The solution to better fielding then becomes a matter of how to cut down on user input error. The easiest way to do this is to use superior settings; it's cheaper than buying anything and faster than leveling up to max out the attributes. And MLB The Show 22 will reward those who understand how to use the defense.
If the goal is to catch the most fly balls, there is no reason to choose any setting other than drifting ball so long as the player is a novice gamer or better. This will put the icon of a ball on the ground that shrinks as the ball gets closer to the ground.
This icon can be inaccurate if the player's fielding attribute is terrible, but, even then, it's still going to be pretty close enough to make an adjustment and get to the ball. Dropping an easy fly is a quick way to sabotage a player's journey of getting called up in Road to the Show.
Track Ball mode is similar to Drifting Ball except that instead of showing the landing place as a single point, it's a short plane. There are no advantages to this over the Drifting Ball, but players who exclusively play the outfield might find this preferable on a visual level.
When runners are tagging, starting at the back of the line and then moving forward can give outfielders a path to follow before throwing back in with momentum. Equip some equipment that helps with throwing strength and accuracy for a rare outfield assist.
With Catch Indicator Off mode, there will still be a red indicator that tells players which direction to go for the ball, but there is no landing indicator whatsoever. This is a straight-up disadvantage but it makes for a cleaner floor and a more immersive experience. Gamers that want to feel more in the game will enjoy this.
There is an unfortunate fact that the ball can't be seen at every height, so the "realism" angle would only be applicable if the vision were switched to first-person. Still, the mode is there for players to choose, maybe for an additional challenge against players who need extra difficulty.
Auto fielding is the only potential upgrade over Drifting Ball. The AI is pretty solid at fielding, understanding where to go and how quickly to get there. They will also back up for running starts at throws to the infield. It's great for new players.
There is a huge caveat to this, though. They will only play as well as the fielder in question. A bad fielder will still boot or misplay an occasional ball. With Drifting Ball, players can make a bad fielder catch a ball they would ordinarily drop. So Auto Fielding should only be used by veterans that have an established team (or experts that are sick of defense entirely).
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.