MLB The Show releases plenty of highly anticipated cards each and every year. Everyone looks forward to some new legends from the start of the year. Others are returning legends fans are extremely fond of using. There are also a ton of hyped card series, like Finest, that players love to use at the end of each MLB Season. But sometimes, cards don't reach expectations. Some are extreme disappointments. Maybe their attributes leave much more to be desired, or the timing of their release is just bad with the card. Either way, San Diego Studios has released some extremely disappointing cards throughout their game's history.
Ken Griffey Jr. Second Half Series - MLB The Show 22
Ken Griffey Jr. is typically one of the most hyped card releases for every MLB The Show game. He's so hyped that in MLB The Show 20, they made him the only inning program reward instead of including three players like they usually do. But in MLB The Show 22, they released what is widely considered one of the most disappointing cards in the game's history.
Griffey Jr. was given a second-half card with a 99 overall rating. But once you look at his attributes, you wonder how this card even got a 99 overall. This Griffey Jr. card had the fielding and speed most are accustomed to. He had 97 fielding with 92 arm strength and 96 reaction with 81 speed. But the hitting attributes were outright awful.
This card had less than 100 contact vs both sides at 92/85 vs RHP/LHP. His power was good but not great for your typical Griffey Jr. card at 100/115. However, what made this card extremely difficult for higher-level players was his vision or lack thereof. This Griffey Jr. card only received 75 plate vision, making his PCI the size of a peanut once you reached the game's higher difficulties. Luckily, they released another 99 overall Ken Griffey Jr. Takashi card that had over 120 power, 110 contact, and 109 vision.
Freddie Freeman Finest - MLB The Show 20
San Diego Studios had to navigate COVID just like everyone else. They did a great job with content, considering that the season's first games weren't played until late July. But they were still able to deliver Finest cards at the end of the season. Of course, the National League MVP that year, Freddie Freeman was one of the recipients of a 2020 Finest card, but ended up as the most disappointing card in Diamond Dynasty, maybe ever.
Freeman was a monster in the 60 game sprint. He batted .341/.462/.640 with a .456 wOBA, and 186 wRC+ through 262 plate appearances. Freeman racked up 13 home runs and led the league with 23 doubles. On top of that, he walked (45) more often than he struck out (35). He was two votes shy of winning the award unanimously over future teammate Mookie Betts in his first year with the Dodgers.
But the card they gave Freeman was basically a platoon bat. They gave him 125 contact/117 power against righties. But had a meager 86 contact/81 power vs left-handed pitching. I get his real-life numbers against lefties were poor, but come on. They boost card attributes all the time. That same year, they gave Mariano Rivera five pitches when he threw just a cutter and occasionally a sinker throughout his career. This card was a good platoon bat, but nothing else. Add onto the fact many were anticipating an endgame caliber Freeman card after winning MVP, and many people were highly disappointed.
Patrick Wisdom Finest - MLB The Show 23
Patrick Wisdom was given a Finest card in MLB The Show 21. At the time, this card was not a massive letdown. It was part of the Finest set that was released that year. But this card returned in MLB The Show 23, and what went from a solid Finest card in 2021 ended up as an extremely disappointing program reward in 2023.
Wisdom's hitting and fielding attributes are good. He has over 100 contact with max power vs both LHP and RHP. Wisdom has 92 fielding with 86 arm strength. He can also play first base and both corner outfield positions. With 76 speed, you can comfortably put him in the outfield without having to worry too much about his ability to run things down. Plus once he gets to parallel III, he gets diamond defense wherever you put him.
But three factors made this card so disappointing. The first was his vision. He had 45 plate vision, making him extremely hard to use. When you're facing guys like Randy Johnson and John Donaldson every other game, you need as much vision as you can get. The second was his clutch. 65 made him so much worse than most flashback/legend third basemen in the game. Finally, it was the program they released him in. Wisdom was a program reward in the Trick program, which was released in late October, and the time when we are supposed to get the best players of the entire year.
Pedro Martinez Signature Series - MLB The Show 21
Pedro Martinez was one of the most anticipated legends for MLB The Show 21. The Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame pitcher had long been requested by fans and players of the game, and they finally gave us Martinez in 2021 with a Signature Series card as a 6th Inning Program boss. But man, it fell way short of expectations.
This card definitely had some positives. Martinez threw a four-seamer, circle change-up, slider, sinker, and curveball. All pitches had very good velocity separation between them, with only his sinker and fastball within five MPH of each other. He also had 115 K/9 with 94 BB/9 and 93 control.
But Martinez's card only had 102 hits/9. Signature Series cards are supposed to take the best stats from each year of a player's career and make it into one card. Martinez led the league in hits/9 five times, including in 2000 when he had a 5.2 H/9 ratio and held batters to a .167 batting average when the league average in both stats was 9.4 and .270, respectively. He had the lowest AVG+ of any pitcher in 2000 by 19%. Yet, because of that low hits/9, many other pitchers in the game were better than Martinez.