As we continue through the great quarantine of 2020, sports news continues to be hard to come by. As a result, I’m turning to one of the greatest games to ever grace the Nintendo Wii, “Mario Super Sluggers.” Ranking every single one of the 71 total characters in the game seemed like a daunting task, but my brother Jaxson and I have done it after some extensive research.
But first, some things to clear up.
Yes, we did end up using every in-game character in our data collection, and when in doubt we went with their stats.
In terms of characters grouped together (all five Shy Guys, all three Nokis, etc) we kept them grouped together in the rankings as whole units, but did rank them within the unit based on their subtle stat variations. When it came to ranking them among other players, we matched up the best in the group against the other player (ex: Dark Bones versus Boomerang Bro).
And lastly no, your favorite player is probably not first. Let’s dive in!
71. Baby Luigi
An absolute disappointment, Baby Luigi is absolutely the worst character in the game with his only above average quality being his speed. He is tied for the worst hitting abilities in the game, and with only 18 players being chosen total in an exhibition match, there’s no reason why he should be a choice, ever.
70. Baby Peach
69. Baby Mario
68. Yellow Toad
66. Blue Toad
65. Purple Toad
64. Green Toad
Above average speed, decent hitting but a complete liability in the field. ‘Nuff said.
62. Baby Daisy
60. Monty Mole
59. Red Noki
58. Blue Noki
57. Green Noki
The Nokis rank somewhat higher than I expected, even though their special power, ball dash, is not very useful compared to others in the game. Their all-around skills and good speed put them here.
54. Blue Yoshi
53. Red Yoshi
52. Light Blue Yoshi
51. Pink Yoshi
50. Yellow Yoshi
The thing that keeps all of the knockoff Yoshis this low on the list is their lack of star power, like classic Yoshi has with his rainbow ball and egg swing. They have the best speed in the game and are very good at fielding with extra range given by their tongue catch ability, but shouldn’t be put on the mound and are easy outs at the plate.
48. Green Paratroopa
47. Gray Shy Guy
46. Blue Shy Guy
45. Yellow Shy Guy
44. Green Shy Guy
43. Shy Guy
42. Red Koopa
40. Dixie Kong
Surprisingly high in these rankings, Toadsworth is such a good pitcher and fielder that it was hard to place him any lower. It should be noted that if you are going for a powerful batting order over a well-rounded team, Toadsworth is not a good choice.
37. Yellow Pianta
36. Red Pianta
35. Blue Pianta
34. Baby DK
33. Tiny Kong
32. Green Magikoopa
31. Blue Magikoopa
30. Red Magikoopa
29. Yellow Magikoopa
While an absolute liability on the offensive side, you definitely cannot overlook both the Magikoopas’ fielding skills, enhanced by the magical catch ability they have and the insane changeups they throw. If you’re looking to make sure your opponent never has a chance of making contact, put a Magikoopa on the bump.
28. Green Dry Bones
27. Dry Bones
26. Blue Dry Bones
25. Dark Bones
Not overwhelming in more than one category besides hitting, the Dry Bones crew is solid all around and has a good amount of pop right when you need it most. So clutch.
24. Hammer Bro
23. Fire Bro
22. Boomerang Bro
21. King Boo
One of the best relief pitchers in the game. He is also a solid six hitter on any good team, although his defense and stamina could be better.
20. Diddy Kong
Definitely the worst exhibition captain on this list, his banana ball and banana swing star powers propel him this high up. Opposing power hitters should beware his outfield clamber power as well, allowing him to climb the wall for easy robberies.
The biggest shock for me in this list is how good Wiggler actually is. As he powers up before every swing and pitch, he turns from yellow to a mean red, exploding in ferocity. He is an offensive machine with his great speed and bat.
18. Blue Kritter
16. Brown Kritter
15. Red Kritter
They should’ve renamed this group of lizards the Moon Bomb Crew. While Red Kritter definitely leads the pack, this bunch of King K. Rool henchmen have an insane amount of power for minor characters. They work very well as middle infielders.
One of the five captains in the campaign mode, Peach is a great starter on the mound and has the speed and athleticism to be a corner outfielder when she isn’t pitching. Her only weak spot is at the plate, and even in that area her heart swing comes in handy.
Another campaign captain, Wario gets the nod over Peach due to his strong swing and his absolute cannon in the field, thanks to his laser beam ability. Put this guy at third base.
Waluigi isn’t the powerhouse player you might be looking for, but he covers just about everything else. He is a great starting pitcher and quality fielder. Look for his misleading pitches, like his slower fastball and faster changeup.
11. Bowser Jr.
While a personal favorite of mine, Bowser Jr. just doesn’t have the power his dad does (yet). This kid is a good contact hitter and a pitcher with great control. He also has one of the filthiest star powers in the game. His graffiti covers the screen, making the opponent unable to see where they are or where they are going.
This ranking might be surprisingly low for some people, as Yoshi is a fan favorite for many. He is the absolute best center fielder in the game, with his tongue catch matched with his super speed. Yoshi can easily cross the outfield, making it to his teammates to rob homers with buddy jump while others cannot. He is a great base stealer, if you can get him on base. Your best bet is to cough up a star power to use his egg swing.
Daisy, as Jaxson and I have come to find out, is a very underrated player. She is above average in three of the four categories, and is average in the last. Daisy is a very well-rounded player with not as much power as the top five guys on this list, but definitely a must-have if available. Watch out for her super dive ability, making her a great outfielder.
Birdo is surprisingly one of the most versatile characters in the game. She is a great left fielder, has a cannon of an arm, and her suction catch is one of the best abilities in the game. When she pitches, she throws some gas and happens to have a power bat.
Luigi is just all-around solid. Above average in all four categories in the game, he can fill in for any position you need him too. Just void using his star power tornado swing, as it eats up two whole stars each use.
Almost identical to Luigi in stats, Mario gets the advantage here based on his extra hitting ability. His star power also only uses one star per use, making him a more efficient star player.
5. Funky Kong
Probably the coolest dude to play on a baseball diamond. This laid-back slugger uses a SURFBOARD to hit with, almost ensuring contact. His iconic “Yo yo yo!” gets stuck in your head after the first at bat. While a little on the slow side, he is a good fielder, especially because of his clamber ability. While not having a signature star power, his swag and talent for hitting nukes skyrockets him to five on this list.
Now we’re getting to the real power hitters on this list. You should be scared when you see your opponent has this guy in their on deck circle. Bowser, while slow, is a force to be reckoned with at the plate. It seems like all this guy does is hit homers or deep flies, and his speed and stamina on the mound are worth mentioning too. His killer ball and breath swing are some of the best in the game as well. Take him early as a captain in exhibition games.
3. King K. Rool
THIS DUDE HITS TANKS. While probably the slowest guy in the game and a below average fielder, his seemingly 75% home run rate is hard to overlook. Putting him on the mound is a good idea too, as he has the second-fastest fastball in the game. I would do so only in a pinch, however, as his stamina isn’t great.
2. Donkey Kong
While an argument can be made that he and Bowser should switch on this list, I give DK the edge here for one reason only: his pitching. With just as much stamina and almost as much speed as Bowser, the natural spin on his fastball and change will always make your opponent adjust on the plate mid-pitch, curveball or not. His power is up there with the rest of them, and his clamber ability in the outfield helps with home run robberies when his buddy can’t make it to him in time. It should also be noted that DK’s barrel swing absolutely mows over defenders, stunning everyone in the ball’s path.
1. Petey Piranha
C’mon, don’t get mad. I didn’t think I was gonna give the title of best player in the game to a plant either. Despite not having a signature star power like exhibition captains, this guy should always be your first pick. He is tied with King K. Rool for the best power in the game, higher than DK and Bowser. He is a decent fielder as well, with his piranha catch ability giving him extra range. Despite his low stamina, he is easily the best pitcher in the game, with filthy ched mixed with a nasty changeup. Petey’s fastball has such velocity you almost have to swing before the pitch is thrown. He is the perfect closer. If you’re still down by a run in the bottom of the ninth and your opponent puts in this guy, you might as well throw in the towel.
Jonathan Synott is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.