This is the latest in a series on the MLB simulation card game, MLB Showdown. Previous entries include:
Before jumping into full roster construction, I wanted to show you what some of the best MLB showdown cards are like. I've got 4 of the best hitters and 4 of the best pitchers to show you. Notice how all of these guys are way above the 325 per player average you are afforded with the way MLB showdown rules handle making a roster. Put one of these guys on your team, and you'll have to save elsewhere.
Mark McGwire: McGwire is one of the top hitters in the game, and most expensive. His 10 OB is the highest the scale goes, and 16-20 HRs mean he launches one 25% of the time when he gets the advantage. At 570 points, he's among the most expensive in the game.
Jason Giambi: Compared to McGwire, he's a bargain. They both have the same 10 OB, speed, defense, and extra base power. The difference is Giambi's 18-20 home runs, while McGwire has a 10% higher rate. Is that worth an extra 100 points against the cap? I don't think so.
Barry Larkin: Larkin is one of my favorite cards. OB 9, top of the line defense at a premium position, and speed A to boot. All for only 360 points. The downside is a lack of power, as he only gets true extra base hits 15% of the time with advantage. But that's a small downside for how few points he costs. It shows you how much power costs in this game.
Roberto Alomar: A premium cost at 560 points. But he's an OB of 10, speed A, good defense and decent power. He's a good player, I am not sure he's worth 200 more points than Larkin for a 5% higher chance of both doubles and HRs. Good card, but not worth the premium cost.
John Smoltz: Solid pitcher. The 6 control is a rarity for starters, and he gets normal amount of outs as well. He gets decent ground balls as well. Basically he's good for at least 6, and could realistically get into the 8th inning as well. If there's any kind of weakness, it's that he does give up hits 20% of the time with advantage.
Kerry Wood: Despite having 1 less control than Smoltz, I consider him to be the better pitcher. Why? because he gets outs with the advantage 80% of the time, with a roll of 1-16. That's 5% more than Smoltz. Furthermore he gives up significantly less hits, and no extra base hits off his chart. When Wood has the advantage, there's just a 5% chance of getting a hit, and it's just a single.
Tim Hudson: He's a closer comparison to Smotlz. He's got 1 less control, but is also 70 points cheaper. The results charts are similar, with Hudson giving up 5% more walks and popups, and 5% less fly balls. Basically, by comparing the two cards, 1 control is worth nearly 70 points. At least among top tiered pitchers.
Greg Maddux: Is another solid pitcher in real life, and on his card. Note that he costs the same point total as Hudson. Both are control 5, and get outs on results 1-15 (75%). Maddux gets 5% more ground balls, but 5% less strikeouts. Maddux has a large advantage with 7 IP, so why the same point cost? Maddux doesn't walk anybody. Normally this would be good, but within the confines of MLB showdown, he's giving up hits instead of walks. Hits score runners in scoring position, where walks do not. I suspect that in game, Maddux would have a much higher ERA than Hudson.
That's my look at top tier players in MLB Showdown 2000. Up next, I construct my ultimate team.