Steven Montani, a former independent player-agent, passed the MLB Players 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: Pinpoint Pitchers
Introduction and Pinpoint Controls
MLB The Show is developed by Sony San Diego and is considered by many as Sony’s flagship sports title. Furthermore, Diamond Dynasty is MLB The Show’s digital baseball card, team-building game mode. And it is a mode rich in baseball goodness.
In efforts to take The Show into the eSport landscape, Sony San Diego introduced the pinpoint pitching mechanic in 2021. The pinpoint controls effectively widened the skill gap for competitive players and it returns to The Show in ‘23. Therefore, mastering the pinpoint control pitch mechanic remains as important as ever.
With that, each MLB pitcher has distinct timing and throwing motions that impact the pinpoint meter. Hence, it is vital to not only understand the art of pitching but to learn each pitcher’s pitch mix and timing. Moreover, The Show successfully simulates arm slots and unique pitch break for a variety of pitches. Dynasty players that master the gestures and timing of the pitches will narrow their range of pitch location outcomes.
As a former indie agent, my two former clients were pitching prospects. We worked with the current pitching coach for the San Diego Padres, and focused on arm slot and release points to the millisecond. Similarly, MLB The Show emphasizes timing and release points as two of its three main inputs in the pinpoint mechanic – down to the hundredths of a second. Thus, Dynasty players who leverage the pitch analysis feedback and study each pitcher’s animations will not only learn insights into the science of pitching, but they will also improve their game.
In summation, The Show and the pitch outcomes will communicate to Dynasty players all they need to know. In that sense, the game is like a digital pitching lab, and the onus is on Dynasty players to read the analyses and adjust. No Driveline experts are needed here. The pinpoint mechanic feedback has it all.
Armed with an abundance of information, here are some ball player cards that Dynasty players can leverage in 2023. Moreover, I will walk Dynasty players through how to maximize each card’s pitch mix and pinpoint controls.
Diamond Dynasty Pinpoint Pitchers
Pablo Lopez | 88 OVR Event Series | Diamond Dynasty Sleeper
We start with Venezuela’s Pablo Lopez, who was pumping 97 miles per hour on his fastball in the World Baseball Classic. The lone true control specialist on this list, Lopez’s wind-up is deceptive as he slow-builds to deliver a power fastball (94 velocity) and ghostly-change up (97 break).
Lopez’ windup animation may be slow, but the movements are decisive and to the point, resulting in predictable timing on the pinpoint controls. Hence, Lopez does not waste any motion.
Pitchers can be likened to manipulating matter with every throw. And Lopez’s diamond card features eight perks, shaping his traits and pitches alike. Furthermore, as demonstrated in the WBC, Lopez performs better in intense game moments with the pressure cooker perk. Additionally, his control artist perk is appropriately applied, and his pinpoint controls are forgiving as a result. Dynasty players should use his breaking pitches, including a heavy slurve, to take advantage of his location boost.
Lopez looks like a future leader for the Minnesota Twins, and he is an underrated foundation player for Dynasty teams in The Show ‘23.
Dustin May | 93 OVR Topps Now | Diamond Dynasty Sleeper
Dustin May might have some of the most electric stuff in baseball. May ranks high on the new Fangraphs Stuff+ list, and it is easy to see why. His fastball sits at an easy 99 to 100 mph., accompanied by a saucy slider.
May’s throwing animation from the windup is relatively ordinary, capped with his signature leg kick. Consequently, May’s release point timing is average in the pinpoint system. Considering May features a power fastball and slider, the gestures on such pitches make his arsenal user-friendly on the pinpoint mechanic.
May’s 99 overall sinker however is another beast altogether. Sinkers are a difficult pitch to gesture on the pinpoint mechanic. Combine this and May’s location rating (75), and his top-rated pitch could be a bit dangerous to throw at times. Dynasty players will want to study May’s animation and gesture-timing carefully in order to prepare to use his best pitch.
In all, May’s repertoire promotes robust amounts of pitch sequences. Dynasty players can use his top three pitches in the same tunnel, and confuse hitters on both the incoming speed and pitch shape.
“…the game is like a digital pitching lab, and the onus is on Dynasty players to read the analyses and adjust. No Driveline experts are needed here. The pinpoint mechanic feedback has it all.”
Brusdal Graterol | 98 OVR Event Series 2021 Card | Diamond Dynasty Sleeper
Staying with the Dodgers, May’s teammate in the bullpen throws pure vapor. Brusdal Graterol is a 6’1” 265 lb. power pitcher, and he features both x and y axis movement on his heavy fastball. The last time we saw a diamond-grade Graterol card was 2021; and with Graterol being a potential closer for the Dodgers, Dynasty players will have good reason to expect a refresh of his diamond card in 2023.
Graterol’s animation is almost from the stretch, making his pinpoint timing simplified and mostly consistent across all in-game scenarios. His sinker can touch 100, and his fastball can hit 101 on the radar gun. Similarly, his cutter can be used effectively against lefties at elite speeds, clocked at 96 mph. Conversely, against righties, Graterol can use his fastball or sinker because both pitches have arm-side run.
Graterol was a Diamond Dynasty favorite when his Future Series Card debuted in 2020. Since then, Graterol has refined his pitch location and only has improved his game. The Dodgers may turn to him in the 9th inning in 2023 as their closer. Diamond Dynasty players may want to do the same with his 112 clutch rating and his low stamina grade (40) based on his previous Diamond Event Series card. Look for Graterol’s 2021 Event Series card to return in ‘23, or some other variation of it, as he continues his rise in MLB.
Bryan Abreu | 83 OVR Gold Live Series | Diamond Dynasty Sleeper
Following in the footsteps of Cristian Javier, Framber Valdez, and Luis Garcia, Abreu is reportedly next in line to convert to a starting pitcher for the Astros. This, according to a report by The Athletic. Like Javier, Abreu made his name in the bullpen, wiping out opponents with velocity (99 speed) and a wiffle ball-like slider (99 break) in 2022.
Abreu’s throwing animation is strictly from the stretch. Hence, his release timing is fast-paced. Fortunately, his best pitches are low-risk, easy gestures on the sticks. As Abreu builds up to a starter-level workload, look for new versions of his Dynasty cards to pop up. Dynasty players can get ahead of the curve and begin to start him in Battle Royale if his stamina ratings increase at all throughout the season.
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!