MLB The Show 21 Attributes Explained: Everything You Need to Know

This is your guide to what each attribute is, what they effect, and how to improve them in MLB The Show 21.


Like any sports game, MLB The Show 21 has its own set of ratings unique to the game of baseball. Some are self-explanatory, like contact left and velocity, but there are still others that need more explanation to make sense. 

Below you will find a detailed guide to attributes for hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning in The Show 21. 


What are attributes, and what do they do in The Show 21? 

Simply put, attributes are the ratings given to players that affect their skill level in each area of the game. The higher the number on the attribute, the better. 

For example, a batter with power attributes below 40 will have a tough time hitting homers or hard-hit line drives. A pitcher with control of over 90 will rarely throw mistake and wild pitches, usually hitting their mark. 

For most attributes, if a player has at least an 80 rating, they will also have a “quirk” – not My Hero Academia style – which means they are more adept in these situations. If a batter has 80+ in power left and power right, they will have the “Bomber” quirk, which states, “Excels at hitting home runs.” 

How do you increase attributes in The Show 21? 

This is entirely dependent on the mode you play. In Diamond Dynasty – The Show’s version of Madden Ultimate Team or 2K’s MyTeam – the only way to increase attributes is by playing with the chosen ballplayer enough to earn sufficient experience for Parallel Upgrades. 


Each upgrade – green, orange, purple, red, and superfractor – adds +1 to all attributes, for a total of +5 should you hit superfractor. The issue is that it takes increasingly more experience to hit each level – 500 for green, 1,250 for orange, 3,000 for purple, 5,000 for red, and 10,000 for superfractor.  

The pictured Team Affinity 3 All-Star Game 2021 Jacob de Grom card is at the red parallel, level four. Experience was earned by playing Conquest and Play vs. CPU modes. Pitchers can earn experience through innings pitched, strikeouts, shutouts, and more. For hitters, this includes drawing walks, increasing experience dependent on the type of hit, and stealing bases.  

If you want to develop your superfractor quicker, PvP modes earn you 1.5x experience. These modes are Ranked Seasons, Events, and Battle Royale. 


In Road to the Show, your attribute progression/regression depends on your in-game performance, mostly. There are training sessions every week where you can select a certain attribute to increase as well.  

During games as a position player, your approach in each at-bat should be to take all balls to increase plate vision, draw a walk for discipline boosts, and make solid contact for contact and power boosts against whichever hand the pitcher throws. On defense, make accurate throws and always hit the cutoff man. 

For pitchers, the more strikeouts you record, the more your K/9 will increase (more on this later). If you cause a swing-and-miss on a fastball, velocity increases; on breaking and off-speed pitches, break increases. These are just some examples. 

If you make errors on defense, make weak contact or strike out when batting, or give up hard contact and runs while pitching, you will see attributes decrease. Find the hitting, pitching, and fielding settings that work best for you to mitigate these instances as much as possible. 

In Franchise Mode, if you go to your roster and select “Edit Player,” you can increase/decrease attributes at will.  

Can you buy attributes in The Show 21? 

No. In earlier editions of The Show, Road to the Show functioned differently in that you were given points based on your performance, using those to increase your skills. In those editions, you could buy attribute points, but the switch to the current RTTS progression mode quashed that ability. 

What are the attribute caps in The Show 21? 

There are two attribute caps in The Show 21: 125 and 99. All pitching attributes except control, velocity, and break have a cap of 125, with the latter three a cap of 99. All hitting attributes except for bunt and drag bunt have a cap of 125, with the latter two a cap of 99. 

All fielding attributes – including durability here – have a cap of 99, as do baserunning attributes. Even the fastest runners in the game like Trea Turner and Rickey Henderson are capped at 99 speed.  

There is one workaround, though. In Road to the Show, you can exceed the limit caps thank to the boosts from your equipped items. Particularly if you are able to equip diamond-rated items, you will gain big boosts to many categories that will make you a ratings behemoth.  

What do the attributes and abbreviations mean in The Show 21? 

There are a bevy of attributes in the game. Below we have listed all the MLB the Show 21 attributes list and abbreviations.  

Pitching attributes in The Show 21 

  • Stamina (STA): a pitcher’s ability to pitch deep into ballgames; affects how many pitches they can throw before their energy drains; pitching out of the stretch and in high-leverage situations drains stamina quicker; “Workhorse” quirk for high stamina pitchers. 
  • Hits per 9 Innings (H/9): a pitcher’s ability to limit hits allowed; affects rate of hard and soft contact; “Stingy” quirk for high H/9 rated pitchers. 
  • Strikeouts per 9 Innings (K/9): a pitcher’s ability to complete a strikeout in a two-strike count; the higher the rating, the easier it should be to strikeout batters; “Untouchable” quirk for pitchers who excel at striking out hitters. 
  • Walks Allowed per 9 Innings (BB/9): a pitcher’s ability to limit walks allowed; generally correlated with control attribute; “Control Artist” quirk for pitchers who excel at limiting walks. 
  • Home Runs Allowed per 9 Innings (HR/9): a pitcher’s ability to limit home runs allowed; generally correlated with control, velocity, and break; “Grounded” quirk for pitchers who excel at limiting home runs.
  • Pitching Clutch (PCLT): a pitcher’s ability to come through in the clutch – high-leverage situations, runners on base, late in games; affects a pitcher’s confidence meter in clutch situations; “Pressure Cooker” quirk for pitchers and batters who perform better when men are on base; “Stopper” quirk for relief and closing pitchers who perform better when team is behind; “Fighter” quirk for relief/closing pitchers and batters who perform better in the ninth inning and later. 
  • Control (CTRL): a pitcher’s ability to control their pitches, particularly off-speed and breaking pitches; affects how precisely a pitcher will hit the target even on a “perfect” pitch. 
  • Velocity (VEL): a pitcher’s ability to throw at high speeds; affects the speed of all pitches; “Cheesy” quirk for pitchers who throw an extremely effective fastball (98 MPH+); “Sinkerballer” quirk for pitchers who throw an extremely effective sinking fastball; “Outlier” quirk for pitchers who throw any variation of a fastball (4-seam, 2-seam, sinker, cutter, splitter, running fastball) beyond 100 MPH.  
  • Break (BRK): a pitcher’s ability to put break on a pitch; affects the sideways and downward movement of off-speed and breaking pitches; “Illusionist” quirk for effective changeups; “Knee Buckler” for effective breaking pitches (slider and curve variations); “Mr. Splitee” for effective splitters; “Knuckleballer” for effective knuckleballs.  

Hitting attributes in The Show 21 

  • Contact Left/Right (CON L/CON R): a hitter’s ability to make contact and get base hits against right and left-handed pitching; a higher rating indicates a better likelihood of a base hit should contact be made; “Hitting Machine” quirk for hitters who excel at getting base hits (80+ in each category); “Platoon” quirk for hitters who excel against one handedness only. 
  • Power Left/Right (POW L/POW R: a hitter’s ability to hit the ball for power; affects exit velocity off of the bat as well as the distance a batter can hit the ball; a higher rating indicates a higher likelihood of a 100 MPH+ line drive or flyball, possibly a home run; “Bomber” quirk. 
  • Plate Vision (VIS): a hitter’s ability see pitches; affects the size of the Plate Coverage Indicator (PCI); a higher rating increases the size of the PCI, while a lower ratings results in a smaller PCI; affects ability to make contact with pitches; “20/20 Vision” for hitters who rarely miss when swinging. 
  • Plate Discipline (DISC): a hitter’s ability to check his swing and not chase pitches (during sim or playing CPU); a higher rating indicates a higher likelihood of checking swings and being called safe when checking with the first or third base umpire; “Walker” quirk for hitters who excel at drawing walks and checking their swings. 
  • Batting Clutch (CLT): a hitter’s ability to drive in runs with men on base or in late-game situations; a higher rating indicates a higher likelihood a hitter will drive in a run or advance runners; “Rally Monkey” quirk for hitters who perform better with runners on base; “Situational Hitter” for hitters who excel in driving in the runner from third with less than two outs; “Unfazed” for hitters who excel with two strikes; “Pinch Hitter” for hitters who excel at pinch hitting. 
  • Bunting (BUNT): a hitter’s ability to successfully lay down a bunt; a higher rating indicates a higher likelihood that a bunt will not be popped up and will stay fair; “Bunt Master” for hitters who excel at laying down bunts. 
  • Drag Bunting (DBUNT): a hitter’s ability to lay down a drag bunt; a higher rating indicates a higher likelihood a drag bunt will be successful; usually associated with the fastest ballplayers. 

Other hitting quirks not tied to attributes: 

  • “First Pitch Hitter” for hitters who excel at hitting the first pitch of an at-bat. 
  • “Dead Red” for hitters who excel at hitting fastballs. 
  • “Breaking Ball Hitter” for hitters who excel at hitting breaking pitches. 

Fielding attributes in The Show 21 

  • Fielding (FLD): a fielder’s ability to cleanly play a ball hit to them; a higher rating indicates a higher likelihood they will field the ball cleanly; “Soft Hands” quirk for fielders who excel at fielding the ball; “Catcher Pop Time” for catchers who excel at popping up and making the throw on a stolen base attempt. 
  • Arm Strength (ARM): a fielder’s ability to make a strong throw; a higher rating indicates a faster throw; “Cannon” quirk for fielders who have an extremely strong throwing arm. 
  • Arm Accuracy (ACC): a fielder’s ability to make accurate throws to cutoff men and bases; a higher rating indicates a higher likelihood the ball will hit the target; a higher rating increases the green area for accurate throws with “Button Accuracy” on; “Sniper” quirk for fielders who have an extremely accurate throwing arm. 
  • Reaction Time (REAC): a fielder’s ability to quickly and correctly react to a ball off of the bat; a higher rating indicates a higher likelihood the fielder will read the ball correctly and react accordingly; a lower ratings may lead to the fielder taking a step in the wrong direction and/or hesitating before reacting correctly to the ball; “Quick Reflexes” for fielders who react quickly when fielding the ball. 
  • Blocking (BLK): specific to catchers; a catcher’s ability to block pitches in the dirt and prevent wild pitches; “Vacuum” quirk for catchers who excel at blocking pitches in the dirt. 
  • Durability (DUR): a player’s ability to avoid injury and play multiple games (during Franchise, Road to the Show, and March to October); a higher rating indicates a higher likelihood the player remains healthy and avoid major injuries; “Unbreakable” quirk for players who avoid injuries and recover energy at high rates. 

While durability is listed in the game along with the hitting attributes (it is colored the same), it is applied here under fielding attributes as durability applies to all players regardless of their capacity as a hitter.  

Baserunning attributes in The Show 21 

  • Speed (SPD): a player’s ability to run fast (affects fielding as well); a higher rating means a higher likelihood of stealing bases, taking the extra base, and beating out groundballs; “Speedster: quirk for fast players. 
  • Stealing (STEAL): a baserunner’s ability to successfully steal a base, including their takeoff; a higher rating indicates a higher likelihood the baserunner will have a good takeoff; “Thief” quirk for baserunners who excel at stealing bases. 
  • Baserunning Aggressiveness (BR AGG): a baserunner’s aggressiveness in stealing a base and/or taking the extra base on a ball-in-play; a higher rating indicates a higher likelihood a runner will attempt a steal or take the extra base; mostly impacts baserunners when simulating or playing the CPU. 

Miscellaneous quirks in The Show 21 

  • “Pickoff Artist” for pitchers who excel at picking off runners with an extremely effective pickoff move. 
  • “Day Player” for players who perform better during day games, but have a penalty during night games. 
  • “Night Player” for players who perform better during night games, but have a penalty during day games. 
  • “Homebody” for players who perform better at home, but have a penalty on the road. 
  • “Road Warrior” for players who perform better on the road, but have a penalty at home. 

In RTTS, build your player based on your play style. If you are a power hitter, focus on that. If you are a speedy contact hitter, use your legs to create opportunities. A power pitcher? A control artist? A movement-based pitcher? Develop your pitch repertoire to maximize your player type.  

Now you have your complete guide to the attributes, what they effect, and the quirks associated with each attribute. 


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