Holy Cow! What a week of content from the guys over at San Diego Studios. This was one of the craziest weeks in recent years. First we had the newest Team Affinity 3 drop. Then we had new Ranked Seasons rewards. Monday night we got new Home Run Derby cards in a choice pack. Finally, Tuesday night we got new All Star Game cards in a choice pack. Let’s take a look at each piece of content.
Team Affinity 3
For this set of team affinity cards, each team was given a new diamond based on their all star game nominees. All 30 teams received a card in the 96-99 range. These cards are non sellable but are also free with a bit of grinding involved. There are way too many cards to break down each one, so let’s discuss a few of my favorites.
In my opinion, the best card that came out of TA3 (team affinity 3) is the 99 overall starting pitcher Jacob DeGrom from the New York Mets. This card is nice. With a five pitch mix, 4 seam, slider, changeup, curveball, and 2 seam, he is definitely missing the glitchy pitches, sinker and cutter, that get used the most in competitive play. This card will stay relevant due to having the outlier perk on his fastball, allowing him to get to 102 mph, 119 H/9 and 115 K/9.
Another solid card is from the Kansas City Royals, a 97 overall catcher Salvador Perez. This card is a hitting machine with 93 contact and 90 power against righties and 125 contact and 125 power against lefties. He also has 80 fielding and 80 arm strength, which from the catching position are solid statistics. The only real downside to this card is the 36 speed, but there are plenty of catchers that have less.
Another card that will be in several competitive bullpens is the 95 overall relief pitcher Gregory Soto from the Detroit Tigers. The best thing about this card is that he throws left handed which is a major plus. He does only have a four pitch mix, sinker, slider, four seam, and changeup. He does have the outlier perk on his sinker which will alow him to get that pitch to almost 100 mph.
The last card that I think has a lot of potential to enter competitive bullpens is the 96 overall relief pitcher Alex Reyes from the St. Louis Cardinals. This card is awesome. He has a five pitch mix, four seam, sinker, slider, 12-6 curveball, and changeup. His four seam and his sinker will all be thrown 95+mph. He also has 125 H/9 and 115 K/9.
Ranked Seasons Rewards
With a new season of ranked comes new potential rewards for players who make it to the world series or are able to win 40 games of ranked seasons. In this pack for this season there are two new cards that are both very good cards.
The first card is 99 overall, 300 save club Rich “Goose” Gossage. If you have played the game in the past, you know that the 99 overall Gossage card is always an end game bullpen arm. He has a four pitch mix, four seam, slurve, sinker and changeup. His fastball and sinker will be thrown close to 100 mph no matter the location. His slurve will drop off the table and be the out pitch. He has 125 H/9 and 125 K/9. Good luck finding success hitting against this card.
The next option is the 99 overall MVP Larry Walker. Another card that has been in the game for a few years now that will easily fit into anyone’s lineup. Primary right fielder, can play all the outfield positions at a diamond caliber with 90 fielding and 93 arm strength. He has 125 contact and 125 power against righties and 99 contact and 80 power against lefties. Walker has potential end game outfielder written all over him.
Home Run Derby
One of the coolest things San Diego Studios does every year for the all star break is the creation of choice packs for the All Star Game festivities. First up we had the home run derby. All eight participants in the derby were granted a diamond card with insane hitting stats and middle tier fielding. This choice pack was divided into three tiers based on their performance in the derby.
The first tier has Shohei Ohtani, Salvador Perez, Joey Gallo, and Matt Olson. If you buy the choice pack and get the base tier, any fo the four of these cards could be used as decent bench bats, but will more than likely not start in the field.
The middle tier had Trevor Story and Juan Soto. Story is definitely more intriguing than Soto, who was given a common defense rating. This 97 overall Story card has 78 contact and 120 power against righties and 92 contact and 120 power against lefties. The nice part about this card is he was still given 80 fielding and 82 arm strength. If you needed a shortstop, and were given this round, Story is the easy pick.
The final tier included the two finalists with Trey Mancini and Pete Alonso. While Mancini has great hitting stats, 82 contact and 123 power against righties and 103 contact and 123 power against lefties, he only has 60 fielding. The Alonso card however could be a great pickup for any player.
His hitting stats are obviously going to be awesome, with 104 contact and 125 power against righties and 92 contact and 125 power against lefties. They also gave him 69 fielding and with his primary position being first base, that will be good enough to be an instant starter if you are a fan of his swing.
All Star Game
Similar to how the Home Run Derby Pack worked, there was an All Star game choice pack that was given after the game was over. This was a tier pack based on performance as well.
In the base tier there were 96 overall relief pitcher Liam Hendricks and 96 overall shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Neither of these cards are anything special, and if you are forced to choose one, it basically comes down to need.
The next tier we get 97 overall starting pitcher Lance Lynn or 98 overall J.T. Realmuto. The Lynn card features a great five pitch mix with four seam, cutter, sinker, 12-6 curveball, and changeup. This card does not throw overly hard, but almost all of his pitches have great movement and can be effective.
The Realmuto card is potentially the best catcher in the game. He has 100 contact and 101 power against righties and 97 contact and 92 power against lefties. He also has 80 fielding 98 arm power. Unless the runner has the greatest jump ever, there is a very high chance he will be thrown out with Realmuto behind the plate.
The final tier includes a 99 overall starting pitcher Freddy Peralta and 99 overall first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The Peralta card is pretty awesome but this Guerrero card is unreal. He has 122 contact and 120 power against righties and 103 contact and 112 power against lefties. If you have played the game, you know Guerrero has a great swing and he does get secondary third base, which is big if you do not have the collections done for Chipper Jones.
There are so many cards in the affinity that I did not get too that could easily make a starting lineup. Both World Series cards are great. The Home Run Derby and All Star game cards are also very intriguing. Good luck with all of the possibilities!
Check in next week as we will dive into any new MLB the Show releases for next week and as always Happy Grinding!