Out of the Park Baseball 18
hit the shelves populated download queues this month, continuing a series that is regarded as one of the best sports management simulators on the planet. While I’ve had a little bit of time to get a feel for the new features, tweaks, and upgrades, I’m more interested in exploring the status of the Cleveland Indians franchise within the game.
To start, let’s consider the overall and potential ratings assigned to the Indians players.
All of these ratings are on the standard 20-80 scale that Major League scouts use to evaluate players. I also bumped the scouting accuracy up to 100 percent in order to ensure that we’re getting the actual values for each player, rather than our simulated scout’s opinion. Here are the first few things that jump out to me:
- Yandy is free, free at last.
- This game continues to love Tyler Naquin. As I’ve written before, he’s turned into a hall-of-fame caliber right fielder in more than one play-through of last year’s copy of the game. I can see why someone might dig through spreadsheets and find a reason to make him a golden god, but I can’t see why. At least in this version he remains almost entirely potential, rather than sitting at 40-45 overall on opening day with an 80 potential.
- The heart of this order will destroy the human race in OOTP.
- Jason Kipnis sits at 68 overall, which is nothing to sneeze at.
- Holy smokes, Brandon Guyer. I’m not necessarily complaining that the fine folks at OOTP development believe that he’s the best outfielder on the Indians, or that he has basically the same overall rating as Mookie Betts. It’s just not, you know.... accurate. Here’s are his detailed batting ratings:
Did they just forget to look at his splits? Guyer is .236/.307/.337 wRC+ 84 versus right-handed pitchers and .288/.390/.469 wRC+ 144 against left-handed pitchers for his career. That’s essentially the difference between Billy Cox and Jim Thome at the plate. I don’t think any of the offensive capabilities of those guys are comparable. That doesn’t mean I won’t abuse the unreasonable capabilities of virtual Brandon Guyer.
Again, all of the ratings are at 100 percent accuracy for these guys. Here are my takeaways:
- This is a sexy, sexy starting rotation in the real world and the simulated universe.
- It is a little bit curious that the game doesn’t foresee any future improvement to Danny Salazar’s abilities. Generally speaking, it’s assumed that he still has plenty of time to develop.
- The game doesn’t seem to think Trevor Bauer will ever assume ace status.
- Andrew Miller’s stats breakdown is absolutely hilarious. Remember how the standard rankings are 20-80? There’s a feature in the game that lets you view attributes that are deemed to be greater than 80.
Good luck to the rest of baseball.
What about the top prospects?
These are all reasonable picks. The top four matches MLBPipeline.com ‘s top four, and while there might be some disagreements with the placements of the others, I —
Wait. Who in the hell is Michael Tinsley?
Okay, that’s not exactly fair. The Indians took Tinsley, a junior from Kansas, with its 7th round pick in 2016. Last year for the Lake County Captains Tinsley hit .214/.333/.286, though this comprises only 28 plate appearances. During his last season at Kansas, Tinsley hit .377. Still, OOTP is suggesting that he is projected to become a top-10 starting catcher in baseball at some point. Perhaps they know something that the combined brainpower of major league scouts does not? If so, Naquin to Cooperstown is definitely confirmed.
And now, what we’ve all been waiting for: the 2017 season simulation
Things went pretty well for the Indians during the regular season. They clobbered their way through the AL Central and won 95 games. Along the way, Corey Kluber picked up another Cy Young award. There are a few interesting things to note about the team — for example, a certain catcher that finished third in Rookie of the Year voting. I’m not sure how he didn’t win.
Four-and-a-half WAR from Francisco Mejia in 111 games? Twenty home runs? I — wow. If Mejia is capable of half of that in two years, I’d be satisfied.
Meanwhile, there aren’t many surprises going down the line. Except, perhaps, that Edwin Encarnacion didn’t even toss in a single full win above replacement. It would seem that his glove didn’t work out all that well when he was in the field.
How did the pitchers fare?
Thank you for your service, ‘Berto. A small part of me hoped that Andrew Miller would have, like, 857.03 innings, but alas, other people were allowed to pitch. Kluber and Carrasco were both fantastic while the rest of the rotation and bullpen provided excellent support.
And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: the Playoffs!
If that depressed you, pump the brakes for a second. User maayrts on the official OOTP forum shared a more horrifying virtual Indians outcome.