As our colleague here at theScore, Scott Johnson, noted over at Franchise Mode, Sony scaled back the number of players with 99 overall ratings for MLB 13: The Show. It seems as though numerous complaints of too many players receiving the game’s top marks in previous instalments of the console set’s best baseball simulation were heeded. There will be 17 Major League Baseball players in total with a 99 overall rating in this year’s release, scheduled to drop on March 5, which is down from 44 last year.

Below is a list of the 17 players who picked up a 99 rating, each with a perfectly reasonable explanation of how they earned it.

Ryan Braun: Braun’s full marks in “PED appeal” rating pushed him over the 98 bump.

Miguel Cabrera: RBI and MVP were heavily weighted in Sony’s algorithm; defense and base running were not.

Robinson Cano: The Yankees second baseman’s “leave ‘em hanging” ranking was second only to Mark Reynolds’.

Aroldis Chapman: Rumoured ratings team discussion went like this: “give him a full score so his dominance will live long after Dusty Baker gets ahold of him”.

Carlos Gonzalez: Eschewing reality and park factors, Sony polled 100 fantasy baseball players and asked them who most deserved a 99 rating.

Josh Hamilton: The Anaheim Angels outfielder scored ∞ in caffeine consumption.

Felix Hernandez: He’s the King.

Matt Kemp: Players’ first half performance was more heavily weighted than their overall performance.

Clayton Kershaw: When you’re this good it goes without saying.

Craig Kimbrel: Kimbrel struck out 50.2% of batters faced in 2012 sooooo…

Andrew McCutchen: Sweet dreads + cover boy = 99

Buster Posey: Buster Posey was asked if he was cool with receiving a 98 overall rating and he simply replied, “not havin’ it”.

Albert Pujols: Pujols’ 240,000,000 rating for “earning” pulled him up to an overall score of 99.

Stephen Strasburg: See Kershaw, Clayton.

Mike Trout: The Show doesn’t award scores of 100, so 99 is what the best gets.

Troy Tulowitzki: Injury proficiency is a new rating category for MLB 13. Tulo scored exceptionally well here.

Justin Verlander: Well, if the American League MVP gets a 99 then the Detroit Tigers’ MVP might as well get one, too.