra, Scheiner excels in defense and speed.
6. Pedro Leon, Shortstop (Houston Astros)
Leon may be the best overall player on this list with a 74 Overall rating, his ability to also play all three outfield positions, and his defense-speed combination.
Along with a 78 in Durability, Leon also has a 79 in Speed (one point shy of the Speedster quirk). His defense is fantastic with all ratings between 70-75. This combination of speed and defense makes him perfect for both premium positions that he can play in shortstop and center field.
Leon also boasts an A-grade in Potential, so his rating could easily increase to Gold level by season’s end.
While his offensive ratings are average, Leon is another who is there for his defense and speed (though he should grow into a decent hitter).
7. Derrek Snider, Left Fielder (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Snider is another highly rated Minor Leaguer at 75 Overall. He is an above average hitter with 61 in Contact Right, 52 in Contact Left, 73 in Power Right, and 68 in Power Left to go along with a high Batting Clutch of 75.
He is an average fielder with a strong arm, boasting a 77 in Arm Strength. He also has good Speed at 70.
However, where Snider suffers the most is his dismal Durability of 26. Not only will he get injured more often than others, but he also cannot be an everyday player because he needs to rest.
Still, as a power bat off the bench in late-inning situations, you could do worse than Snider.
8. Kirby Nomura, Center Field (San Francisco Giants)
The fastest player on this list with a 94 in Speed, Nomura also shows that he can put that speed to good use with an 83 in Steal and 89 in Baserunning Aggressiveness.
He is an above average hitter with ratings in the 60s mostly across the board, though his Batting Clutch rating is just 58. He should be a productive if unspectacular hitter.
His defense is average, though he does have a 68 in Arm Strength. His speed should help him to track down any balls while playing center field, and his arm should make most sacrifice fly attempts at least competitive.
However, just like Snider, Nomura has horrible Durability at 20, six points less than Snider. Playing the outfield every day is a risky proposition. Nomura’s best potential may be as a pinch runner off the bench, utilizing his speed and aggressiveness to your team’s advantage.
9. Grover Barber, Right Fielder (Milwaukee Brewers)
Barber is a 73 Overall who, like Nomura, is adept at stealing bases with ratings of 86 in Speed, 83 in Steal, and 83 in Baserunning Aggressiveness. He is also an above average fielder with great Reaction at 79.
He is a decent hitter who skews more to power with ratings of 65 in Power Right and 73 in Power Left. His Durability is 53 so he may need to rest three out of every four days or so.
He is also unique in that, despite being a power hitter, he has a Hitter Tendency of Opposite. Most power hitters pull the ball as it is the shortest distance from the home plate to a home run. This means he should not fall victim to the overshift that has plagued many hitters’ careers.
10. Jake Brentz, Relief Pitcher (Kansas City Royals)
Brentz is a left-handed pitcher with a five-pitch repertoire that boasts the increasingly popular splitter, and is rated a whopping 77 Overall,
As a relief pitcher, his Stamina is low with a 24 rating, but his Hits Allowed per 9 Innings (H/9), Home Runs Allowed per 9 Innings (HR/9), and Pitching Clutch are nearly maxed at 94, 97, and 93 respectively! His Velocity is also high at 82.
However, as indicated by his low Walks Allowed per 9 Innings (BB/9) and Pitching Control with ratings of 24 and 49 respectively, he can lose control and walk too many batters.
Still, a southpaw throwing a high 90s fastball and a low 90s splitter with those high ratings makes him a force to be reckoned with out of the bullpen. He is perfect to be your eight-inning setup man to the closer in the ninth.
Depending on your team needs, it would be prudent to target and acquire at least one (if not more) of the names on this list.
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