MLB The Show 22: Best Teams to Rebuild in Franchise Mode

Some sports gamers like taking the path well-travelled, so these are the best teams for a rebuild in MLB The Show 22.

MLB The Show 22: Best Teams to Rebuild in Franchise Mode

One of the enduring and appealing modes of sports games is Franchise Mode because of the ability to take control of a franchise and determine its fate. While most use their favorite team, some sports gamers seek a different challenge.

Some want to engage in a long-term rebuild to shape the team with their ideal pitching, batting, and defensive philosophies. Others want to take teams on quick rebuilds, jumping from team to team, and leaving a trail of championships in their wake.

Best Teams to Rebuild in MLB The Show 22

Below, you will find a list of the best franchises to rebuild in MLB The Show 22. They will be listed in alphabetical order.

The criteria included:

  • Team Ranking: Each team listed below is ranked in the bottom half of MLB The Show 22 (16th-30th) as of the Opening Day live rosters (April 7th).
  • Division: Playing in the National League West or American League East will present a more challenging rebuild than playing in either Central Division, for example.
  • Number of Gold and Diamond Players: Even the presence of one Diamond player (85+ OVR) can help turn around a team.
  • Trajectory of Top Prospects: The number, potential, and organizational trajectory of top prospects will help determine whether a quick rebuild or a longer rebuild.
  • Budget: Simply put, a larger budget makes it easier to land big free agents or land a superstar in a trade, shortening the rebuild time.

Not all teams listed had terrible seasons in 2021, though many appeared on this list for MLB The Show 21. In fact, one team listed below led the entire Major Leagues in wins in 2021!

1. Arizona Diamondbacks (National League West)

MLB The Show 22 best team to rebuild Arizona Diamondbacks (National League West)

Rank: 23rd
Notable Ranking: Defense (15th)
Best Players: Ketel Marte (90 OVR), Zac Gallen (82 OVR)
Sleeper Player: Jordan Lawlar (71 OVR)
Team Budget: $127.00 million
Yearly Goal: Finish over .500
Contract Goal: Reach Postseason

MLB The Show 22 best team to rebuild contract goal Caleb Smith

The worst team for much of the 2021 season, which included a 17-game losing streak, Arizona does have a decent roster of players that’s headed by All-Star Ketel Marte and Gold-rated rotation ace Zac Gallen. However, only a few other players are in the low 80s, with much of the roster in the 70s and 60s.

After finishing the 2021 season with a record of 52-110 – tied with Baltimore for the worst record – Arizona looks to bounce back in 2022 and just be competitive. To finish over .500, that would mean a turnaround of 30 wins from 2021 to 2022! That seems unfeasible in real life, but entirely possible in The Show 22. However, Arizona is here because of their fairly large budget, which should make adding players easier than using Baltimore or Oakland, for example.

Like with most teams on this list, pitching is going to be the first thing to target. Gallen and Madison Bumgarner head the rotation with veteran Oliver Perez (A grade Potential) in the bullpen. Still, at least initially, nabbing a mid-tier starter and a top closer will go a long way to preventing runs from being scored.

Target hitters with high vision to add to the lineup, increasing the chances of making contact and putting a ball in play. Anything is better than a strikeout. Marte needs people to get on base so he can drive them home. Build around him as the best player on the team.

Unfortunately, they play in the National League West with talented teams like 2020 World Series champions Los Angeles, a San Diego team led by an injured yet extremely talented Fernando Tatis, Jr., a San Francisco team that led all of baseball in wins during 2021, and a Colorado team that signed Kris Bryant during the offseason and look to return to contention. This will make a rebuild more difficult, but a fun challenge.

2. Chicago Cubs (National League Central)

MLB The Show 22 best team to rebuild Chicago Cubs (National League Central)

Rank: 19th
Notable Ranking: Defense (6th)
Best Players: Willson Contreras (85 OVR), Nico Hoerner (85 OVR)
Sleeper Player: Nick Madrigal (79 OVR)
Team Budget: $179.00 million
Yearly Goal: Reach Postseason
Contract Goal: Win Division Series

MLB The Show 22 best team to rebuild contract goal Nico Hoerner

A completely different team after franchise icons Anthony Rizzo, Jon Lester, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Craig Kimbrel, and others were traded or signed elsewhere in recent years, the Cubs now look to build around Willson Contreras and Opening Day hero Nico Hoerner as they look to contend after finishing the 2021 season 71-91. After finishing 20 games under .500, it’s a tall task to make the postseason a year later.

The rotation is helmed by a solid trio with Marcus Stroman (83 OVR), Kyle Hendricks (82 OVR) – who recorded the first strikeout of the 2022 season – and Wade Miley (78 OVR). However, the bullpen could use two high-end arms (80+ OVR) to shore up the back end. Chicago’s sixth ranked defense should also provide great run prevention.

Offensively, Chicago ranks last in power. This makes it the immediate target offensively. A power-hitting outfielder and corner infielder will provide some balance and depth to the lineup. However, avoid trading any of the position players pictured as all of them are stout defenders. The only player you might think to trade is Yan Gomes unless you plan to play Contreras in left field, his secondary position.

With a budget of nearly $180 million, you can bring a winner to the Cubbies again possibly within a season. The National League Central has two great teams in St. Louis and Milwaukee, but the rest of the division is paltry, so the Cubs should be able to contend for at least the second Wild Card spot immediately in The Show 22.

3. Cleveland Guardians (American League Central)

MLB The Show 22 best team to rebuild Cleveland Guardians (American League Central)

Rank: 20th
Notable Ranking: Speed (1st)
Best Players: Jose Ramirez (94 OVR), Shane Bieber (92 OVR)
Sleeper Player: Emmanuel Clase (85 OVR)
Team Budget: $82.00 million
Yearly Goal: Finish over .500
Contract Goal: Reach Postseason

MLB The Show 22 best team to rebuild contract goal Emmanuel Clase

Fresh off a name change, the Cleveland Guardians enter 2022 after finishing the 2021 season a respectable 80-82.

Superstar Jose Ramirez leads the Guardians’ lineup while the rotation is helmed by ace and former Cy Young winner Shane Bieber. Emmanuel Clase asserted himself last season as one of the best closers in baseball, but his age (24) and A grade in Potential indicate he may become the best closer in baseball – probably sooner rather than later.

The rotation is fine with Aaron Civale (82 OVR) and Cal Quantrill (80 OVR) to form a nice trio with Bieber, but the bullpen needs additions so that you can get to Clase late in the game. Targeting a relief pitcher like Diego Castillo would be a solid boost.

The lineup has decent power, but paltry contact. However, Cleveland ranks first in speed and third in defense. It’s a bit of a conundrum that a team with low contact has such great speed and defense as those three generally go together. Cleveland is a team that could actually use a catcher upgrade, so targeting Gomes or Curt Casali in San Francisco is recommended. Beyond that, target high contact players without giving up too much speed and defense.

One thing to note: Cleveland has the smallest budget of any team on the list and the only one under $100 million. This will make trades and signings more difficult, but presents a fun challenge. The good news is that you have two 90+ OVR players to guide the team.

An aside: if you choose to use Cleveland, it’s recommended to wait until the live rosters are updated with Ramirez’s new contract extension.

4. Detroit Tigers (American League Central)

MLB The Show 22 best team to rebuild Detroit Tigers (American League Central)

Rank: 25th
Notable Ranking: Speed (3rd)
Best Players: Javier Báez (87 OVR), Jonathan Schoop (83 OVR)
Sleeper Player: Spencer Torkelson (74 OVR)
Team Budget: $174.00 million
Yearly Goal: Finish over .500
Contract Goal: Reach Postseason

MLB The Show 22 best team to rebuild contract goal Javier Baez

Detroit enters 2022 coming off of what many considered a surprising 2021 season where they ended the season with a record of 77-85 when many predicted much worse.

During the MLB-induced lockout-lengthened offseason, the Tigers showed they believed in the trajectory of the team by signing Javier Báez to a long-term contract to form Detroit’s new and hopeful lengthy keystone combo with Jonathan Schoop. To the excitement of many fans, the Tigers announced that first overall pick in 2020 and one of the top prospects in all of baseball, Spencer Torkelson, had made the Opening Day roster, joining the likes of other top prospects like Bobby Witt, Jr. and Julio Rodriguez on Opening Day rosters.

Those three are formidable, but they’re also joined by prospects Spencer Turnbull, Riley Greene, and Tarik Skubal. Add in young pitcher Casey Mize and you basically have the core of what should be a yearly contender, possibly beginning in 2022.

Detroit ranks third in speed and eighth in contact, but their other rankings are low. In particular, power is necessary for one of the largest ballparks in the entire league in Comerica Park, and like with other teams, pitching (rotation and bullpen) need help. Some of the pitching help can come from calling up Skubal and Turnbull, so focusing on the bullpen might help with a quicker rebuild.

5. Kansas City Royals (American League Central)

MLB The Show 22 best team to rebuild Kansas City Royals (American League Central)

Rank: 21st
Notable Ranking: Speed (2nd)
Best Players: Salvador Perez (88 OVR), Zack Greinke (87 OVR)
Sleeper Player: Bobby Witt, Jr. (72 OVR)
Team Budget: $128.00 million
Yearly Goal: Finish over .500
Contract Goal: Reach Postseason

MLB The Show 22 best team to rebuild contract goal Asa Lacy
Asa Lacy and M.J. Melendez could form your ace battery for years to come.

The 2015 World Series champions have been in a bit of a rebuild the past few seasons even with All-Star seasons from the likes of White Merrifield and last year’s record-breaking home run season from Salvador Perez.

Zack Greinke returned to Kansas City for 2022, the team he broke in with and won a Cy Young award. He had a successful return as their Opening Day starter, but the rotation behind him does lack. However, prospect Asa Lacy is just 22-years-old with an A grade in Potential and M.J. Melendez is a 23-year-old catcher with an A grade in potential who can form your future ace battery once Greinke and Perez retire sooner rather than later. Luckily, Witt, Jr. is already beginning the youth movement as the top prospect made the Opening Day roster.

The lineup has good speed – second only behind Cleveland – but lacks in contact and power. It will be difficult to score runs, but when you get runners on base, your chances increase significantly with that speed. They also have great defense (fifth), so their speed and defense should aid in run prevention.

Targeting a power outfielder who can act as designated hitter should be the top offensive priority. Shoring up the rotation and bullpen should follow.

One thing to note: the Royals are the last of three consecutive American League Central teams on this list. The A.L. Central has been, statistically, the worst division in baseball for a few years thanks in part to the seasons-long rebuilds of these three teams. However, this also means using one of these teams should lead to a faster rebuild because of the weakness of the division overall.

6. Miami Marlins (National League East)

MLB The Show 22 best team to rebuild Miami Marlins (National League East)

Rank: 16th
Notable Ranking: Defense (7th)
Best Players: Jazz Chisholm (84 OVR), Sandy Alcantara (84 OVR)
Sleeper Player: Jesus Sánchez (73 OVR)
Team Budget: $125.50 million
Yearly Goal: Finish over .500
Contract Goal: Reach Postseason

MLB The Show 22 best team to rebuild contract goal Jazz Chisholm

A team that always seems to be rebuilding – except when they win the World Series, like they did in 1997 and 2003 – the Marlins did make the playoffs in the COVID-shortened 2020 season and are the highest ranked team on this list. They finished 2021 with a record of 67-95, but should improve based on the natural progression of their players.

What Miami does have is an exciting young core led by the talented and charismatic Jazz Chisholm. He has the potential to truly become a five-tool player that can hit for contact, power, field, throw, and run the bases with that great speed. Add in pitchers Sandy Alcantara and Trevor Rogers and you have a nice trio to build around, particularly with Chisholm manning a premium position in second base.

Miami upgraded defensively in a huge way with one move: acquiring catcher Jacob Stallings from Pittsburgh. Stallings is one the best defensive catchers in the game, shoring up the backstop and controlling the running game. However, he lacks offensively, is one of the slowest player in the game, and the Marlins will need more power overall, which should be easier to attain with a decent budget and the universal DH.

However, playing in the National League East will make things more difficult than the teams previously listed. Atlanta is the defending World Series Champion, New York added Max Scherzer amongst a host of new additions, and Philadelphia might have the best offense in baseball after signing Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber to add to reigning Most Valuable Player Bryce Harper – even if their defense might be an adventure. Washington is bad, sure, but the other three teams will present formidable challenges in rebuilding the Marlins.

7. San Francisco Giants (National League West)

MLB The Show 22 best team to rebuild San Francisco Giants (National League West)

Rank: 17th
Notable Ranking: Pitching (11th)
Best Players: Carlos Rodon (90 OVR), Logan Webb (87 OVR)
Sleeper Player: Joey Bart (73 OVR)
Team Budget: $194.50 million
Yearly Goal: Reach Postseason
Contract Goal: Win Division Series

MLB The Show 22 best team to rebuild contract goal Carlos Rodon

The 107-win Giants from 2021 return with largely the same roster intact, though with two major subtractions: future Hall of Famer Buster Posey retired and ace Kevin Gausman signed with Toronto. However, Posey’s retirement opened the path for Joey Bart to finally show whether or not he belongs in the Big Leagues, and Gausman’s departure led to the signing of Carlos Rodon from the White Sox on a two-year deal.

The Giants rode a strategy of heavy platoons and substitutions, maximizing matchups and defense behind a pitching staff that led MLB in ERA. With largely the same roster and the presence of the universal DH, this is advisable in The Show 22.

Logan Webb, fresh off of only allowing one earned run in his first playoff games against the Dodgers in just over 14 innings, is presumably the ace even if he is rates lower than Rodon (Webb did start Opening Day). The rotation overall might be the best in baseball in terms of depth with Rodon, Webb, Alex Wood, Anthony DeSclafani, and newly-signed Alex Cobb, who reportedly saw a major uptick in velocity during Spring Training. The pitching, as they say, is fine.

While The Show ranks San Francisco in the bottom half in contact and power, the Giants did lead MLB in home runs hit in 2021 with, again, largely the same roster. What you should target for the Giants is speed as they rank last in speed. Particularly with “triples alley” at Oracle Park, having a few speedsters who can make use of the quirky dimensions of the ballpark is ideal. Just having more speed overall is ideal.

Second and third basemen should be targets as both Tommy La Stella and Evan Longoria are closer to retirement than their primes. A solid outfielder should be next on the list. The highest budget on this list should make acquiring players little trouble.

8. Texas Rangers (American League West)

MLB The Show 22 best team to rebuild Texas Rangers (American League West)

Rank: 24th
Notable Ranking: Power (6th)
Best Players: Marcus Semien (97 OVR), Mitch Garver (85 OVR)
Sleeper Player: Josh Jung (71 OVR)
Team Budget: $157.00 million
Yearly Goal: Finish over .500
Contract Goal: Reach Postseason

MLB The Show 22 best team to rebuild contract goal Marcus Semien

A team that seemingly has not recovered from José Bautista’s home run in 2015, the Rangers have been mired in a rebuild that saw them jettison fan-favorite and stalwart Joey Gallo to the Yankees in 2021 only to spend over 500 million dollars signing Marcus Semien and Corey Seager (80 OVR) during the offseason prior to the lockout. What’s surprising is that those two would want to sign with a team that went 60-102 during the 2021 season.

The new keystone combo of Semien and Seager should provide great defense and a lot of thump in the lineup. Semien is the highest rated second baseman in the game, which is made even more impressive by the fact that he’s a natural shortstop and only shifted to second base when he signed with Toronto. Seager, the 2020 World Series M.V.P., still provides great defense and solid offense. They’re joined by Mitch Garver (trade) and Adolis Garcia, who should provide great support to the two new stars. Further, top prospect Josh Jung can be moved to the Rangers in The Show though in real life, he didn’t make the Opening Day roster only due to injury.

However, Texas, like Colorado, always seems to struggle with pitching. To put it into perspective, in The Show 22, the best pitcher on the Rangers is Dane Dunning at 77 OVR. Their top reliever, John King, is 76 OVR. Acquiring at least one starter and reliever (preferably closer) in the 80s is a must. Luckily, a budget of $157 million will help in that regard.

One thing to note is that the American League West is fairly competitive. While Oakland is in a full rebuild and the worst team in The Show 22, the other three teams have playoff aspirations. Defending American League champion Houston has had a stranglehold on the division for years, and this year they once again have one of the best teams in the A.L. Los Angeles sees a hopefully healthy Trout return while reigning M.V.P. Shohei Ohtani looks to repeat his 2021 performance; L.A. also improved their pitching by taking a flier on Noah Syndergaard. Seattle made a few trades, notably for Jesse Winker, to improve and contend for the Wild Card. It will be tough in the A.L. West, but probably not as tough as the N.L. East.

All ten of the teams listed represent different challenges in rebuilding, but they all share one thing in common: they have foundational players. Flex your GM muscles and become a legend as you develop a dynasty in The Show 22.

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