White Sox rankings in MLB The Show 18 analyzed by Southside Showdown contributor. Are the rankings for the team accurate?
Award-winning video game franchise MLB The Show, which is developed by San Diego Studios, has been the number one baseball video game for years now. Its latest installment, MLB 18 The Show, officially released on March 27, 2018.
It was a time of joy fan loyal fans of the game, including myself. Anyone who has had the opportunity to play MLB The Show will agree, it’s the closest thing we can get to baseball on a virtual level. The realness of the stadiums, animations, and player appearances will have you questioning whether you’re playing a game or watching a live one.
Another reason for The Show’s domination of the video game world is the endless research that goes into rating the players as accurately as possible. Each player has a rating of 0-99 for various traits, such as contact, power, speed, fielding, and so on.
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All of their ratings are accumulated to establish their overall rating. The maximum overall a player can reach is 99, and only a few players reached that mark in the 2018 version. The likes of Mike Trout, Jose Altuve, and Clayton Kershaw were the only to be given a 99 overall in this year’s edition.
The first thing I have always checked as soon as I get the newest edition is the ratings of the White Sox specifically. They are my go-to team in the game, so it’s a must that I know what I’ll be working with. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the ratings of this year’s White Sox team are not among the better half of the league. In fact, they are one of the lowest rated in the game.
Team Rating (1-30; 1 being best)
Pitching – 27th
Defense – 30th
Contact – 23rd
Power – 22nd
Speed – 6th
Overall – 28th
The White Sox being rated 28th should not come as a surprise. If it weren’t for their speed being one of the best in the league, that 28 would be lower. They are rated dead last in defense, and that is a given considering they are typically one of the worst fielding teams in the league.
The Pitching Rotation
James Shields – 69 OVR
Miguel Gonzalez – 72 OVR
Reynaldo Lopez – 71 OVR
Lucas Giolito – 67 OVR
Carson Fulmer – 63 OVR
Given that the highest rating in the rotation is Gonzalez, it’s easy to tell the Sox don’t necessarily have one of the better rotations. With an average overall of 68, the Sox rotation is one of the weakest in the game. Fulmer was labeled as a relief pitcher in MLB 17 but made the switch to starter in this year’s edition.
Aaron Bummer – 48 OVR
Hector Santiago – 67 OVR
Luis Avilan – 78 OVR
Danny Farquhar – 68 OVR
Gregory Infante – 76 OVR
Nate Jones – 81 OVR
Joakim Soria – 77 OVR
Juan Minaya – 70 OVR
The Sox bullpen has one of the highest rated right-handed relief pitchers in the game in Jones, who was rated an 81. This offseason’s additions, Avilan and Soria, are rated 78 and 77 respectively. Not only are these two seasoned veterans providing crucial depth for Rick Renteria‘s squad in real life, but they are adding a much-needed boost to the Sox virtual bullpen.
Yoan Moncada – 82 OVR
Avisail Garcia – 80 OVR
Jose Abreu – 82 OVR
Matt Davidson – 67 OVR
Nicky Delmonico – 67 OVR
Welington Castillo – 81 OVR
Tim Anderson – 76 OVR
Yolmer Sanchez – 65 OVR
Adam Engel – 61 OVR
The position players are what presents the biggest problems to me. I believe a couple of these players are a bit underrated. Abreu is my first example, though his 82 overall is tied for highest on the team, I believe it should be even greater. He has been one of the most consistent hitters since 2014, and I don’t believe that is reflected in his overall.
It’s only a matter of time until the game is updated and Davidson’s overall will increase. However, don’t let his 67 overall fool you. He has one of the better power ratings in the game, with an 86 rating versus RHP’s and a 76 versus LHP’s.
Omar Narvaez – 70 OVR
Trayce Thompson – 70 OVR
Leury Garcia – 69 OVR
The successful seasons of Narvaez and Garcia earned them a well-deserved boost in overall for 2018. Just like in real life, Garcia is very versatile in MLB The Show. He is listed as a left fielder but also has the ability to play 2B, 3B, SS, CF, and RF, making him a valuable player.
Immortal Frank Thomas – 93 OVR*
Immortal Jack McDowell – 86 OVR*
2005 Paul Konerko – 87 OVR
1959 Luis Aparicio – 87 OVR
2016 Adam Eaton – 82 OVR
1985 Harold Baines – 80 OVR
2011 Chris Sale – 79 OVR
2009 Gordon Beckham – 78 OVR
2012 Alejandro De Aza – 77 OVR
1957 Larry Doby – 76 OVR
1985 Carlton Fisk – 75 OVR
2008 Ken Griffey Jr. – 72 OVR
1972 Rich Gossage – 70 OVR
1980 Harold Baines – 68 OVR
2012 Jose Quintana – 68 OVR
*- An immortal player is a player whose ratings are culminated based off of their career performance.
One of the biggest changes MLB The Show has implemented over the years is the expanded use of legends in the game. Though this has nothing to do with this year’s White Sox team, I always find legend ratings interesting. The developers of the game consistently release more and more legends throughout the year, so there will soon be more to come. This is also the first year Thomas has been featured as a legend in MLB The Show, and he easily takes the top rating of White Sox legends.
Considering MLB The Show is considered arguably the most accurate virtual representation of major league baseball, I decided to take the time to simulate through the 2018 season and see how our Sox perform in the virtual world and pick out some notable stat lines from virtual Sox players. How did they do?
According to The Show…
-The White Sox will finish with a record of 76-86, 10.0 games behind the Cleveland Indians for first place in the American League Central, and 11.0 games behind the Red Sox and Orioles for one of the wild-card spots.
-Abreu will finish the season with a .316 average, 34 home runs, and 99 RBI’s.
-Davidson will finish with a .217 average, 27 home runs, and 67 RBI’s.
-Moncada will finish with a .269 average, 14 home runs, and 52 RBI’s.
-Anderson will finish with a .199 average, 9 home runs, and 38 RBI’s.
-Shields will finish with a 5-10 record, a 3.97 ERA, and 119 strikeouts.
-Lopez will finish with a 6-14 record, a 5.24 ERA, and 120 strikeouts.
-Abreu will win the Batting Title (highest average in the league).
-Abreu will participate in the home run derby.
-Abreu and Soria will be the only White Sox elected to the AL All-Star Team.
According to MLB The Show, 2018 will see another year of playoffs that don’t include the White Sox. However, it predicts that Abreu will break out this year and win the batting title to go along with 34 home runs. It also predicts Anderson will hit a slump in 2018, with his predicted batting average being below .200 at .199.
So as the White Sox continue to rebuild, MLB The Show has them finishing 2018 with a respectable 76-86 record. Will their eventual fate be similar to this simulation? Or will the White Sox not reach 76 wins? We won’t know until October. One thing we can be sure about, however, is that MLB The Show is one of the most realistic baseball experiences there is, and whatever it predicts could very well end up being somewhat accurate.