February 27, 2013 at 5:35 pm by Mark Smith under Atlanta Braves
Before we get too far into this, I just want everyone to understand that the ratings of a video game shouldn’t affect your outlook of a player or a team, and I’m just bringing this up because I think it’s fun. As for the game itself, I have a PS3, and I will be buying The Show for the 5th or 6th consecutive season. While it has definitely improved since its first attempt, I still miss the days of MVP Baseball by EA Sports, but there’s nothing we can really do about it now. I tried the 2K series, but it wasn’t as good in my opinion. Anyway, The Show revealed its ratings the other day, so I figured I’d talk about them a little bit because I find it fascinating.
The one thing I wish was published would be what rating makes a league-average starter, All-Star, Quad-A player, etc. It would be absurd, for instance, to get upset that Brian McCann is an 88. Without context, we have no idea what the 88 means. We do know that 99 is the top and 1 is the worst, but we have no real idea of the in-between. One would assume that 88 is a pretty solid rating, given to above-average players, but we really can’t be sure. We need context, a framework, to base our perception/analysis.
It would also be nice to know how they come up with the ratings. The best I could find was that “they changed” them for 2013, but they didn’t say how. I’m not asking them to reveal the exact way they do it, but it would be nice to know a basic structure of how they come to their final decision. What is a league-average starter? When a player switches positions, how does it affect their ratings? What is the most important attribute? How do the attributes fit together? Are the ratings based on algorithms? Last season’s stats? Scouting reports? Is someone responsible for one team, or does a group look at all of them? I think the answers to these questions could give us a little insight without revealing company secrets, but either way, you can simply edit players if you don’t agree. On to the Braves …
Looking at the position players, none of them look ridiculous when comparing them against each other. Going in order, they rank Heyward –> McCann, BJ, Justin –> Simmons –> Freeman, Uggla –> Reed –> Chris, Laird –> Francisco, Janish, Pena. None of that seems terribly out of line. Justin should probably be the highest rated of his group, but that’s a fairly minor nitpick. I’m sure some of you won’t believe Uggla and Freeman are similar overall players, but at this stage, they are, though I’m sure the algorithm will allow for Freeman to grow and Uggla to decline. But going farther down, it is a bit odd that Francisco and Janish are similarly rated. I’d probably bump him up a group, but we can’t see his component attributes. Nothing too terrible here.
The pitching staff is a bit more curious. Medlen gets really high marks for his 2012 second half run, which seems a bit much, but if Hudson gets an 89, the relative difference seems correct. As for Hudson himself, the rating seems a bit high, and the difference between him and Minor at this point probably isn’t that large. When I edit it, I’ll probably make it Medlen 89-90, Minor/Beachy/Hudson 86-84, and Maholm 81-82.
Moving on to the bullpen, a 99 seemed inevitable for Kimbrel, and as the number compares him to other relievers, it makes sense. The next bit is interesting as Venters beats out Walden and EOF with EOF as the worst among the group. I don’t necessarily disagree, but I do find it very interesting. This could be one of those things where EOF doesn’t have much national popularity, and Venters is a bit flashier. Martinez is a bit below them (makes sense) with Gearrin and Avilan a bit below him (some sense but should probably be farther away).
This works from a relative to other Braves perspective, but it’s also interesting to look around the league. For instance, the Seattle bullpen gets hammered when it has some interesting arms, and I’d take Carter Capps (70), Stephen Pryor (67), and Charlie Furbush (77) over Gearrin and Avilan. Continuing around, Jeff Francouer gets an 83, which doesn’t make sense given the context of the Braves, and with Martin Prado being an 82, it really doesn’t make sense. Jered Weaver is a 93, which places him a little worse than Medlen, and Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels are on the same plane. I’m not saying Medlen isn’t that good, but those guys have actual track records of success longer than a few months. There are a few other things around, so you can take a look yourself.
Again, this is mostly for fun, and I’m currently trying to get in contact with The Show to ask a few questions (though I doubt it will materialize). Agree or disagree, there’s always the edit option.