NBA 2K's Player Badges Could Work in The Show

NBA 2K's Player Badges Could Work in The Show

I've talked candidly how about MLB The Show needs to continue to push itself to expand its gaming gap in both directions -- creating more separation from games on the rise like Madden and NHL, but also close the gap on the NBA 2K series. One of the ways The Show team can do that is by implementing a meaningful badge system similar to what NBA 2K has, allowing for SCEA to expand on the player personality and morale system introduced in MLB The Show 16. The beauty of the badge system NBA 2K is that the badges aren't just visual eye candy; they actually have an impact on a player's performance.

While this is not an exact top 10 list -- instead just an assortment -- here are a few badges that would add some uniqueness to perhaps otherwise similar players, thus providing more variety in franchise mode and online play.

Iron Man

This player has the ability to play an entire season without needing an off-day. This player typically only misses time due to injury, which is also rare for this player type.

Currently, the game has a durability rating, but this would allow for that rating to stand separately as more of an injury predictor. This could also allow for a Fragile badge as well.

Lefty Specialist

A pitcher brought in who may be susceptible to right-handed batters, but is dominant statistically against left-handed batters.

We have ratings for batters against different-handed pitchers, but we don't see the same split ratings for pitchers. This would be a step in the right direction, and it would definitely reveal the differences between a lefty closer and a lefty specialist.

Team Leader

This player has a knack for keeping his teammates loose and focused. Sometimes known as a prankster, he knows how to lead his teammates through the high-pressure situations of a baseball season and the playoffs.

Team chemistry is talked about in every sport, but it's perhaps most important in baseball, a sport with a 162-game regular season. This badge could tie into an entire team's clutch rating, for instance.

Framing Specialist

A catcher who is a true master of getting the called strike on a borderline pitch.

This could also be represented visually with some subtle animation additions.


This player has proven to be able to steal bases with a high percentage of success.

This goes above and beyond just the stealing bases ratings -- the badge is earned when the player is consistently above an 80 percent steal success rate to go along with his high rating.


This player is able to deliver in the most clutch of moments, be it a timely hit, stolen base or getting the final out of an inning.

While the game already has a clutch rating, this would work similarly to the Thievery badge in that it would need to be backed by statistics -- in this case, performance with runners in scoring position.

Fan Favorite

A player adored by the fans based on years of exceptional performance. This player can give a bump to attendance and merchandise sales, helping the team's bottom line.

Even if brought on as a new player, a fan favorite is recognized throughout the world of baseball and will have an immediate impact. Of course, losing a fan favorite can have a negative impact on finances.


A player who will put his personal gains ahead of anything else, including the team. This player may be stubborn in contract negotiations, become disgruntled if he's not playing or is under-performing (even if the team is doing well), and can counteract or even recede beyond the benefits of a team leader.

In rarer occurrences, a player can come along who demonstrates all of these traits (team cancer).

Defensive Specialist

A player who is a difference maker on defense. When brought into a close game in the late innings as a defensive replacement, he elevates his game to become a valuable commodity on a team's roster.

You'll likely start to see certain badges working in conjunction with one another. For instance, this badge would sometimes be seen linked to the Framing Specialist badge.


This player will help speed along the development of a player who plays within the same position group (IF, OF, SP, RP).

This would give some value to an aging veteran -- the type of player who'd end up with this badge over time, and as their career begins to taper off.

While there are other areas MLB The Show can improve upon for next year, modeling one of the deepest elements from NBA 2K would be one addition that can start to close that aforementioned gap between two stellar sport games. What do you think? Would badges be a good addition? What other badges would be must-haves for MLB The Show 17?

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