Steven Montani, a former independent player-agent, passed the MLB Player’s Association Agent Exam in 2017. Montani now recommends his scouted, high-impact cards to add to your collection in MLB The Show Diamond Dynasty.
Diamond Dynasty Sleeper Series
Introduction and Latest News
MLB The Show, developed by Sony San Diego, is considered by many as Sony’s flagship sports title. Diamond Dynasty is MLB The Show’s digital baseball card, team-building game mode. And it is a mode rich in baseball goodness.
Diamond Dynasty features countless ballplayer cards, from previous eras, to future stars. Moreover, the game mode honors the sport with player cards like Roberto Clemente, and it explores pro baseball’s roots.
Accordingly, new to The Show ‘23 are eight game-changing Negro Leagues ballplayer cards who will be honored and introduced to players via The Show ‘23 Storylines. It follows that The Show’s roster is remarkably deep – Diamond Dynasty ’23 players will have hundreds of digital cards at their disposal. Thus, team building in Diamond Dynasty can be overwhelming for newcomers. Fortunately, history tells us many cards in The Show ‘22 will carry over to The Show ‘23.
So, in an effort to lend my baseball perspective, I have heavily scouted, play-tested, and handpicked the following Diamond Dynasty cards as potential sleepers for Dynasty game players in ’23.
Diamond Dynasty Sleepers – Five Impact Hitters
Gunnar Henderson | SS, Baltimore | 95 OVR Future Star Series | Diamond Dynasty Sleeper
It is only fitting we begin by scouting major league baseball’s future stars. Henderson is a shortstop and third baseman with a Corey Seager-like approach to hitting. His speed and athleticism jump off the screen, so naturally, his 95 overall Future Stars Series card captures his potential in Diamond Dynasty. Gunnar’s Future Stars card possesses contact and power to all fields, and his 63-rated vision is serviceable, given his versatility on the diamond.
Henderson’s swing animation is vanilla. It doesn’t feel exceptional, but the swing comfortably covers the entire plate. His batted ball outcomes from swings on fastballs low and away from right-handed pitchers are highly forgiving. As a result, Henderson’s opposite-field power on such pitches is premium grade.
Defensively, Henderson’s Future Star card plays up with The Show ‘23’s dynamic throwing meter. He has 96-rated arm strength matched with 92 percent accuracy.
In light of his five-tool profile, most media outlets rate Gunnar as the top prospect in all of baseball; his Future Stars card is an excellent target this spring.
Triston Casas | 1B, Boston | 87 OVR Prospect Series | Diamond Dynasty Sleeper
Triston Casas is a power-hitting left-handed first baseman prospect for the Boston Red Sox. Casas, a Miami native, has been described by some as an introspective hitter. Supporting evidence from Fangraphs data supports such a claim, and they rate his hit tool as above-average, with high-grade power.
Casas’ 87 overall Prospect Series card in Diamond Dynasty is valuable at less than 7K Stubbs. The card features a diamond-grade hitting profile, best against right-handed pitchers. Although his strike zone is tall because of his 6’4” frame, his card has easy power that will require excellent timing from Dynasty game players.
While plate discipline is a complex trait to translate into Diamond Dynasty, I covet it in my hitter evaluations. And Casas has it. Casas is a hawkeye at the plate, and his Dynasty card’s check-swing perk is valuable against nasty breaking pitches. Consequently, Casas is one of my breakout picks for ‘23.
“He’s got the hit tool. It is kind of a rare combination of the hit tool and extreme patience that I think could lead to superstardom. There is a real chance this all clicks and he is Freddie Freeman-esque.” -Eno Sarris, The Athletic.
Hunter Renfroe | OF, Anaheim | 99 OVR Finest Series | Diamond Dynasty Sleeper
Next, we have the most underrated player in MLB. Hunter Renfroe has elite power and consistently competes for tops in the majors in putouts from the outfield. He is a true sleeper and will change the Angels’ lineup this season.
Renfroe’s 99 Finest Series card features a buttery smooth uppercut swing animation. Hence, he can lift the ball with his maxed-out power ratings against both righties and lefties. Moreover, thanks to his vision rating, his PCI is forgiving when early on fastballs. This combination of power and vision should dominate against even the most legendary pitcher ratings. Considering The Show’s gameplay outcomes are partially pre-deterministic and weighted heavily with ratings, Renfroe is an absolute weapon. He wins before he even takes a swing.
Hunter Renfroe’s Finest Series card features an unprecedented 14 perks. Therefore, I recommend Dynasty players draft him in Battle Royale and Dynasty seasons on day one. To note, players should drop him in the heart of the lineup – he gets a ratings boost with runners on base.
Adalberto Mondesi | SS, Boston | 98 OVR Flashback Series | Diamond Dynasty Sleeper
Adalberto Mondesi is a switch-hitting shortstop set to play for the Boston Red Sox in ‘23. While Mondesi has often been injury prone in his career, he is healthy and in his prime in The Show. With elite speed and power, Mondesi is the perfect archetype for Diamond Dynasty.
Next, Mondesi’s swing animation is deceptive in MLB The Show. His swing gives the impression that he short-arms his swings. Consequently, it appears that his swing cannot cover the entire plate, but that is not how the game works. In theory, all swing animations are equal, and they only differ visually. Thus, if players can acclimate to Mondesi’s choppy swing animation, his Flashback Series 98 OVR card is Mike Vick ‘04 in baseball form.
Additionally, switch hitters are particularly lethal in Battle Royale, where the gameplay engine is on hyperdrive. The game’s many outcomes play out in a dense three-inning window. Therefore, players will want to win matchups before each pitch is thrown. Switch hitters like Mondesi do precisely that.
In all, SDS maxes out Mondesi’s Flashback card in six rating categories: contact and power versus lefties (125), bunt and drag bunt (99), and speed and steals (99). The legacy pro ballplayer, and son of former major leaguer Raul Mondesi, is a game-breaker in Battle Royale.
“With elite speed and power, Mondesi is the perfect archetype for Diamond Dynasty.”
Elly De La Cruz | SS, Cincinnati | 95 OVR Future Series | Diamond Dynasty Sleeper
Shortstop is one of the most athletic positions on the diamond. To that end, it should be no surprise that the best MLB athletes play the position—case and point: the switch-hitting future star, Elly De La Cruz.
Elly looks very much part of an Olympic sprinter when he zooms around the field. Moreover, he is an instant advantage for players – De La Cruz’s hitting ratings from both sides of the dish allow him to hit all fields in Diamond Dynasty tournaments. While his strikeout rate has been high in the minor leagues, Dynasty players can overcome his 50-grade vision with excellent plate-coverage-indicator (PCI) skills. Elly’s 90+ contact rate means the near entirety of his inner PCI can do severe damage.
A bit like Mondesi, he plays in the center of the field, where Elly’s agility and range can impact the game. On that note, De La Cruz’s Future Series card also features 99 base stealing ability – critical in short-inning Battle Royale matchups. I recommend Dynasty players lock him into their lineups and watch him cut through the basepaths, and take base after base.
Be sure to keep track of all of our MLB The Show ’23 coverage by our baseball writer, Brandon Satterwhite. Join the conversation by joining us on Discord, and check out our Twitter and Facebook pages as well as our growing YouTube Channel!