MLB The Show’s Road to the Show (RTTS) mode has been considered by many the best career mode in any sports game for a number of years. They tweaked the mode in The Show 21 with the ability to be a two-way player like Shohei Ohtani, the cover athlete for MLB The Show 22. They once again tweaked RTTS for The Show 22, ever slightly.
Below, you will find a position-by-position list of best teams for your RTTS player, unlike last year’s piece. The aim of this list is to have your player – regardless of two-way status – make the Major Leagues by the end of your second season. In all likelihood, particularly if you’re a pitcher or two-way player, you’ll find yourself called up much sooner than that.
Further, to avoid redundancies, repeat teams will be avoided whenever possible. Oakland could be listed for almost every position, for example.
The list will be in order by position on the field (1 = pitcher, 2 = catcher, etc.). With the ability to close while also a reliever and with less high-end relievers than closers, relievers were chosen only for the bullpen, listed as 1A. The last team listed will be for a two-way player. Rosters are from the live rosters from Opening Day weekend (April 10).
Getting started in Road to the Show (RTTS)
When you begin your RTTS file, you will be presented with the above screen. Pick whichever you desire. Note that if you pick Pitcher or Two-Way Player, you will later be able to choose whether or not you want to be a starter or reliever.
Once you select your Playstyle, you will then choose your archetype. There are four pitching and three position archetypes. The pitching archetypes are:
- Velocity: These pitchers, as suggested, focus on overpowering hitters with high velocity pitches.
- Break: These pitchers favor pitches with movement like the slider, curveball, and more.
- Control: These pitchers favor painting the corners over velocity and break, in the mold of Greg Maddux.
- Knucksie: These pitchers primarily use the enigmatic knuckleball pitch and usually have very low velocity.
The position artchetypes are:
- Power: These players are the hitting equivalent of velocity pitchers, favoring long fly balls and hard-hit exit velocity over hitting singles. Power archetypes are relegated to the corner positions of first base, third base, left field, and right field.
- Contact: These players generally have little power, but high vision and contact that rarely sees them miss when they swing, and they’re usually among the fastest players on a team. Contact archetypes are relegated to first base, second base, third base, and right field.
- Fielding: These players are stalwart defenders who will rarely make errors and provide a defensive bastion for the team with their range and speed. Unlike the other archetypes, Fielding archetypes can play every non-pitching position.
If you choose a pitcher or two-way player, then you’ll be given the above three pitches to start. If you choose a Knucksie archetype, then your four-seam fastball will be replaced with a knuckleball.
Choosing your team in RTTS
After you finalize your player creation, you’ll be taken to the above screen. From here, you can either be drafted randomly to a team, select your team, or select the league you’d like to play (American or National). If you’re using this as a guide, then select, “There is one team I’ve heard from more than a couple times,” which will allow you to select the team. If you do this, you will always be drafted by this team.
If you really don’t care, then select either the first or third option. You’ll see a scene where a blurry individual is pacing back-and-forth on draft day waiting for the phone call. The phone will light up with the team that drafted you.
By the way, if you’re a two-way player, get ready for a scene where “Mad Dog” Chris Russo will berate the team for selecting you, pretty much saying you’ll be a “career Minor Leaguer.” Go show him!
If you’re a two-way player, shortly into the season, you’ll be called by your agent and he’ll ask about your feelings on staying two-way. Here, you can modify your two-way duties, focus solely on pitching or hitting, or maintain your current two-way load. Again, choose whichever fits your playstyle best.
Understanding the Loadout screen for RTTS in MLB The Show 22
There is one big tweak to the Loadout in The Show 22 from The Show 21: instead of having a loadout for both pitching and hitting, in The Show 22, there is one loadout for both pitching and hitting. This will make it a bit more difficult to improve your ratings quickly, but also means you don’t have to keep track of two different loadouts.
You can change your badges on the left side with the main badge being dependent on your archetype. Unlike in previous games where you could only learn or change pitches through training, in The Show 22, you can change your pitches from the Loadout screen. Simply click on the pitch to change it, though it’s advisable to choose pitches that match your archetype like having five pitches with movement as the above Filthy Slickster (Movement and Fielding archetypes) shows.
To change your equipment, click on the icon of the player holding the bat on his shoulder, just above the pitches. Whenever you have a new piece of equipment, you’ll se an exclamation point symbol (!) here and then again on the specific equipment in the menu. Equipment will be the essential to giving you permanent ratings boosts.
Make use of the universal DH
If you’re someone who hates fielding and just wants to focus on batting, then build a Power archetype and turn off fielding opportunities. Sure, your fielding ratings will probably be horrendous unless you focus on them in training, but if you can mash and score runs, you will undoubtedly make a team.
Further, with the universal DH now in play, it doesn’t matter if you’re selected to a National League team as your fielding deficiencies can be erased by being the DH. Now, this will take the CPU-controlled team placing you there, but there’s a high chance if you’re purely a power hitter.
If you choose to be a two-way player with starting pitching duties, then you will DH the games before and after your starts.
With that, here is the position-by-position list of teams for your RTTS player.
1. Starting Pitcher – Oakland Athletics
Division: American League West
2021 Record: 86-76
Best Players at Position: Frankie Montas (83 OVR), James Kaprielian (75 OVR), Cole Irvin (74 OVR)
The worst team ranked in MLB The Show 22, Oakland presents the quickest path to MLB for a RTTS pitcher. Particularly if you start your RTTS career after the live rosters to update the trade of Sean Manaea to San Diego just prior to Opening Day, then you may just find yourself in the rotation before your first season is over.
To put in perspective how dire the starting pitching situation is for Oakland in MLB The Show 22, consider that once Manaea is removed, only Frankie Montas and Cole Irvin (74 OVR) are listed as in MLB of those pictured. This presents the possibility of making the team straight from AA before the All-Star break, which has happened in gameplay experience in previous editions of the game. Just pitch well, striking out many and giving up few runs (if any) and you should get the call sooner rather than later.
1A. Relief Pitcher – Colorado Rockies
Division: National League West
2021 Record: 74-87
Best Players at Position: Robert Stephenson (70 OVR), Daniel Bard (67 OVR), Jhoulys Chacin (67 OVR)
It should come as no surprise that Colorado is listed for pitching – they could very well replace Oakland above – as pitching in Coors Field has always proven to be a challenge. While Colorado has ambitions to contend after signing Kris Bryant, it will be difficult if they don’t find more pitching – let alone the fact they play in the N.L. West.
Robert Stephenson is the highest rated Rockies reliever at 70 OVR. With little help in terms of overall rating, making the Colorado bullpen quickly is completely feasible. As with Oakland, just ensure to rack up strikeouts and minimize runs, particularly as a reliever, to make the team fast.
2. Catcher – St. Louis Cardinals
Division: National League Central
2021 Record: 90-72
Best Players at Position: Yadier Molina (85 OVR), Pedro Pages (66 OVR), Julio Rodriguez (65 OVR)
You may be thinking catcher is blocked because of future Hall of Famer Yadier Molina. Well, in real life, 2022 will be his last season. In The Show, he’s likely to retire at the end of 2022 anyway with their penchant for having older players retire early. For example, from experience, The Show would have Albert Pujols retire after every first season of RTTS or Franchise dating back to at least The Show 18. In a bit of serendipity, both Molina and Pujols – back with the Cardinals – will retire after 2022.
After Molina, there is a 19-point disparity between the next best catcher, Pedro Pages. Molina’s backup on the Major League roster is Andrew Kizner (62 OVR). This is where you can quickly make your case to be the backup and eventual successor to Molina with rapid improvement: make solid contact, don’t swing at balls, etc.
If you don’t want to call the game defensively, be sure to turn off fielding opportunities!
3. First Base – Cleveland Guardians
Division: American League Central
2021 Record: 80-82
Best Players at Position: Bobby Bradley (68 OVR), Joe Naranjo (53 OVR), Junior Sanquintin (53 OVR)
Arguably the worst position grouping of those listed, Cleveland is in dire need of a first basemen both for the immediate and long-term. Cleveland does have the newly-extended Jose Ramirez and former Cy Young winner Shane Bieber to anchor the team, but they can only do so much.
Bobby Bradley heads the group and he at least does have a B grade in potential, so he may improve quickly. Still, there’s not even a first basemen (primary position) for Cleveland in AAA! Your defense should improve quickly with the amount of putouts you should make on grounders, and just be sure to have solid at-bats so you hit the 60s quickly and get the call.
4. Second Base – Los Angeles Angels
Division: A.L. West
2021 Record: 77-85
Best Players at Position: Matt Duffy (73 OVR), Michael Stefanic (73 OVR), Kean Wong (69 OVR)
Second base is generally a position that is hard to find consistent production on both sides of the diamond. Many who are great defensively lack offensively while the inverse happens as well. However, with players like Jose Altuvé, Ozzie Albies, and Marcus Semien – one of the best players in the game – second base is once again becoming a premiere position by talent.
The Angels are respectable here, and are really here to avoid listing a repeat team like Oakland. Still, “Duff Man” Matt Duffy likely saw his best days in San Francisco and he’s the only primary second baseman at the Major League level for Los Angeles. Particularly if your archetype is a fielding one that favors speed, you should be able to quickly make the Angels’ roster with their lack of other options.
5. Third Base – Baltimore Orioles
Division: American League East
2021 Record: 52-110
Best Players at Position: Toby Welk (67 OVR), Kelvin Gutierrez (66 OVR), Rylan Bannon (57 OVR)
Another team that could be listed for multiple positions, Baltimore finished 2021 tied for the worst record in the league with Arizona and made marginal moves during the offseason, frustrating many fans. They’re also one of the more difficult teams to rebuild in The Show 22. However, at least for The Show 22, this means you can quickly make the team.
Kelvin Gutierrez is the only primary third basemen on the Major League roster, and he’s rated lower than Toby Welk in AA. Still, they’re rated 66 and 67 OVR, respectively, and you can reach those numbers before the season is over, particularly if you have diamond-level equipment. As a corner position, it may be prudent to have a power archetype and aim to be a cleanup hitter.
6. Shortstop – Washington Nationals
Division: National League East
2021 Record: 65-97
Best Players at Position: Brady House (71 OVR), Alcides Escobar (69 OVR), Ehire Adrianza (66 OVR)
Once thought to be blocked long-term with the rise of Trea Turner, that became moot when he was traded to the Dodgers during the 2021 season. Now, Washington needs help at many position, including one of the most important positions on the field.
At the Major League level, Alcides Escobar and Ehire Adrianza are both below 70 OVR. Brady House is already a 71 with an A grade in Potential, but is in A ball while you will always start in AA, meaning your path is theoretically shorter. For second base, shortstop, and center field, play with fielding opportunities on so you can quickly improve those ratings as these positions tend to see the most balls in play. From there, with good at-bats, you should hit the nation’s capital fairly soon.
7. Left Field – San Diego Padres
Division: N.L. West
2021 Record: 79-83
Best Players at Position: Jurickson Profar (69 OVR), Grant Little (62 OVR), Esteury Ruiz (62 OVR)
After a disappointing 2021 season that many predicted would see San Diego in the playoffs and possibly the World Series, the Padres hope to bounce back in 2022, but will have to do so without Fernando Tatis, Jr. for some time after he reaggravated an injury just after the MLB-induced lockout ended. Though the roster has great pitching depth after making some trades and still has players like Jake Cronenworth, Trent Grisham, and Wil Myers, there’s still ample room for you to make your presence for the Padres.
Former top Texas Rangers’ prospect who just never reached his perceived potential Jurickson Profar is the only primary left fielder for the Padres. Even though corner spots are usually the realm of power hitters, because of the need to cover more ground, it’s advisable to have a contact or fielding archetype unless you turn fielding opportunities off. Then, go for broke with a power build and just mash, making your way to Petco Park (hopefully) in time to factor into the stretch run.
8. Center Field – Chicago Cubs
Division: N.L. Central
2021 Record: 71-91
Best Players at Position: Jason Heyward (68 OVR). Rafael Ortega (68 OVR), Pete Crow-Armstrong (65 OVR)
Chicago is in a rebuild after the departures of franchise icons Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Jon Lester, Kyle Schwarber, Jake Arrieta, and others over the past few seasons. While Jason Heyward remains from the World Series winning team of 2016, he also heads a center field group that leaves much to be desired.
He and Raphael Ortega are both rated 68 OVR and unlikely to improve much more with a D in Potential. The rest of the center fielders on the roster are 60-65 OVR, so you won’t have to play too far into the season to pass them, especially if your equipment adds a lot to your ratings. If fielding opportunities are on, go for a contact or fielding build to cover the most ground in the outfield.
9. Right Field – Boston Red Sox
Division: A.L. East
2021 Record: 92-70
Best Players at Position: Jackie Bradley, Jr. (68 OVR), Johan Mieses (68 OVR), Devlin Granberg (65 OVR)
A team in a weird state with the uncertainty of Xander Bogaerts’ future in Boston, the Red Sox can use all the help they can get in the event that Bogaerts does leave – and in The Show 22, he’s just as likely to be traded than he is to sign elsewhere in free agency.
Jackie Bradley, Jr. is only a 68 OVR and the only primary right fielder on the Red Sox’s roster. You should be able to overtake him quickly, but his stellar defensive ratings may make him harder to replace than at first glance. Go for a power build and mash so much that the team has no choice but to replace him with you.
10. Two-Way Player – Oakland Athletics
Division: A.L. West
2021 Record: 52-110
Best Players: Frankie Montas (83 OVR), Sean Murphy (83 OVR), Ramon Laureano (80 OVR)
This really shouldn’t be surprising considering how low the Athletics are ranked in so many categories and last overall in team rankings. Aside from catcher, every other position can conceivably be overtaken by you within two seasons, if not sooner.
Sean Murphy should only continue to improve, giving you a nice battery for your starts or relief appearances. While Ramon Laureano and Seth Brown might look to have a lock on their positions, outfield is a place where you will likely be slotted into a secondary outfield position if you’ve been playing well enough just to get you in the lineup. Eventually, you could take whichever position of theirs you want. First and third base are also weak after the trades of Olson and Chapman, so there are plenty of opportunities as a two-way player to make Oakland’s roster quickly.
Now you know which teams will give you the quickest path to “The Show” depending on your position. Which playstyle and archetype will you choose? What team will become the home of your future Hall of Fame career?