Reviewing the Royals: MLB2k12 Style Reviewed by Momizat on . By Matthew Holloway aka @OSBmatthew (Special contribution to PineTarPress) Being a mid-20’s single man has its benefits. I don’t have to change any diapers, I c By Matthew Holloway aka @OSBmatthew (Special contribution to PineTarPress) Being a mid-20’s single man has its benefits. I don’t have to change any diapers, I c Rating:
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Reviewing the Royals: MLB2k12 Style

Reviewing the Royals: MLB2k12 Style

By Matthew Holloway
aka @OSBmatthew
(Special contribution to PineTarPress)

Being a mid-20’s single man has its benefits. I don’t have to change any diapers, I can stay out all night long, and outside of a Monday-Friday job, I don’t have many responsibilities. With lack of responsibility comes great power. Typically, you’ll catch me spending this free time fishing, playing disc golf, or playing venues around the Southwest Missouri area. However, the last two weeks have been spent doing something much more important. I’ve been sitting in my bedroom in my underwear, glued to my arrogantly-sized television with an X-Box 360 controller firmly grasped in my hands.

I purchased MLB2k12 the night it was released, and it’s been difficult to put down. After playing close to 100 full length games, I decided it was time to share my infinite wisdom with fellow Royals fans — in case the sudden urge to regress into teendom should strike and you become addicted like me.

I will be taking you through my rotations, line-ups, and individual player by player analysis. I appreciate Levi Payton putting in a word for me, and to the Pine Tar Press for giving me an opportunity to break this down.

For my franchise mode, I turned all injuries off so that my line-up would hold true throughout the entire season, so all statistics are based off of starting players playing most games. MLB2k12 automatically projects rosters for you, but of course you can alter them as you see fit. The statistics listed below are a result of a simulated franchise season, and the comments are based on my analysis of each player in a user-controlled and played franchise season.

Pitching rotation:
1. Sanchez
2. Crow
3. Duffy
4. Hochevar
5. Chen

Jonathan Sanchez
G IP W L ERA WHIP K BB K/BB BAA H HR R
33 185.2 13 10 3.97 1.27 167 77 2.17 .222 158 17 89

Sanchez is statistically the Royals best pitcher. While he’s only ranked at a 77 overall, it’s one of those lesser-evil situations. He does a good job keeping his composure after giving up hits, and he has good stamina to take you late in to games. His batting average against ranked him 18th overall, however his K/BB ranks 86th overall K/BB in the league, so even video game makers know he’s still going to walk a lot of batters; he ranks 8th in the league in walks given up.

Aaron Crow
G IP W L ERA WHIP K BB K/BB BAA H HR R
33 153.2 6 10 3.87 1.52 123 64 1.92 2.71 169 9 75

MLB2k12 projected Crow as the Opening Day starter. I wasn’t far off from making him so. His numbers are totally decent, even though he isn’t a lock to make starting pitcher this year. His stamina is also good, and if you can get away from giving up multiple-hit innings, his composure is good as well. His ERA ranked lower than Sanchez’s, as well, giving up fewer runs and he gave up almost half as many dingers. Crow ranked 2nd in the league for home runs allowed.

Danny Duffy
G IP W L ERA WHIP K BB K/BB BAA H HR R
32 150.1 2 14 4.31 1.52 127 78 1.63 .250 150 13 82

Duffy was projected to start the season in Omaha, and I had to send Paulino down. Duffy, especially in the game, has such a high ceiling. His simulated W/L are totally skewed from when I used him in the game. One big downfall to using Duffy is he has almost no composure. When he starts giving up hits, his control gets really sketchy, and he’s not going to be able to take you late in to a game.

Luke Hochevar
G IP W L ERA WHIP K BB K/BB BAA H HR R
32 155.1 4 11 4.87 1.58 112 69 1.62 .276 177 21 93

I could see these numbers falling in line with how Hochevar really performs this year. One discouraging thing about using him in the game, is your pitch placement really doesn’t matter, starting in the first or second innings you’re going to start giving up hits. His composure is garbage, even though his stamina can take you through the sixth or seventh inning. Hochevar gave up 21 home runs, good enough to rank him 93rd overall. With Crow and Duffy, they have so much room for improvement that they have an edge over Hochevar. You can take them further in to the game without giving up multiple-hit innings.

Bruce Chen
G IP W L ERA WHIP K BB K/BB BAA H HR R
32 150 8 10 5.88 1.73 114 66 1.73 .306 194 18 102

How Bruce Chen outperformed Danny Duffy in the W/L column while posting these numbers is beyond me. Bruce Chen is so bad in MLB2k12, I like him less in real life as a result. In fact, I almost didn’t capitalize his name above because he just pisses me off. He doesn’t throw hard, and in most games you’re pulling him in the fourth inning because he can’t keep his composure. In hindsight, bringing in Paulino and cutting Bruce Chen would have been a wise decision.
No pitcher received any player of the week or month nominations. Rightfully so. I believe the season simulation grossly underestimated the capabilities of Danny Duffy, as he is probably the best pitcher to use out of the above rotation.

Bullpen:
CL Soria
SU Broxton
MR Holland
MR Collins
MR Wood
LR Coleman
LR Teaford

Joakim Soria
G IP W L ERA K BB BAA H HR R S SVO
80 112.2 9 9 1.43 112 40 .263 121 14 60 37 49

Soria, when user controlled, is a very effective closer. While playing with him, I came nowhere near blowing 12 saves. His fastball is excellent, and he gets a lot of strikeouts. His composure is phenomenal; he can give up a long ball and it has no effect on him. A .755 save percentage seems very low to me, which ended up being the lowest in the league. He did lead the league in strikeouts (by 32), but he also played in 14 more games than any other closer.

Jonathan Broxton
G IP W L ERA K BB BAA H HR R HOLDS
94 92.2 2 3 4.08 86 35 .229 81 11 48 40

There isn’t a more fun pitcher to use from the bullpen than Broxton. While some of these numbers are a little high, when I use JB, his stuff is phenomenal. He is virtually unhittable. He is the perfect situational player, and if you use him effectively and disregard the idea that he wouldn’t ever be allowed to do it, Broxton will last you three innings before becoming fatigued. Typically, that’s going to translate in to three hitless innings.

As for the rest of the relievers, I used them pretty sparingly through my season. I tried to take my starters as far in to the game as I could. I’m not going to go into detail about them, but I will go ahead and put up their numbers. I can tell you that through the simulated season, we had a smart Ned Yost, and Blake Wood never made an appearance.

Everett Teaford
G IP W L ERA K BB BAA H HR R SV/SVO
68 104.2 9 4 4.73 87 41 .279 120 17 61 2/2

Tim Collins
G IP W L ERA K BB BAA H HR R SV/SVO
87 88.1 8 5 4.58 79 41 .272 97 14 47 4/8

Greg Holland
G IP W L ERA K BB BAA H HR R SV/SVO
83 96.2 3 3 4.10 89 51 .234 88 9 48 0/3

Louis Coleman
G IP W L ERA K BB BAA H HR R SV/SVO
67 121.2 12 3 3.62 111 50 .217 102 18 54 1/1

Not too shabby for guys that only register with overall scores in the 70’s. Coleman ranked first overall in strikeouts, and he was second in innings pitched. I can say that when I needed a reliever, I always turned to him. His control is exceptional, and he is another one that can last you a few innings. Teaford gave up a lot of hits, but he also pitched a lot of innings. As far as the game is concerned, this is by far one of the best bullpen teams in the game.

Lineup:
1. Gordon (LF)
2. Giavotella (2B)
3. Butler (DH)
4. Hosmer (1B)
5. Francoeur (RF)
6. Moustakas (3B)
7. Cain (CF)
8. Perez (Catcher)
9. Escobar (SS)

Bench:
Pina (Catcher)
Maier (OF)
Betancourt (Utility)
Getz (2B)

I sent Pena down and picked up Pina, but who’s really counting? The game actually starts Gordon at 3B, and has a Triple-A guy starting in LF. No thank you. I did some rearranging and this is what I came up with.

Alex Gordon
AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB SO AVG OBP SLG SB
714 172 38 0 12 55 93 70 151 .241 .310 .345 7

Gordon’s defense and ability to hit make him a fine player. He never makes an error, and can run bases well too. Their stats show that he reverts to the Alex Gordon of old, which I disagree with. When user-controlled, he is a solid player, and one that I can steal with consistently. He made a great lead-off hitter for me, and I saw higher numbers in the AVG and RBI columns. He led all left-fielders in at-bats, third in walks, finished fourth in doubles, and second in runs.

Johnny Giavotella
AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB SO AVG OBP SLG SB
692 153 42 4 5 55 78 63 156 .221 .291 .315 1

Giavotella was the most frustrating player I think I have ever dealt with. I got sick of him and sent him back down to Triple-A to rot. The simulated numbers are very generous based off of his in-game capabilities. He never, ever put a good stick to the ball. He was the only player I have not hit a home run with. Every hit is in the infield, and he has little speed. Also, his fielding is just terrible. Trying to make a throw to first base will result in an error one out of every five times. It’s enough to make me want to punch him in real life. I sent him a tweet about that, asking him why. He must have forgot to respond.

Billy Butler
AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB SO AVG OBP SLG SB
645 199 38 5 16 83 93 64 105 .309 .374 .457 0

These are pretty accurate numbers from Butler. He posts a high average, good slugging percentage, and no stolen bases. The thing Butler is great at is hitting the ball hard, and to the gaps. When user-controlled, one out of every three hits I got with him resulted in extra bases. Of course, he is insanely slow, and I feel a lot of those hits (most of which went all the way to the wall) could be pulled out for triples. He almost guarantees you hits, and lots for extra bases. He finished 9th overall in batting average, and was named AL Player of the Week for June 17-23.

Eric Hosmer
AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB SO AVG OBP SLG SB
659 193 30 4 27 101 96 52 115 .293 .348 .473 2

This kid is so much fun. He has such plate presence, and in user-controlled mode I had his batting average well above .300, but matched the HR total very closely. Any pitch up in the zone you can take for extra bases. In a franchise mode, it’s definitely best to work a contract with him early on, because you’re going to get him for a lot cheaper. He was the AL Player of the Month in May. He finished 20th overall in hits, 24th in home runs, 9th in RBIs, 18th in runs, and 15th in slugging percentage.

Jeff Francoeur
AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB SO AVG OBP SLG SB
670 208 53 3 21 99 91 40 130 .310 .353 .493 20

Francoeur’s charisma has apparently rubbed off on the makers of 2K Sports. They project him with huge 2012 totals. I had slightly different results with him. For me, it took him about ⅓ of the season to get him warmed up. Prior to that, he was hitting around a .200 and I couldn’t get him to go yard. He picked things up for me and finished around .275, but goodness. They’re clearly on the Francoeur bandwagon. He was the AL Player of the Week for August 5-11, and was the AL Player of the Month for October. Francoeur finished 5th in hits, 6th in AVG, 1st in doubles, 11th in RBIs, 27th in runs (same as Matt Kemp), and 5th in slugging. I will be sure to keep an extra pair of underwear handy in case he actually achieves a season like this and I start deucing bricks.

Mike Moustakas
AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB SO AVG OBP SLG SB
611 144 30 6 13 78 69 60 122 .236 .309 .368 7

In time, Mike Moustakas is going to be a fantastic hitter. In MLB2k12, Mike Moustakas flies out to the warning track with incredible consistency. He gets a good swing on the ball, makes good contact, but it’s never enough. I am excited to develop him in coming years of my franchise, but he’s a little bit soft to use this season. His numbers are generous here too, because typically when he does hit a good line drive, it never finds the gap. He was, however, voted as AL Player of the Week in preseason ball, so there’s that.

Lorenzo Cain
AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB SO AVG OBP SLG SB
605 121 25 7 4 56 54 56 129 .200 .267 .284 12

Lorenzo is a guy that, once on base, has excellent speed. The problem is, I struggled to get him on base. He has a weak swing, but enough speed to make it to first on infield hits. It also notes that he was caught stealing 8 times, which wasn’t the case for me. He posted the lowest fielding percentage on the team (.964), so if you’re thinking long term you might want to trade or cut him. There is a very limited ceiling for Mr. Cain.

Salvador Perez
AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB SO AVG OBP SLG SB
599 153 36 7 9 66 48 40 116 .255 .306 .384 2

Sal makes for a good, and now cheap option for catcher. He can definitely hit for power, and he did not make an error for the simulated season, nor has he done so when user-controlled. He is definitely one with a high ceiling, and will see great improvements in coming years. His speed is pretty weak, but hits hard enough to consistently see extra bases.

Alcides Escobar
AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB SO AVG OBP SLG SB
580 146 22 5 7 65 65 49 118 .252 .312 .343 20

These numbers fell right in line with my stats. Towards the end of my season, he was a hit machine, but never for extra bases. He may be just a hair faster than Cain, so he is always a threat to steal bases. Defensively sound, Escobar makes a great and cost effective keeper for an organization on a budget.

Season Stats

Record: 78-84 (3rd in AL Central)

ERA: 4.33 (worst overall)
WHIP: 1.46 (worst overall)

Hits: 1503 (8th overall)
2B: 318 (2nd overall)
Runs: 694 (5th overall)
Strikeouts: 1156 (fewest overall)
AVG: .257 (6th overall)

In my simulated season, the Royals got off to a slow start. For most of the season, they were only 10 games behind the Indians, who ended up winning the division at 88-74. The tigers slipped in to a wildcard spot at 84-78. The Royals went 48-33 at home, and were only expected to win 73 games, so they exceeded their expectations. I tried to keep the line-up as accurate as possible while giving the team the best opportunity to win.

If you’re like me and prefer to play the games out, I have a few recommendations. First, you’ve got to do something about the pitching staff. The big problem is that your budget is very, very tight right off the bat. Cutting or Trading Bruce Chen will make an immediate impact. You may try to move Paulino into the rotation, and see what you can get for Hochevar. As you know, anything will do. You can also dangle up to two Triple-A guys to make your options better. Also, I strongly recommend getting rid of Giavotella. There’s a 2B in San Diego named Andy Parrino who is a rookie with a super high ceiling, and you can get him for cheap. Other than that, make due with Cain in CF until you can pick up someone in free agency.

Being able to make such few changes to an entire team’s line-up makes the Royals a great franchise option, whether you’re a fan or not. The upside is that you can lock up a lot of these young guys at a great price; you just need the patience to develop them over a couple of seasons and you’ll have a contending team in almost no time. It will be interesting to revisit these numbers post-2012 season, to see how accurately the game projected statistics. Until then, I will be in the recliner watching Jeff Francouer put up MVP numbers.

Clip to Evernote

About The Author

Number of Entries : 24

Comments (2)

  • Greg Schaum

    Greg Schaum

    As a guy that used to play entire seasons of a game I created called Card Baseball as a kid to keeping stats in RBI baseball and eventually creating a franchise in High heat to diamond mind and now OOTP I love this stuff….

    Great read here and look forward to hearing how the franchise develops

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