The criteria is simple: I added each player’s stats together, figured out who had the most raw talent in each of the four categories of skill (batting, pitching, fielding, and running), and sort of went from there. Hitting is the most important, you want power to end games because offense = wins. Fielding is next in importance because you need to be able to shut down the AI when they do inevitably hit, and you won’t be able to play all 9 guys on the field at once. Running is next, it can be really helpful in certain moments of a tight game, and pitching is least important. Just pick a spot and throw, and hope they don’t hit the ball, there’s almost nothing you can do.
And now for the best character in video games to introduce us in, is VINNIE THE GOOCH!!!!!!!!!!!
30. Jorge Garcia — Sorry Jorge, you are the worst player in the game. Logic would reason that being average at everything, a jack of all trades, master of none, would be helpful. It isn’t. You have no skills, can’t do anything beyond mediocrity, and I don’t know what position you play. The description below says your poor eyesight on a count of social Darwinism means you can’t even be hid out in the outfield! What a joke you are Jorge.
29. Reese Worthington — So slightly better than him is a kid who can run around and play outfield. Great. Nothing special to see here folks. Especially when it blatantly says below he is too short and can’t play in the field. What garbage.
28. Gretchen Hasselhoff — She would be completely useless if not for the fact that she can pitch and run after a decent swing. Otherwise, look elsewhere for pitchers.
27. Kimmy Eckman — Pippy Longstocking here can hit a long ball, but cannot for the life of her chase after it. If you can’t circle the bases you’re dead in the water, and with no other skills, Kimmy is trash tier.
26. Sally Dobbs — This lovable loser can do one thing slightly better than these other F tier kids: field. You can safely put her in the outfield or diamond and she will not screw anything up for you. But, unfortunately, she cannot hit, so she is ranked low.
T — 22. Sidney Webber, Ashley Webber, Ricky Johnson, Lisa Crocket — These asshats are the absolute last picks in a draft, and should not be taken unless you need to fill in bodies on a roster. They can be a great pitching rotation by themselves, but unfortunately cannot do much else well enough to matter. They can’t hit, they can’t play the field, so they are D tier.
21. Billy Jean Blackwood — I just read that player description again and laughed at it. She can hit, which is good. She cannot run or pitch, which is bad. She can play first base, which is great. She cannot catch very well, the most important thing at that position, which is not great. Avoid her and her freakish pre-teen body.
T — 19. Amir Khan and Ronnie Dobbs — These two dorky looking clowns are almost useless, other than they can hit well and aren’t horrible at anything in particular. The pitching stat is wasted on these guys because there are better pitchers who have other attributes. They are the definition of mediocre, C tier players.
18. Vicki Kawaguchi — Vicki is like Draymond Green, the ultimate utility player. She can do everything except score, which puts her dead last on a batting order and makes any manager afraid when she is at the plate. Speed is great, 4/4 speed is blazing, and the fielding is terrific, but the pitching stat is useless and it’s hard to justify using her other than sparingly.
17. Luanne Lui — She is an interesting back-up, and you can only use her as pitching relief. She can hit decently well, but makes for a great bunter who can gun it going 9th in the line-up when you need a pinch hit. Luanne is a fun risk/reward player.
16. Marky Dubois — There are other players who have similar stat-lines, but the problem with Marky the redneck/churchgoer here is that he cannot run. At all. He can hit, but if it’s not a home-run you’re toast. And you won’t ever use him as a pitcher, so it’s hard to rank him as B tier with such a vital flaw in his game. You need to score runs in this game, and he is a liability.
15. Dante Robinson — For someone with such a wicked awesome afro, he sure is a speed demon. Dante is a great clean-up guy, someone who can be relied on for his lightning fast running and stealing skills, and can be put at any base for fast tag-outs. Sometimes you need guys on your team like this.
14. Dmitri Petrovich — Another strong bat in the line-up is never a bad thing, especially since he can run after some line drives and bunts, saving innings by himself. Otherwise, hide him in the outfield and rely on his power and speed.
13. Tony Delvecchio — I am a sucker for Tony, the Italian stereotypical kid. I like having him on my team because he reminds me of my family, and he’s funny. The stats are decent enough, hits and fields, that’s what you want a majority of your roster to do well, and this is a sentimental ranking mostly at 13, but the B tier status is undeniable, considering the most important stats he has in spades.
T-11. Maria Luna and Annie Frazier—Both very well rounded players, much Maria and Annie are both solid enough overall to choose safely. The pitching stats are awful but you don’t need 9 pitchers on a team, you need hitters and runners and fielders and basemen. They do it all, and are great for any team.
10. Kenny Kawaguchi — Here is the other ace pitcher, and a terrific back-up/reliever/closer. With the wheels, he can be dangerously slippery and steal bases and make up for his lack-luster batting. He won’t be out in the field much, but on the mound, he is a flamethrower. What good upper body strength.
9. Ernie Steele — Future Golden Glove winner Ernie here is important for catching flies, stopping double or triple plays from snowballing, and can also fill in as a relief pitcher (which many of the cast can do, admittedly). But his defense is top notch and I don’t mind that he isn’t flashy.
8. Achmen Khan — Achmed is the prime example of a great catcher. He can hit it far when needed, or bunt and run in a pinch, and you hide his fielding flaws by putting him behind the plate. This guy is always my catcher on a team, and I love having as many power hitters to squeak out a close game or to close out a big lead.
7. Stephanie Morgan — The actually most well rounded player (besides the GOAT at number 1, look out for that), Steph is a lock because of her versatility. She doesn’t have a 4 in any stat, but that’s okay, this isn’t golf or tennis. This is a team game!
6. Mikey Thomas — Mikey is a slower Jocinda (coming up next); same positives but slightly worse negatives. But that is okay for a pudgy hitter, because he is essentially the David Ortiz of this game, except he can also be in the field and not be stuck at DH. Having offense is important in this game, since there are only 2 ace pitchers in the game.
5. Jocinda Smith — She is a power hitter who is sensational at defense. I do not care if she’s slow or can’t do much else, you knock one out of the ballpark and it does not matter how long it takes to circle the plates.
4. Angela Delvecchio — Not a bad placing for someone with poor overall collective stats. But she is the best pitcher in the game, and is only one of two players with a 4/4 rating in pitching. She is the Sandy Koufax of this game, and she doesn’t have to go last in your batting order because she is also above average at hitting! Holy hell, is she reliable and versatile. That kid has got quite the arm.
3. Pete Wheeler — Pete might be a real dummy, and really annoying, but my lord is he well rounded and a mandatory top five pick. You can put him first in your batting order and let him rip the whole game through, because he hits, he plays good D, and he runs like the wind.
2. Kiesha Phillips — She is Pablo light; she can do everything offensively that he can, but is slightly worse in the field. But that’s okay, being the second best player is nothing to sneeze at, when you’re following in the footsteps of the Greatest Of All Time aka the GOAT.
The obvious number 1 and GOAT of Backyard Baseball is Pablo Sanchez — The Secret Weapon, he has nearly maxed out stats, and is the best character in the game. You pick him number 1, every time. Way too OP for a children’s sports game. He bats fourth in the line-up, with bases loaded, and it’s game over. Plus his music is so godlike, so yeah this game is essentially Pablo Sanchez Baseball 1997, that should be the title. He has a 3 in pitching, how fucking preposterous is that!