As has been rigorously documented, MLB The Show 20 introduced a full minors roster into this year’s game, and to this point, its inclusion has been bittersweet. The face scans and audio cue additions to the game for specific prospects are without a doubt a huge plus. But the other biggest benefit has been the new Prospect Series in Diamond Dynasty. These cards represent some of the best prospects in Major League Baseball, and the card rewards you can get featuring their names and likenesses are absolutely fantastic.
Yes, the roster file itself has left something to be desired for a lot of the community. There’s no doubt it’s not the cleanest or most accurate file, but for the most part that doesn’t plague Diamond Dynasty as much as it does the Franchise and Road to the Show community. After all, the Diamond Dynasty community focuses on putting together the best lineup possible in order to compete at the highest level. None of the live series prospect cards will achieve that, or come close. However, the Prospect Series cards are supercharged versions of prospects that reflect what that player’s ceiling in the big leagues may be.
Blue Jays starting pitcher Nate Pearson is by no means an 89 overall type of player in reality right now, but his Prospect Series card is, and it is an absolute beast of a card. Pearson is a great representation of the series as a whole.
Finding new ways for the community and fans in general to connect with their favorite players can be a challenge. Developers have to keep the game fresh by releasing new ways to play as some of your favorite big leaguers. Minor League Baseball and more specifically top prospects lists have never before received the type of media coverage they’re receiving today. Top prospects have larger-than-life value these days and some of the kids are being treated like superstars before they play a single inning at the big league level. Take 2019 for example — it was a foregone conclusion that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr. were going to be mega-hits when they arrived into the big leagues. They had been touted as such long before their debuts. And just as predicted, they came in and set the baseball world on fire, claiming instant stardom.
2020, when the season eventually arrives, will be no different. Some of the premier young names in the game are set to debut early this season, and the red carpet was understandably rolled out for the on MLB The Show 20.
Prospect Series Nate Pearson
Let’s start with the aforementioned Pearson. It’s hard to put into words just how nasty this card is. Only an 89 overall, it probably won’t last the test of time and become an endgame card, but for now, it very well may be one of the top three or four starting pitcher cards in the game. The fastball comfortably touches 99 or more on a regular basis. On top of that, he has a slider that swings into the zone at 92 miles per hour, and a breaking ball that buckles the batter’s knees — it’s an incredibly tough assignment. Mix in a changeup for good measure and from this chair, it’s right up there with Jacob deGrom as one of the filthier arsenals in the game.
Prospect Series Jo Adell and Luis Robert
Elite outfielders Jo Adell and Luis Robert both received 90 overall Prospect Series cards for the launch of this year’s game and I was eager to get our hands on them.
They did not disappoint.
In three games with both players, four home runs were hit and the two blue chippers were 12 for 25 combined, good for a .480 average. In the field, Adell and Robert covered some serious ground, rated 85 and 92 on the speed scale respectively. All in all, both left a massive first impression. Adell can be earned by going 12-0 in Battle Royale, while Robert is a little more attainable because he’s a Prospect Pack reward — or can be had on the community market for a pretty penny.
Prospect Series Leody Taveras and Justin Dunn
I was also able to play around a little bit with Rangers outfield prospect Leody Tavares, as well as Mariners starting pitcher Justin Dunn. Taveras, being a switch-hitting center fielder with good speed certainly has a place in the game right now. He’s got some good punch in his bat, and can track down fly balls with the best of them. At 84 overall, he won’t be a fixture in many lineups for too long, but he’ll undoubtedly be a popular choice in events this season.
Dunn has quite the repertoire of pitches in his right arm, but struggles with command. Without a true out pitch, it seemed difficult to put hitters away with his card, but again, for Mariners fan out there, the inclusion of an elevated card for one of their best prospects is exciting nonetheless.
Prospect Series Julio Rodriguez
Just when you got comfortable with the initial launch prospects, San Diego Studio decided to treat the community with cards for Jesus Luzardo, Michael Kopech, Royce Lewis, Julio Rodriguez and Nick Madrigal (among others). Rodriguez, just 18 years old, was a must-add. At 6-foot-4 225 pounds, he’s an absolute unit in right field and packs some serious punch at the plate. I was able to get 12 at-bats under my belt and gleefully stroked three dingers. The power is real, and he’s a gold-level defender too. At just an 87 overall, he’s not going to last in lineups too terribly long, but for the time being, he’s one hell of a fun player to throw into your outfield. He’s going for cheap too, about 10,000 Stubs at the time of writing this.
More than anything, the experience of playing with these cards left a feeling of excitement and intrigue for the future of the card series. The game has plenty of huge upside players developers could tap into moving forward. Dreams of a Wander Franco card with 125 vision. Maybe a turbo-charged Mackenzie Gore, or an unstoppable Jarred Kelenic card to feature at the top of the lineup. The possibilities seem endless.
Having not yet had the privilege to play with Orioles stud prospect Adley Rutschman just yet, that card is the next target. A switch-hitting catcher with elite defense and 75+ hitter ratings across the board is an awfully tantalizing combination. If you’re a fan of someone like Yasmani Grandal behind the plate, this Baltimore backstop is going to be a must-own. He won’t be the easiest card to acquire, as San Diego Studio decided to make him a First Inning World Series reward.
The entire series is an absolute treat. Having these players in the game with their correct faces, correct stances and windups, as well as pre-baked audio cues make for an immersive experience unlike anything we’ve experienced thus far. San Diego Studio tapping into the future of Major League Baseball was a move of brilliance. Time will tell how hard the team leans on this newfangled minor league baseball license, but they should feature it any way possible.