It's a lesson learned the hard way; catchers that don't contribute meaningfully find themselves on teams that don't win consistently. It's shocking how many online matchups are lost on passed balls and an inability to throw runners out. These players make sure they're on the right side of the contest in MLB The Show 22.
Roberto Perez is the top dog on the Pirates when it comes to OVR ratings this year and he's got Pittsburgh fans excited for the future. In each of the five defensive attributes, he's got a 67 or better. Three of these, reaction time, blocking, and fielding, are all in the 90s.
Here's an oddity that comes in handy; Perez has a perfect 99 in bunting. Catchers are classically terrible at this, so Perez's excellence in this area is astounding. Drop one down for an infield single when the defense least expects it or pull off a suicide squeeze without feeling the risk.
When gamers want to improve their players in Road to the Show, copying the template of Mike Zunino is a smart idea. He's got a power rating of 90+ against righties and lefties, the latter of which is a perfect 99. It's a great place to start for a catcher since some occasional pop goes a long way.
Defensively, Zunino is above-average or better in each category, holding down the fort for his teammates. Most of his other attributes are well below average, but with all the basics covered, he's more than just a pleasant surprise.
When players think about dropping down a bunt, they usually keep the locations of the third baseman, first baseman, and pitcher in mind. When Jacob Stallings is behind the plate, however, he becomes a likely candidate to pick up a short bunt.
He was given a perfect OVR in both fielding and reaction time, so a wild pitch or a dribbler that might advance the runners isn't a sure thing. His 80 caps it off; he won a Gold Glove in 2021 and that honor is represented accurately in his player card.
A cursory glance at Garver's player card will have players saying, "Wow, that's a lot of red." Garver really doesn't have a weak spot in the zone. Pitchers have to hope he'll fish for a ball outside of the zone, but if it's a strike, he can punish the ball in any area.
It's not just "able to hit the ball" in any area, the word 'punish' was used intentionally. He's got power against lefties and righties in the 80+ zone. The hopes that he'll swing at trash aren't well-placed either, since he's got a steady 81 in plate discipline.
Every year, experts predict that Yadier Molina will have a decline due to his age playing a tough position. But the superstar catcher notched his tenth All-Star selection in 2021, showing the world he's got more than just a little gas left in the tank.
It will surprise no one in St. Louis that the two-time World Series champ has an 85 in clutch hitting. His 89 accuracy in throwing is still good for gunning down a few frisky runners every year. Those who want to overtake Molina for the starting job will have to hope he retires soon or they'll need to equip gear with high bonuses.
More than just Cubs fans watched in horror as the team seemed to work hard to disassemble their team a few years back, especially after witnessing that core group win the World Series. It's a painful memory but Chicago decided to keep Willson Contreras around for a good reason.
One of the best features for him is the 88 arm strength. Frisky base runners should prepare to be gunned down on any given pitch should they choose to steal. His hitting is well above average in most categories, so he's prepared to contribute on that side of the plate as well.
As if it's not enough that Salvador Perez is one of the best catchers in the game, he's got the distinction of being the player with the highest OVR on the Royals. So much for the years past when catchers were considered an "extra" piece of the puzzle.
Those stuck as a catcher with the Royals will probably need to change positions as soon as possible. He's got a perfect 99 power against lefties, an 87 against righties, good contact against both, and a 98 durability, so Perez is good to go with no days off.
Will Smith is another one of the select everyday catchers and there is a reason the Dodgers, who could buy anybody, want him behind the plate. His power against righties is given a 97 and his clutch attribute rests at a solid 82.
Despite his high OVR, none of his other attributes clear the 80 marker, but he is around the 60s and 70s on most everything else. There is something to be said for catchers to contribute in every area; it's not about jumping off the paper, it's about getting wins and Smith fits the bill.
It's astounding that J.T. Realmuto's 2021 season was considered such a back step for the man since it eclipsed the output of most catchers in the league. Anybody hoping to get called up in Road to the Show will need to pray they don't get stuck behind him on the Phillies.
The real secret to his success is being well-rounded, which is part of being the go-to catcher every day instead of a rotation guy. With an arm strength at 93, opponents are best sticking to their bases, so he's a threat on both sides of the ball.
Many are hailing Yasmani Grandal as the evolution of this latest catching generation. But in many respects, Grandal is a throwback. He plays every day and hits for power, as evidenced by his 94 durability, 92 power against righties, and 95 power against lefties.
Perhaps the most astounding part of Grandal's game is his discipline at the plate, which was granted a perfect 99. Grandal forces opponents to throw strikes. And when they do, the ball is always in danger of finding its way into the outfield cheap seats.
MLB The Show 22 was released on April 5th, 2022, and is available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PlayStation 5.