Top 3 Catchers and Starting Pitchers in Diamond Dynasty

Building the perfect squad in Diamond Dynasty is part of the mode’s allure. Diamond Dynasty shifted back to a “power creep” format, with higher-rated cards slowly being added over time, meaning there’s less cards to choose from at this point compared to last year.

One of my favorite aspects of Diamond Dynasty is how we all go about building our squads. There’s cards with “glitchy” swings that often outhit their attributes, earning them a higher standing compared to higher rated cards. We also have Captains returning in MLB The Show 24 which can significantly alter your choices depending on your Captains and inventory.

We’ve had a couple weeks with the game now so let’s take a look at two important positions and some of the best players currently available.

Please note that we’re discussing cards that are attainable through the marketplace or otherwise. There are free cards that are earned in the Season XP Program Path, but some are pretty far off right now, which means they’re really only usable in Battle Royale at the moment.

The Method

Again, one of my favorite aspects of DD is that we’ll have different opinions on cards because we get different results. I was ecstatic to use the Barrier Breakers Josh Gibson, only to find that I couldn’t hit with the card at all. I’ve heard amazing things from the rest of the community so it’s very much an issue with me and not the card.

The way I go about ranking the best cards is basically a two-part process. For starters, I use the player database over at ShowZone where I’ll sort players by Meta Overall. Meta Overall factors in how cards rank compared to the most used cards in Ranked, based off attributes, Quirks, and other factors. This gives me a basic idea of the cards I should consider.

Next, that’s where I use personal experience with the cards or feedback from around the community in addition to lineup balance. If I’ve had success with a particular player in the past, their cards gain higher favor with me. I also try to balance my lineup as much as possible. I value having a healthy balance between handedness of my hitters, so that often ends up being a tiebreaker if I’m too heavy with one particular side.

Top 3 Catchers In Diamond Dynasty

3. Spring Breakout Dalton Rushing (Tier 3 Cornerstone Byron Buxton Boost)

Spring Breakout Pack 1 featured 90 overall Ethan Salas in the rare round. That card is also eligible for the Buxton Boost, but carries a higher price due to being a rare round card. This Dalton Rushing card was in the base round and isn’t too far off in terms of base attributes.

Make no mistake, Salas is a better card from an attribute perspective. However, Rushing is much cheaper than Salas and I’ve enjoyed his swing quite a bit. I’m hitting close to .450 with Rushing so far, which is great considering I only added him to my starting lineup because I needed to balance my lineup with another lefty.

2. All-Star Mike Piazza

Piazza is a player that was avoided like the plague just a couple years ago. He was one of those players who just seemed to have a bad swing, constantly under-performing no matter how juicy the attributes were. In the last couple years, though, Piazza’s swing has been changed and is now one of the better swings in the game.

This card is attainable, though will take a while for many to reach him since he’s the Dodgers Live Series collection reward. Still, this card looks better on paper than the 90 overall rating might suggest. Elite contact against both sides and solid power, Piazza also has more Quirks than a lot of other cards, including Dead Red that improves his contact against fastballs. Depending on your cache of Captains, you can give this Piazza various boosts that will only make him better.

1. Rookie Gary Sanchez (Tier 3 Cornerstone Byron Buxton Boost)

Oh boy. This card is nastier than it has any right to be before you factor in any Captain boosts. Factor in Sanchez being eligible for the Buxton Boost and things just get better. With a Tier 3 boost, this Sanchez will feature 121 POW R and 125 POW L, which makes him just an absolute beast at the plate.

Yes, the 43 CON L is bad and the 54 Vision will cause problems on Hall of Fame and higher. But we’re still in the early phase of the Diamond Dynasty season. It takes you quite a bit of games to reach the Hall of Fame levels of Ranked, which means this card will be viable for a while. With Buxton’s boost, Sanchez also gains a Gold shield as his fielding will increase to 80. Paired with his 97 arm strength and Catcher Pop Time Quirk, Rookie Sanchez has pretty much everything you could want in an elite catcher.

Top 3 Starting Pitchers In Diamond Dynasty

3. Spring Breakout Paul Skenes

Paul Skenes has the perfect pitch-mix for online play. Possessing an Outlier 4-seamer with a slider, circle change, cutter and sinker, Skenes has it all. In many ways, Skenes is probably the ideal SP for this point in the game.

With the game just launching, there will be plenty of players in Ranked that simply can’t touch Skenes’ fastball, let alone the rest of the repertoire if used correctly. More experienced hitters might beat him up a bit as he was popular last year, too. However, you simply can’t say no to a card like this in your rotation.

2. Hyper Series Pedro Martinez

Hyper Series Pedro is the second best SP for me currently. His 101 H/9 is tied with Live Series Shohei Ohtani for second best in the game right now. Considering Hyper Series Andy Pettitte is a Season 1 Boss that isn’t attainable yet, they’re both realistically tied for best in this key attribute.

Pedro also has better BB/9 and control than pretty much every other top SP option right now. You also get an Outlier 4-seamer with this Pedro, as well as Break Outlier. Martinez is the National League Live Series collection reward, so he’ll take a while to get and a ton of Stubs. But cards like this being hard to obtain makes sense, and he’s very, very good.

1. All-Star Randy Johnson

I think it’ll be hard to ever rank anyone over Randy Johnson. The Big Unit has been an absolute menace since debuting in MLB The Show 22 and will continue to be one. Johnson’s attributes aren’t as good as Pedro’s, but Johnson is tall and lanky, and his windup creates fits for many players. He has the Outlier 4-seamer and Break Outlier as well, but just as hitters can have “glitchy” swings, pitcher windups can be a difference maker.

Perhaps he’ll get hit around a little more now that he’s been in the game for three years. I still like my chances with Johnson on the mound versus anyone, and I expect that he’ll earn plenty of free wins as people quit out before even seeing a pitch. Johnson is a World Series reward, which means you’ll need to grind Ranked (either Solo or Co-Op) or pony up a ton of Stubs. I think it’s safe to say he’s worth it.

There’s my Top 3 catchers and starting pitchers in Diamond Dynasty! Who makes your list and why?