This is it. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. No, not Opening Day 2018…the Backyard Baseball DraftKings Price Guide finale! Below are the first four parts if you’re just joining us.
These kids have all played 18 games. The first 10 that everyone played, the second five that the top 18 kids played, and now a final three to help me finalize the list and figure out who’s the best.
I’ve posted their stats for each round, as well as a total cumulative number and points per plate appearance. This final super team primarily hit a ton of solo homers in their three games. The list isn’t entirely decided by the numbers, as I did my best to pass along my personal judgment.
First, a shout out to the always colorful broadcast team of Sunny Day and Vinnie the Gooch.
Those dirty dogs over at Humongous Entertainment trying to get kids to Google “gooch”. Shame on them.
9. Derek Jeter, $5,500
- 23-44, 6 doubles, 1 triple, 7 HR, 8 RBI, 15 runs, 1 SB: 186 DK points
- 12-28, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 10 runs, 1 SB: 114 DK points
- 5-16, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 4 runs: 65 DK points
- TOTAL: 88 Plate Appearances, 365 DK points: 4.148 P/PA
If this were an “MLB owners” price guide, Jeets would be dead last. If this were a “unnecessarily dive into the stands” price guide, Jeets would be first (I have fond memories of cutting the entire side of my body up on my fence reenacting that). However, it is neither of those things. Jeter, who I never played with due to my Red Sox fandom, was better than I expected. Unrealistic power, overrated speed, and though it doesn’t matter for this, an absurd 10/10 fielding stat.
8. Juan Gonzalez, $5,500
- 16-40, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 9 HR, 17 RBI, 14 runs, 1 BB: 184 DK points
- 14-28, 1 double, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 10 runs: 90 DK points
- 8-16, 1 double, 5 HR, 7 RBI, 7 runs: 89 DK points
- TOTAL: 85 Plate Appearances, 363 DK points: 4.271 P/PA
My high school baseball coach told us this story about when he was playing in the Rangers farm system. There were these hand strength tests and Juan Gone tested off the charts. Coach wanted us to get stronger hands, too, so he started injecting us with steroids. All right, everything except that last part was true.
Whether Juan Gone used steroids or not, the guy could mash. With 19 homers in 18 games, it appears he had that superhuman hand strength as a youngster as well.
7. Jose Canseco, $5,600
- 28-45, 5 doubles, 2 triples, 10 HR, 21 RBI, 20 runs, 2 BB, 1 SB: 265 DK points
- 6-20, 5 HR, 6 RBI, 5 runs, 1 BB: 77 DK points
- 3-16, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 3 runs: 44 DK points
- TOTAL: 84 Plate Appearances, 386 DK points: 4.595 P/PA
All right, we don’t need to speculate about this one. The first Bash Brother on today’s list, Canseco, got off to a torrid start before fizzling out by the final round. If I had just stopped this experiment after the first round, he would be a top-three asset. Much like his real-life counterpart, Canseco could hit home runs and run fast. According to legend, Canseco was actually faster than Rickey Henderson when they played together in Oakland.
I think I caught a glimpse of him and Mark McGwire injecting each other in the dugout, but can’t be 100% certain…
6. Achmed Khan, $5,900
- 21-45, 4 doubles, 10 HR, 16 RBI, 15 runs, 1 BB: 205 DK points
- 14-29, 2 doubles, 8 HR, 14 RBI, 10 runs: 150 DK points
- 8-15, 5 HR, 7 RBI, 7 runs, 1 BB: 89 DK points
- TOTAL: 91 Plate Appearances, 444 DK points: 4.879 P/PA
The Axe-Man is probably one of the most underrated characters in the game. Although he takes his fashion advice from this kid in E.T., he can mash homers like nobody’s business.
5. Mark McGwire, $6,000
- 18-39, 2 doubles, 7 HR, 14 RBI, 11 runs, 3 BB: 153 DK points
- 11-23, 9 HR, 9 RBI, 11 runs: 136 DK points
- 9-17, 7 HR, 8 RBI, 9 runs: 110 DK points
- TOTAL: 82 Plate Appearances, 399 DK Points: 4.866 P/PA
Big Mac was probably my favorite player to use in this game growing up. Mostly because we have the same name, but also because he could swat tape-measure shots. Even the developers at Humongous Entertainment alluded to it in his bio.
Mark got better and better as the rounds went on after what was a mediocre preliminary round, in my opinion. If he wasn’t so slow, he would definitely be higher on the list.
The final four kids kicked it up a notch, as Emeril would say.
4. Sammy Sosa, $6,500
- 23-41, 4 doubles, 10 HR, 12 RBI, 16 runs, 4 SB: 223 DK points
- 16-27, 1 double, 11 HR, 18 RBI, 13 runs, 1 BB: 191 DK points
- 7-16, 1 double, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 5 runs: 62 DK points
- TOTAL: 85 Plate Appearances, 476 DK points: 5.600 P/PA
Slammin’ Sammy was evidently also juicing as a young boy. Clearly, the programmers knew that child Sammy would develop monster power, but they did not, however, predict he would turn pink.
Seriously, Sammy, what on God’s green earth is going on? Please seek medical help.
3. Pete Wheeler, $7,000
- 28-46, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 6 HR, 9 RBI, 19 runs, 2 BB, 12 SB: 268 DK points
- 10-21, 2 doubles, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 8 runs, 1 BB, 6 SB: 100 DK points
- 13-17, 1 double, 1 triple, 5 HR, 7 RBI, 9 runs, 7 SB: 148 DK points
- TOTAL: 87 Plate Appearances, 516 DK points: 5.931 P/PA
While Pete is not the only player in the game with a 10/10 running stat, I’m quite confident that he is faster than anyone else. If I was a scout, I’d definitely give him an 80 speed grade.
I could have bunted every plate appearance and stolen at least one base, perhaps two, but I’m not a wimp. Pete can hit for power and I wanted to drop some ‘bo’s with the guy. And I did. While Pablo Sanchez gets all the attention from the big media outlets, Pete Wheeler is right up there as the best Backyard Baseball player.
2. Ken Griffey Jr., $7,300
- 28-43, 5 doubles, 14 HR, 24 RBI, 21 runs, 3 BB: 286 DK points
- 10-21, 2 doubles, 8 HR, 12 RBI, 8 runs: 130 DK points
- 11-16, 5 HR, 6 RBI, 7 runs, 1 SB: 99 DK points
- TOTAL: 83 Plate Appearances, 515 DK points: 6.205 P/PA
Junior Griffey, as some folks call him, still had his sweet swing as a 12-year-old. He dominated the first portion of this with a whopping 14 dongs and 286 DK points, good for 6.22 per plate appearance. He essentially matched that number in both the second and third rounds, showing that top notch consistency.
Unfortunately, this was quite literally the peak of Ken’s career. From 2001 onward, he was oft-injured and never put up the type of numbers he did with the Mariners.
What is more of an achievement? Getting the highest vote percentage in Hall of Fame history or beating all of the roided out preteens in Backyard Baseball 2001?
1. Pablo Sanchez, $7,500
- 23-45, 4 doubles, 9 HR, 21 RBI, 16 runs, 1 BB, 1 SB: 223 DK points
- 15-28, 10 HR, 13 RBI, 13 runs, 1 BB: 169 DK points
- 11-16, 1 double, 7 HR, 8 RBI, 7 runs, 1 SB: 106 DK points
- TOTAL: 91 Plate Appearances, 498 DK Points: 5.473 P/PA
The GOAT. One of the most dominant characters in video game history, Pablo Sanchez is a name known by all kids who grew up in the early 2000s. The short and stocky Sanchez has a strike zone the height of one baseball and when he gets a pitch in it…you better believe he barrels it up.
If you check the stats, you’ll notice that Pablo did not do the best. In fact, he was statistically behind both Pete and Ken. However, I’m not going to be a troll here. I could’ve put Pablo third just to watch the world burn, but I didn’t want people throwing bricks through my window and coming after me with pitchforks and torches.
I know if I extended this out even more, Pablo would eventually reign supreme.
All right, no more backyard baseball for me for a long time. I was giddy with joy the first few days playing, but really going through the motions at the end…you know, in my 83rd friggin game.
I would say you could give me some recommendations on other games I could do this for, but I have to rebuild my life for a while.