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: Spring ’23 Pitchers
MLB The Show is developed by Sony San Diego and 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 ballplayers cards, from previous eras of pro baseball, to future stars. Moreover, the game-mode honors the sport with player cards like Roberto Clemente and it explores pro baseball’s roots.
Moreover, The Show ‘23 will place a greater emphasis on precision control. SDS has added Google Statcast infographics to the game to emphasize detailed pitch feedback and contact and removed 50 percent of the batter’s vision. Thus, players with top-tier pitching ability will have an increased advantage.
So, in an effort to lend my baseball perspective, I have heavily scouted, play-tested, and handpicked the following Diamond Dynasty cards as potential sleeper pitchers for Dynasty players in ‘23.
Diamond Dynasty – Impact Pitchers
Andres Munoz | RP, Seattle | 86 OVR Live Series | Diamond Dynasty Sleeper
Munoz may be one the best young pitchers in all of major league baseball. The Seattle flamethrower regularly touches 100 mph on his fastball. In turn, he pairs the heat with a wipeout slider with dizzying horizontal movement.
Munoz is rated as a top-ten pitcher in the Pitcher Report by The Athletic’s Eno Sarris. The Pitcher Report grades pitch command, pitch break, and velocity under a category named “Stuff+.” It is no surprise that Munoz’ electric arm grades out as one of the best in the Stuff+ model.
Munoz’ Live Series card features five perks, including his ability to excel with runners on base. It follows that Munoz is especially valuable in Battle Royale format, where the game is on the line with every pitch. At 86 overall, we can expect his Live Series card to skyrocket once he takes over the closer role in the Pacific Northwest.
Freddy Peralta | SP, Milwaukee | 81 OVR Live Series | Diamond Dynasty Sleeper
Continuing with Live Series players, Freddy Peralta possesses a live arm and a unique delivery. According to Pitcher List’s Nick Pollack, Peralta throws across his body, creating a sharp angle on the baseball’s pitch trajectory. This arm-angle is represented well in MLB The Show, and his pitches regularly splinter bats. If home runs are the most satisfying for Dynasty hitters, then equally enjoyable is splintering a bat with pinpoint pitches.
As if the arm-angle was not enough of an advantage, Peralta features excellent command and velocity. His fastball-slider combination plays well together, and the slider is hard to read with its sharp cut.
Aside from excellent pitch shape, Peralta possesses one key attribute for Battle Royale – limiting home runs. Home runs are game-changers in Battle Royale, and Peralta excels at mitigating the threat of 99 overall power hitters that Dynasty players have to play against.
Brayan Bello | SP, Boston | 95 OVR Future Series | Diamond Dynasty Sleeper
Pitchers in the Majors have to be at a glacier’s peak of athleticism and fitness. Moreover, pitching requires core strength, pinpoint precision, intelligence and awareness. The demands for being a successful pro pitcher are extraordinary.
Brayan Bello is a pitching prospect for the Boston Red Sox who might have what it takes. Bello has been compared to Pedro Martinez, based on Stuff+ ratings and also physical stature. Suffice to say, Bello is one of the more intriguing pitching prospects in The Show.
Bello’s Future Series card adequately represents his pitch-mix of fastball and changeup, but his 67 overall Live Series card gives you a better idea of what Bello has to offer. Bello’s Live Series card throws a 97 mph sinker, which is not featured in his Future Series card, but we can expect it will be when The Show ‘23 launches. Think about that, a 97 mph sinker, to pair a change up. Dynasty players that use the change-up to play-off the sinker will have opposing hitters out in front of pitches all day.
Look for the Dominican-born Bello to break camp with the Red Sox this spring, and target both his Live Series and Future Star cards across all of the Diamond Dynasty.
Koudai Senga | SP, New York Mets | TBD | Diamond Dynasty Sleeper
Koudai Senga has been dominating in the Japan Professional League for years. Fittingly, he has been a dominant pitcher in Konami’s Pro Spirits Baseball, too. While Senga is not available to scout in The Show ‘22, he is scoutable in Konami’s baseball simulator. We can preview Senga’s pitch mix and attributes to forecast what kind of waves Senga will make for the New York Mets in 2023.
Senga throws a riding fastball – a fastball with a lot of carry – that plays up above its mph; it is graded at 102 mph in Pro Spirits Baseball. In addition to the fastball, Senga throws a slider to drop in and he uses it to pitch to contact. His slider can help induce groundouts and essentially let opposing hitters get themselves out.
More importantly, Senga features the ghostball, or a split-finger sinker in the low 90s. The sinker is represented in Konami’s baseball game well. Pro Spirits simulates pitch speed and pitch break just as good as, and if not better than MLB The Show. Considering Pro Spirits uses the pulse meter, also an option in The Show, the comparisons for pitch command are apt. Consequently, Senga appears to have strong command across his whole arsenal as demonstrated here.
Senga has nine pitches in Pro Spirits, giving players an idea of all of the pitch types available in the game. Thus, we can expect a deep arsenal of pitches for Senga in The Show ‘23, with varying speeds and pitch breaks. Additionally, Senga has excellent composure ratings in Pro Spirits, which will translate well with MLB The Show’s increased emphasis on card perks in 2023.
Koudai Senga projects as a frontline starter for the majority of Major League teams. Look for his card early this spring.
Camilo Doval | RP, San Francisco | 73 OVR Live Series | Diamond Dynasty Sleeper
While the demands on pitcher physiology are arguably unjust, Camilo Doval is unphased by MLB’s penchant to burn through flame-throwing arms. Doval, a relief pitcher of the S.F. Giants, defies physics with his arsenal – his sinker and slider have unearthly pitch shape and break.
Dynasty players can find Doval with a 71 overall Live Series card. This 71 overall card has a sinker with 95 velocity and 99 break, representing hidden value in a low-grade card.
Doval’s walk ratings are low, which means that Dynasty players will need to be on-point with their pitching mechanic of choice. The pinpoint mechanic offers the highest degree of pitch precision, but it is the most difficult to master. It follows that Dynasty players will want to acclimate to Doval’s timing and delivery to take advantage of his wipe-out stuff.
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!
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