According to TheShow.com, MLB The Show 21 should be out on 4/20, but will be available for pre-orders 4 days earlier if it’s not the standard edition. This is the first year that the game will not be exclusive to PlayStation, as it will be available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Xbox One.
For those who don’t know: Player ratings separate the levels of their cards. Regular players are valued at less than 65, bronze at 65-74, silver at 75-79, gold at 80-84 and diamond at 85+.
I think some players just won’t have diamond status and will fall into the 83/84 category: Ozzie Albies, Tim Anderson, Xander Bogaerts, Walker Buehler, Aroldis Chapman, Matt Chapman, Nelson Cruz, Jack Flaherty, Max Freed, Paul Goldschmidt, Josh Hader, Dinelson Lamet, Brandon Lowe, Kenta Maeda, Aaron Nola, Marcell Ozuna, Chris Sale, George Springer, Giancarlo Stanton, Stephen Strasburg, Luke Voight and Mike Yastrzemski.
This list of players is almost certainly wrong, and some of the players listed above could be Diamonds, but it was still fun to guess.
Trapper – J.T. Realmuto (Phyllis)
Realmuto, considered by most to be the best catcher in baseball, returned to Philadelphia in the offseason for five years and $115.5 million.
First base – Jose Abreu (White Sox), Freddie Freeman (Braves).
Two sitting MVPs make Abreu and Freeman an easy choice to start the year as Diamonds.
Second base – DJ LeMahieu (Yankees)
In 2020, LeMahieu became the first player to become baseball champion in both leagues in the modern era, according to CBS Sports (Rockies in 2016).
Shortstop Francisco Lindor (Mets), Corey Seager (Dodgers), Trevor Story (Rockies), Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres), Tria Turner (Nationals).
It will be hard not to start with Seager, as he is the MVP of both the NLCS and the World Series.
Third base – Nolan Arenado (Cardinals), Alex Bregman (Astros), Manny Machado (Padres), Jose Ramirez (Indians), Anthony Rendon (Angels).
Although Arenado has won the Golden Glove in each of his eight seasons, it will be interesting to see how his bat holds up when he is no longer playing at home at Coors Field.
Left field – Juan Soto (Nationals), Christian Yelich (Brewers).
Only 22 years old, Soto may already be the best hitter in baseball. In 2020, he led the Netherlands with a 0.351 batting average, while leading the league in batting average (0.490) and slugging percentage (0.695).
Midfielder: Ronald Acuna Jr. (Braves), Cody Bellinger (Dodgers), Mike Trout (Angels).
Trout’s fifth place finish in the LA MVP voting is surprisingly low in nine full seasons.
Right field – Mookie Betts (Dodgers), Bryce Harper (Phillies), Aaron Judge (Yankees).
It would be interesting to see what the righty can do in a full season, but he was prone to injury, having played 155 games in 2017.
The first to compete are Trevor Bauer (Dodgers), Shane Bieber (Indians), Gerrit Cole (Yankees). Yu Darvish (Padres), Jacob deGrom (Mets), Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers), Hyun Jin Ryu (Blue Jays), Max Scherzer (National), Justin Verlander (Astros).
Ryu didn’t finish in the Show 20 as a Diamond, but he was a Cy Young finalist the past two years (second in NL voting with the Dodgers in 2019, third in AL with the Blue Jays in 2020).
Relieved are Nick Anderson (Ray), Liam Hendricks (White Sox), Devin Williams (Brewers).
Last year, Williams faced 100 batters and retired 53 of them.
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