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Diamond Dynasty - Legends of the Franchise Power Rankings

Legends of the Franchise Power Rankings

MLB The Show 22

Diamond Dynasty - Legends of the Franchise Power Rankings

The latest Featured Program in Diamond Dynasty featured a plethora of big legends. Not only did we get some huge names that we’ve been waiting for all year, we got a surprisingly beefy round of attributes that surpassed the expectations of many. SDS was on a mission to make this content drop a talking point in the sports gaming sphere — and mission accomplished.

Legends Of The Franchise Power Rankings

Thanks For The Memories

Faces of the Franchise Cy Young

30. Cy Young

29. Bret Saberhagen

28. Ozzie Smith

27. Todd Helton

26. Willie McCovey

The bottom group leaves a lot to be desired in this exciting collection of bosses. Getting the obvious out of the way, Cy Young is one of the worst cards in Diamond Dynasty every single year. SDS is very generous and gives him a blazing 4-seam that can approach 100 MPH with elite 112 BB/9, but Cy Young is unusable online against anyone who can time a fastball. Despite an interesting mix of off-speed pitches, Young throws them all in the same speed range. So you’re basically either sitting fastball or off-speed against Young and then it turns into a HR Derby. There’s nothing redeeming or exciting about this Cy Young card, and he should avoid your rotation in every competitive setting. I’d recommend skipping him offline as well, unless you have infinite free time to sit through his laborious windup.

Bret Saberhagen isn’t quite as bad as Young but isn’t much better. Saberhagen has a dirty changeup that can definitely make hitters look foolish. But his bland repertoire features a curveball at nearly the same speed as that changeup and a slider. That’s all he has to offer. The elite BB/9 will make those PAR regions smaller, and you should be able to locate decently with this card, but he just doesn’t possess put-away attributes or pitches.

Ozzie Smith is the best example of SDS choosing the “YOLO” route with attributes. Even if you’re a fan of The Wizard, seeing any Ozzie Smith card with 99 power is a fever dream. That helps Smith reside in the lower-levels of the “barely usable” range, but that’s not enough to justify starting him over the other shortstops available. Yes, he’ll essentially have maxed out fielding and speed attributes at Parallel 5, but the offensive profile just leaves too much to be desired. He’s a switch-hitter if that plays into your personal assessment, but he comes with zero secondary positions so he’s either your starting SS or not playing. I will say that this is most likely the best Ozzie Smith card we’re ever going to see. With that being the case, if you’re a Cardinals or Ozzie Smith fan then getting some reps with this card might be advisable. All other Diamond Dynasty patrons should avoid.

Faces of the Franchise Todd Helton

I’m conflicted on this Todd Helton ranking. I love Helton as a player and think he has a sweet swing, but with the uniqueness of this content drop he’s the odd man out at 1B. He absolutely smashes RHP and has decent contact against LHP, but the POW L will be sub-100 even at P5. He’ll be a diamond fielder for you once you Parallel him a single time, but as usual, that doesn’t mean a heck of a lot at 1B. He does possess LF and RF secondaries, but with 58 base speed he has no business roaming the corners at this point in the year. All of this together leaves him in the bottom grouping for me. I think he’ll be fun in events or to spot start in ranked at times, but from a purely objective ranking perspective I think he’s behind everyone else.

One of those players who barely surpasses Helton is Willie McCovey. Frankly, McCovey is pretty similar to Helton in that he should be seen as a 1B only despite the LF and RF secondaries. He’s even slower than Helton so it’s even more of a risk to play him in the OF. But McCovey hits RHP at a better clip than Helton with max POW R and also brings 100+ in both categories against LHP. I don’t see McCovey get a ton of love from the Diamond Dynasty community, but I think he has a sweet swing as well.

We Can Be Heroes

Faces of the Franchise Tony Gwynn

25. Tony Gwynn

24. Joe Morgan

23. Jered Weaver

22. Jason Bay

21. Ryne Sandberg

This next group is a decent level above the previous. Tony Gwynn starts us off, getting a similar treatment as Ozzie Smith with juiced POW R coming in at a stock 90. Gwynn almost always has maxed out contact attributes, so getting a little bit of pop with this version is a welcome change. Mr. Padre comes with diamond defense in RF and will maintain that shield in the entire OF at P4. He also has 88 speed and 96 steal out of the box. As exciting as it is to have a Gwynn with some power, this offensive profile just doesn’t hit the right notes at this point in the year. Cards like this tend to be lineout machines, and compared to the other OF in the game, Gwynn sadly doesn’t cut it.

Joe Morgan actually comes in a little underwhelming compared to the rest of the cards and their juiced attributes. I would have expected more power given what we saw from Gwynn and Smith, but alas, Morgan ends up in this crop with Gwynn. He has maxed CON R like Gwynn with his stock CON L coming in just over 100, but has the advantage on Gwynn in the power department against both sides. Despite Gwynn having a considerably better arm, I could justify starting Morgan in LF or CF over Gwynn simply based off speed alone. Gwynn isn’t slow, but Morgan gets 99 speed at P5 and packs better power numbers, which makes him a better card in my view.

Faces of the Franchise Jered Weaver

Jered Weaver is a new legend this year and looks like a fun card on paper. The H/9, K/9, and BB/9 are all solid or elite. Weaver comes with his trademark funky windup as well. But the 4-seam and sinker don’t pack enough punch to be truly overwhelming and his off-speed pitches all sit too close together speed wise for my liking. 12-6 curveballs are typically super easy to read out of the hand, and Weaver’s coming in at 71 MPH makes it the ultimate floater. The circle-change will have similar break so the slider is really the only true “out pitch” in my eyes. Still, his funky windup could potentially cause issues for novice hitters, but I think he only stands a decent chance at best on Hall of Fame or above.

Jason Bay follows up with a solid, if unspectacular showing. I have a soft spot for Bay from my childhood, so seeing him in the game is always a blast. This version gives him the best chance at starting since he debuted last year. Overall, Bay has pretty run of the mill attributes for a card dropping at this point in the year. He doesn’t quite get to diamond fielding even at P5 and is fairly slow for the OF. There are worse OF in the game but there’s also plenty who are better.

Another card that I would have expected more power from is Ryne Sandberg. Coming in with 96 POW R and 93 POW L, Sandberg’s profile is complemented by elite contact against both sides. He’ll bring diamond defense at 2B and carries 3B and SS secondaries where he’ll play fine defense. He has pretty decent speed as well with 84 stock and will have nearly maxed out stealing straight out of the box. I’ve hit well with Sandberg cards in the past, but overall I think this card is mostly just fine.

Middle Of The Pack

Faces of the Franchise Brooks Robinson

20. Brooks Robinson

19. A.J. Burnett

18. Wade Boggs

17. Torii Hunter

16. Alan Trammell

If I ranked anyone too high it might be Brooks Robinson. He typically isn’t too exciting in Diamond Dynasty. He’s widely considered to be the greatest defensive 3B in MLB history, but his Diamond Dynasty cards have always been lackluster. This card brings elite contact to the table with 100 POW R and 91 POW L so it’s not the most exciting profile for a 3B. The nearly perfect fielding across the board is a nice decoration on the card, but doesn’t really matter much in the grand scheme of things. But in the relatively small sample size of using this card so far this year, he absolutely rakes. Offline stats and performance in moments don’t typically move the needle for me, but this card has surpassed expectations.

A.J. Burnett is always an interesting card to me. He throws absolute gas and has a sinker to boot, but often I find his control to be less than desirable. This version comes with 90 BB/9, which helps the PAR regions a bit, but I still find his control to be spotty. Whenever a pitcher features any kind of curveball as a major offering, it knocks the card down a bit since curveballs are kind of awful in this game. But there’s something about Burnett that makes him funky enough that you can probably make some things happen with him on the mound. Burnett coming in with stock 114 H/9 and a hard sinker makes him a viable enough option in Diamond Dynasty to test out.

Faces of the Franchise Wade Boggs

Repeating myself again, I find myself a bit bummed that Wade Boggs got sub-100 power. He gets his predictable maxed contact, but I would have loved to see this card juiced a little more and hit 100+ in every major offensive category. As is, Boggs is going to lineout for you quite a bit but his diamond from earlier in the season was a fun card to use. At this point, I’d consider this Boggs to be distinctly average. I do like his swing, which is why he made it to the middle of the pack.

One of my favorite childhood players, Torii Hunter gets his best card to date with this 99 overall. We knew he’d get maxed out fielding with decent speed, but the offensive attributes are pretty juicy for a Hunter card. I think Hunter benefits more than others with the juiced nature of this series and finds himself in the playable conversation. Granted, if this card came out even a month ago, I think he’d have been in consideration for one of the best OF in the game.

Rounding out the middle grouping is Alan Trammell. I hit extremely well with his gold card earlier in the year and seeing the attributes on this version really caught me off guard — in the best way. For a SS, Trammell’s offensive profile is quite stellar, and he has diamond defense to boot. With 70 stock speed, Trammell is just fast enough to truly get starter consideration with how much I value speed at SS. He also brings 2B, 3B, LF, and CF eligibility into the fold. That’s probably not exciting for most Diamond Dynasty players, but for Tigers fans or Trammell fans it makes him much more usable. I think he has a great swing, and he was my first choice from the AL Central pack. If you’re looking for help in the infield, I’d strongly consider Trammell first in this pack due to his utility.

We’re Halfway There

Faces of the Franchise Rickey Henderson

15. Rickey Henderson

14. Don Sutton

13. Mike Schmidt

12. Shawn Green

11. Cliff Lee

I’m shocking myself with two placements in this tier, starting with Rickey Henderson — who I typically cannot hit with at all. Something about his swing is just detrimental to my Diamond Dynasty experience, and I can never really figure out how to swing it with Rickey. The maxed out speed and stealing is a foregone conclusion, but the offensive profile of this Henderson is bananas for a player of his ilk. This card blows other Henderson cards in DD history out of the water. The power alone is exceptional for a player who has the speed that Rickey brings to the table. But the contact against both sides is also elite. Rickey gets a bit weaker of an arm than last year’s Milestone, but the offensive strides more than make up for it. If you’re like me and have struggled with Henderson in the past, a card like this makes it worth trying him again.

Don Sutton follows up Rickey with a surprisingly impressive card. The first thing that stands out is the 117 H/9. Get this bad boy to P5 and that attribute is nearly maxed out, which will help you dodge your opponent’s PCI. He also has 99 BB/9 with very good control overall, so you can hit plenty of spots with Sutton. I will say that I’m ranking this card solely for its potential on Hall of Fame and above. I almost feel like that’s a given in every single power ranking I do, but it’s worth repeating here as I think this card will get absolutely torched on All-Star. But the screwball and knuckle-curve coming in at similar speeds with mirrored break and a decently hard slider for his velocity will be tough to hit on Hall of Fame. The fastball and sinker aren’t blazing fast, but I think Sutton can get outs on the upper levels.

Faces of the Franchise Mike Schmidt

Another card I typically can’t hit with whatsoever is Mike Schmidt. I truly never know how to rank cards like this when the attributes tell me one thing and my experience tells me something else. But Schmidt kills LHP and hits RHP just fine as usual. He brings elite fielding at the hot-corner as usual. But he’s also bringing 1B, 2B, and SS secondaries this time around. We’re used to seeing SS and debating whether it’s worth the risk, but Schmidt-Truthers can slide him in at 1B and not have to try too hard justifying it.

Shawn Green follows the trend of legends getting their best cards in this drop. This is another card that I would have loved to see as a World Series reward or something about a month ago. Green has a sweet lefty swing and absolutely punishes RHP. He’ll have maxed out attributes against RHP at P4. He also has solid fielding and with 78 speed more than holds his own in the OF. He also gets 1B secondary and has the offensive profile to stick there. You could argue that Green is similar enough to or even better than Prime Lou Gehrig. If you missed out on Lou as a Boss, taking Green and dropping him in at 1B will pay out similar value.

I thought I’d have Cliff Lee ranked higher but ultimately he landed at 11 for me. Lee will dot just about every single pitch you throw and has a decent pitch mix. The H/9 come in a little lower than I would have liked since he doesn’t throw incredibly hard. It doesn’t mean this Lee is bad, but again, with how juiced some of these cards ended up being, seeing Lee score a higher H/9 would have really punched him up a level. I think if Lee had a slider over the knuckle-curve he’d be a bit better, but overall it’s a similarly structured Lee that we’re used to seeing.

Top Ten

Faces of the Franchise Tom Glavine

10. Tom Glavine

9. Roy Oswalt

8. Ivan Rodriguez

7. Edgar Martinez

6. Ray Durham

Tom Glavine was a hugely popular SP last year, and he gets a slightly higher overall rating this year. The first thing I want to point out is the stock 99 BB/9. For an iconic control specialist like Glavine, this number is a bit lower than I’d expect. The PARs won’t be huge by any means, but it was definitely what stood out the most to me when I saw the attributes. Solid enough H/9 at 107 and a terrific pitch mix makes Glavine one of the best SP in this drop. I love the interplay with his sweeping curve and slider — and the fact that the Diamond Dynasty version of Tom Glavine figured out how to throw sinkers in the mid-90s is a chef’s kiss.

Coming out slightly ahead of Glavine is Roy Oswalt. I’ve been disappointed with every Oswalt we’ve seen, but we finally get a 99 overall. The attributes are solid with 103 H/9 and 105 BB/9, but something about this Oswalt has played better than previous versions. His windup looks slightly different, but I can’t really verify if that’s what it is. The ball seems to jump out of his hand a bit more than previously, which is amazing when he’s hitting 99 MPH. As mentioned plenty of times above, 12-6 curveballs aren’t really the best pitch in Diamond Dynasty, but Oswalt’s painted 99 MPH, sinker and curve tunnel can be deadly. You have to be careful with the 12-6 at all times, but if you’re hitting your spots you can set hitters up and hammer them. I like Oswalt’s slider as well and ultimately found him to be the best SP I used in this drop.

Faces of the Franchise Pudge Rodriguez

Ivan Rodriguez has 2B secondary. I repeat, Ivan Rodriguez has 2B secondary. One of the trademarks of this content drop is the delicious absurdity of some of the secondary positions players received. The first major example of a perhaps unexpected secondary is Pudge being able to man the keystone. Considering he carries nearly perfect fielding and 70 stock speed, Pudge actually ranks on paper as a viable 2B. What a time to be alive. This is another card who has been a poor performer for me in the past due to swing issues, but the fact that he can play 2B makes him a fun addition to any roster. I don’t think he has what it takes to stick at 2B, but if you can master his swing he’s going to be a very good catcher as well. I’m sort of breaking my typical ranking rules as he lands this high just for the fun factor. I’m guilty of taking attributes and other DD-related nuances too seriously when ranking cards, but this is just absolutely bonkers fun that Ivan Rodriguez can play 2B with little penalty.

Another legend finally getting their just due with a 99 overall, Edgar Martinez swings in at #7. A smooth, sweet swing with maxed out contact against both sides puts Edgar in contention at either infield corner. He gets better fielding than he probably ever should, but we don’t really care about fielding at the corner infield spots. Edgar’s swing is so sweet that he found a spot on my bench over Frank Thomas and I’m not looking back. He’ll probably never see the field for me, but this is a fresh 99 to really change up our Diamond Dynasty squads.

When Ray Durham was announced as a new legend this year, I was both excited and disinterested. Excited because he’s a fun player from my childhood and seeing more of those guys in The Show is always a blast. But then I remembered how SDS usually treats players like Durham and figured he’d get a couple bland cards. He was a collection reward early in the year and that version was barely usable even then. There was no shot he’d get a great card. Then SDS said check this out. This Durham is disgustingly good and immediately became my starting 2B. I mentioned earlier that I took Trammell first from the Central pack, but that was because I knew I was taking Durham and making him my starter and just wanted to use someone else before I locked him in. Durham brings switch-hitting to the fold and gets diamond fielding at P2, but he also brings 95 speed, which is what I’m looking for from my 2B. His offensive attributes are balanced enough that he shouldn’t lineout too much but can still hit some bombs. He gets CF secondary and can be a fun wrinkle out there, but this dude is my 2B for a good while.

The Cream Of The Crop

Faces of the Franchise Andre Dawson

5. Andre Dawson

As we reach the very best cards in the Legends of the Franchise Program, we get a mix of guys who bring fun in many ways. Starting with Andre Dawson. The Hawk rips into the top five with the best Dawson we’ve ever seen. A lefty-killer that tags RHP just fine, Dawson brings diamond fielding and 88 speed out of the box. Dawson has always had a sweet swing, but his cards have been either disappointing or underwhelming at the time of their release. Even this card can easily get lost in the shuffle with the other OF in the game. When I saw Dawson was the Nationals’ legend in the program, I overlooked him just based off assumptions. Boy was I wrong about his card. This is the kind of card that I can see myself swapping in for spot starts here and there and enjoying every second of it.

4. Prince Fielder

Faces of the Franchise Prince Fielder

Since Prince Fielder debuted last year, I’ve been waiting for a chance to get a card like this. This is the perfect Prince Fielder card. Really good contact against both sides and elite power against both sides. Fielder has one of my favorite swings in the game and he immediately became my starting 1B. We don’t care about the fielding or speed because he’s a 1B. The offensive profile is nutty and every swing taken with this card is a blast. When Fielder connects, his no-doubters are a joy to watch and he’s going to hit a ton of them. I think he’s quite possibly the best 1B in the game.

3. Steve Finley

Faces of the Franchise Steve Finley

One of my favorite cards last year was the Milestone Steve Finley. I heard stories about how amazing his swing was but never used him until getting the collections done. Every word of the myth was true and Finley was one of my best hitters all season. It was a sad day when I finally bumped him from the starting lineup after hitting nearly .500 with him online for the first couple months. This version of Steve Finley is so much better. Last year’s Milestone had pretty awful contact and rather diminutive power. But his swing more than made up for the attributes. This card is absolutely juiced to the rafters compared to that one with the same legendary swing.

Finley rocks 104/100 contact against R/L respectively with 115/122 POW. Those aren’t typos. Those are amazing attributes for a player like Finley. The power alone is off the charts but getting stock 100 CON against both sides is a huge win. He gets a little less speed out of the gates compared to the Milestone card, but if you get this guy to P3 he’ll be at the 85 he started at last year. So all things considered it’s the same card except better. The stealing is considerably worse here compared to the 300/300 Milestone card, but I don’t steal much anyway so it’s a complete non-factor.

2. Jorge Posada

Faces of the Franchise Jorge Posada

Another favorite of mine comes in at the second spot, Jorge Posada. When I began playing Diamond Dynasty in 2019, I was bummed that Posada was a BR reward and unobtainable. I heard many similar stories about his swing that I’d heard about Steve Finley. The only chance I got to try him was during Moments that year, and he absolutely raked as stated. Posada was my starting catcher for basically all of 2020 after he was released, so I got to see that sweet swing firsthand. I used him so much that I avoided him in The Show 21 just to keep things fresh. But my boy is back this year and he’s slotting right back in as my starting catcher.

This version of Posada brings 100/109 and 112/116 CON/POW against RHP and LHP respectively and that is disgustingly good for any catcher. Add in the fact that he’s a switch-hitter on top of that legendary swing and this, my friends, is the best catcher in MLB The Show 22 as we speak. I don’t think it’s even close. The offensive profile alone makes that true, but SDS decided to give Posada solid 82 fielding and an arm that can max out at 87 at P5. His defense could be 0, and I would still play him at catcher. This Posada is beautifully gross and he even gets 1B secondary. He’s also a recipient of the random secondary position club and has the ability to play 2B. He has 35 speed so you’ll never see that happen on my Diamond Dynasty squad, but you can do it. This is easily one of my favorite DD cards ever.

1. Hank Aaron

Legends of the Franchise Power Rankings

And most likely to the shock of no one, Hank Aaron arrives as the best card in this program. Not only that, but this is currently the best card in the game and in the discussion for best card in Diamond Dynasty history. Overall, this card isn’t too dissimilar to the Milestone version we got last year. The contact is roughly the same, and power is the same just swapped between handedness. Fielding is virtually identical and Hank actually gets +10 to stealing and baserunning.

So all things considered, it’s the same card. What’s different, however, is the addition of secondaries to give him the ability to play every position on the field except SS and catcher. The context of that is so very important because one of the best hitting cards in DD history can play practically every position on the diamond. That fact alone should make Hank Aaron a staple in every Diamond Dynasty squad for the rest of the year, and ultimately this is a card we’ll talk about for years.

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