The 2022 baseball season is over and MLB The Show 22 has paid tribute to Bryce Harper’s aura and the 162 games that were with Finest Of The Franchise. The featured program draws attention to the players who dominated Major League Baseball, and in the most Team Affinity way possible, it taps into today’s top stars (Max Scherzer, Manny Machado), rising vets (Xander Bogaerts), and the first-timers (Nico Hoerner, Nestor Cortes) who remain loyal to the name on the front of their jerseys.
The 2022 Finest Program features a number of 99 OVR player items representing all 30 MLB squads as well as retro uniforms, themed choice packs (Tool Box, Always Intense), and another series of 30 Finest Classics–including MLB 19’s Ketel Marte, MLB 20’s Devin Williams, and MLB 21’s Jesse Winker and Jorge Polanco. There’s also a Finest 2022 Collection, a Finest Of The Franchise Event with Finest Jacob deGrom, October’s Goats And Ghouls Program, the 2022 Postseason Program with 99 Trea Turner and 99 Harrison Bader, and an all-new Chase Pack Set 5 featuring Finest Corbin Burnes.
There’s even a Takashi Okazaki series Shohei Ohtani to collect and more Milestones on the way, so here’s a guide on the best 2022 Finest Of The Franchise adds for theme teams and the offseason.
Adley Rutschman (C) – Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles Finest Adley Rutschman.
There are Rookie Of The Year finalists and then there’s Adley Rutschman. The #1 pick in 2019’s Draft made his big league debut back in May and led the Orioles to 83 wins, hitting .254/.362/.445 with 13 home runs and 42 RBIs in 113 games. His 35 doubles passed Cal Ripken Jr.’s rookie record and while his metrics don’t visualize his pitch framing, leadership, and intangibles, his 2022 Finest cements him as a switch-hitting terror and one of the most complete backstops out there in MLB The Show 22.
Adolis Garcia (CF) – Texas Rangers
Texas Rangers Finest Adolis Garcia.
“El Bombi” found his groove in his sophomore stretch with the Rangers, setting career highs in hits (151) and doubles (34) while becoming the third player in team history to hit 25 home runs, steal 25 bases, and drive in 100+ RBIs in a single season. The other two? Ivan Rodriguez (1999) and Alfonso Soriano (2005). Garcia’s still the walk-off king and his Finest pairs power-first splits with Parallel One boosts like the 20/20 Vision quirk (85 Vision) and a diamond glove in the corners (95 Fielding).
Bobby Witt. Jr. (SS) – Kansas City Royals
Kansas City Royals Finest Bobby Witt Jr.
There’s the mullet, the arm, the speed, and that poetry-in-motion swing. Bobby Witt Jr. might not be a ROY finalist, but he became the fifth player in Royals’ history to reach the 20/20 mark and joined Barry Bonds (1987), Alex Rodriguez (1998), Mike Trout (2013), and Ronald Acuna Jr. (2019) as only the fifth player to record 20 home runs and 30 steals in their age 22-season. Witt’s 30 doubles also makes his 2022 Finest a lead-off threat with an elite glove, 99 speed, and Cannon at Parallel Four.
Daniel Bard (CP) – Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies Finest Daniel Bard.
After a decade of control issues, the 2020 NL Comeback Player Of The Year etched his spot as the Rockies’ new closer and never looked back with a 1.79 ERA, 34 saves, and 69 strikeouts in 60.1 total innings. Bard limited hitters to a .162 average and converted 16 straight saves from May to August, all thanks to a demoralizing sinker that bends the knee with 97 break, 95 control, and Outlier I.
Dylan Cease (SP) – Chicago White Sox
Chicago White Sox Finest Dylan Cease.
The 26-year-old acquired his second straight Finest selection with a White Castle favorite: sliders. In 2022, Cease threw his slider 42.9% of the time and went 14-8 with 2.20 ERA in 32 starts and finished second in the AL in strikeouts (227) and average against (.190) while being named the Pitcher Of The Month twice (June, July) and nearly recording a no-hitter against the Twins in September. He’s long overdue for a 99 OVR and his Finest adds a sinker to his 122 H/9 and gravity-defying changeup.
Hunter Renfroe (RF) – Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers Finest Hunter Renfroe.
In a post-Rays-and-Red Sox season, Renfroe hit .255/.315/.492 in his first stint with the Brewers and led the team in OPS (.807) while finishing third in home runs (29) and RBIs (72). The Silver Slugger finalist hits nukes for a living and his 2022 Finest version pairs max power with high vision, two active quirks (First-Pitch Hitter, Breaking Ball), and a 1B/OF option that goes full diamond at Parallel Three.
Jhoan Duran (RP) – Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins Finest Jhoan Duran.
The Dominican-born reliever was an absolute force for Minnesota’s bullpen, posting eight saves as a rookie with a 1.86 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 89 strikeouts in 67 innings. The secret to his success in the bigs? Duran throws absolute gas. His four-seam averages 100.8 MPH and has hit as high as 103.8 MPH and his splitter, an off-speed pitch, averages out at 96.4 MPH. Duran’s Finest is a direct evo of his May Topps Now card and one that trades a quaternary cutter for a slider and Outlier I and II.
Jose Ramirez (3B) – Cleveland Guardians
Cleveland Guardians Finest Jose Ramirez.
Back in April, Jose Ramirez signed a five-year $124 million extension with the Guardians, recorded his 1,000th hit during Cleveland’s home opener, and proceeded to pop off–slashing .280/.355/.514 with 29 HRs, 126 RBIs, 20 SBs, and a league-leading 44 doubles in 157 games. He’s one of the few athletes who can wear a chain of himself with a chain and J-Ram’s 2022 Finest outclasses his 2020 Monthly Awards Lightning with max vision and 85 speed, which can work wonders at 2B/SS/LF.
Julio Rodriguez (CF) – Seattle Mariners
Seattle Mariners Finest Julio Rodriguez.
Julio Rodriguez’s Rookie Of The Year campaign had an MVP-type ring to it. The M’s outfielder hit for power (28 HR, 75 RBI), finished second in the Home Run Derby, became the first player ever to join the 25-25 club in their debut season, and despite continuous injuries, led the Mariners to their first postseason appearance since 2001. J-Rod’s archetype joins an inflated position with Trout, Mantle, and Ken Griffey Jr., but it’s hard to ignore 110+ contact, 110+ power, and 99 speed on the bases.
Nolan Arenado (3B) – St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals Finest Nolan Arenado.
Even next to Paul Goldschmidt’s historic run, Arenado hit more than 30 home runs and 100 RBIs for the seventh straight season and ranked sixth in the National League in batting average (.293), fourth in OPS (.891), and third in doubles (42). The NL MVP finalist also matched Ichiro Suzuki’s record with 10 consecutive Gold Gloves to start his career (!!) and his Finest version tethers 99 Fielding to active quirks (First-Pitch, Unfazed) and an unorthodox swing that connects like dynamite with max vision.
Sandy Alcantara (SP) – Miami Marlins
Miami Marlins Finest Sandy Alcantara.
“El Caballo” ended his “chess, not checkers” season with a 14-9 record, 2.28 ERA, and 207 strikeouts and threw his name in the NL Cy Young Award conversation with six complete games–the most by any pitcher since Chris Sale in 2016. The Marlins’ ace is readable but his fastball still rips next to max stamina, 119 H/9, and a puzzling five-pitch mix that features a sinker and a changeup with 99 break.
Spencer Strider (SP) – Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Braves Finest Spencer Strider.
“The Mustache Man” throws heat. Strider made 20 starts in 31 games for the Atlanta Braves this past season, going 11-5 with a 2.67 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and 202 strikeouts in just 131.2 innings of work–the most Ks by a rookie pitcher since Yu Darvish (2012). His 2022 Finest lacks a true sinker, but his speed differentials buff his primary pitch: a 102 MPH four-seam with 99 break, 99 control, and Outlier.
Vlad Guerrero Jr. (1B) – Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays Finest Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Is there anyone better at first than Vlad Jr.? The 23-year-old followed up 2021’s MVP race with a .274 average, 32 home runs, and 97 RBIs while becoming just the seventh youngest in MLB history to 100 doubles and 100 home runs. His defensive strides allowed him to trade a Silver Slugger for his first-ever Gold Glove Award and his 2022 Finest is a tribute to Vlad Sr.’s son with 110+ vision, diamond fielding at Parallel One, and active quirks like Dead Red, Breaking Ball, Fighter, and Rally Monkey.