Wilmington, DE -- With the actual baseball season on hold for the time being, we decided the next best thing is to see how 2019 Blue Rocks are doing in the digital world. The hit video game "MLB the Show 20" was officially released today and plenty of former Rocks
Wilmington, DE -- With the actual baseball season on hold for the time being, we decided the next best thing is to see how 2019 Blue Rocks are doing in the digital world. The hit video game "MLB the Show 20" was officially released today and plenty of former Rocks join other MiLB players in being available to play with on your team for the first time ever.
It definitely has to be pretty cool to see yourself in a video game, let alone the premier baseball video game over the last decade. So, with the extra downtime, a few Blue Rocks front office members jumped into the game to check things out with the Royals' stars of tomorrow.
Please keep in mind that each player’s video game rating is not indicative of how they will actually perform in real life 2020, and may not be reflective of each player’s individual talent nor potential as the season progresses. The team each player is on in "The Show" does not necessarily represent where a player will begin the actual 2020 season in the Royals' system.
Of course the 18th overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft is included on the minor league roster for the Royals in "The Show." The former Florida Gator needed just 10 starts to dominate the Carolina League in 2019. A 1.87 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 57.2 innings of work while allowing just one earned run in his final 25 innings of work promptly earned Singer a promotion to AA where he was solid to close out his first year of pro ball in Northwest Arkansas. His two-seam fastball has been one of his go-to pitches to record outs and the velocity is consistent with what he was throwing with the Blue Crew. His “A” potential in the game certainly seems accurate as many - both inside and outside the organization - are high on Singer’s ability and likeliness of making an impact as a starting pitcher for the Royals in the future.
Might we add that he looks pretty good in that Royals uniform as well!
Fellow teammate both in the Royals system and in college, Jackson Kowar joins Singer in "The Show." The 2019 Carolina League All-Star finished with a 5-3 record and 3.53 ERA with Wilmington and used an effective fastball and changeup combo as he continued to improve his breaking pitches. One of the hardest throwing hurlers in the CL and touching 97-98 mph on the radar gun, we won’t be surprised to see his velocity tick up slightly from the 94 m.p.h. average that the creators of the game rated him at. The "C" potential is a bit of a head scratcher as Kowar has shown he has an electric arm with quality stuff since he broke into the professional ranks.
One of the other Royals' “Core Four” pitching prospects featured in "The Show" is the southpaw who really put himself on the radar in terms of prospect rankings after having a huge year in 2019. Bubic lead all of Minor League Baseball in strikeouts and participated in the SiriusXM Futures game with Singer will certainly put you on the map. The overall campaign the Stanford product put together in 2019 was remarkable and the creators of "The Show" certainly took note. The 40th overall pick in the 2018 Draft had seven different outings with 10 or more strikeouts and with a 71 K/9 rating in the game, that’s a good start for the highest-rated digital Royals' pitching prospect. Bubic sports a 70 overall rating in-game along with an "A" potential to lead Singer (67 overall / "A" potential) and Kowar (65 overall / "C" potential) in top-rated Royals pitching prospects in the game. Fellow real-life star pitching prospect Daniel Lynch was not included on the intitial Royals MiLB roster in the game, but we would hope to see him added in a future roster update.
It’ll be interesting to see if the game features Bubic’s Clayton Kershaw-esque windup.
Moving off the mound, Royals prospect outfielder Kyle Isbel appears to be one of the top-rated position prospects fans can look for in "The Show" this season. With an "A" potential and 69 overall rating already, the former 3rd round selection out of UNLV has a solid foundation to build upon after he was one of the stand out players of Royals Spring Training this year with some highlight-reel grabs before things were suspended. His fielding, which may be overshadowed by his hitting on a real-life diamond, certainly was not overlooked in the game as he is already rated a 74 for fielding and 84 for speed. Isbel's speed was on display in Wilmington in 2019 as he could go first to third with ease on a single. That said, we may have a bone to pick with creators of "The Show" as former Blue Rock outfielder Nick Heath is rated 73 for speed (and just 40 for base stealing) in the game after swiping 60 bags in 2019. Let's hope the roster editors for the game will be adjusting that and correcting a wrong sooner rather than later!
We don't think many Royals’ fans would mind seeing both Isbel and Heath featured in the same outfield in real life in the future.
Another Royals prospect with an "A" potential in the game, the creators see what the front office of the Royals did in Nick Pratto when they selected the California native out of high school with the 14th overall pick in 2017. Pratto’s fielding rating seems a bit low (67) as he was one of the best (we may be a little biased and say he was "the" best) defensive first basemen in the Carolina League in 2019. With his slick glove, Pratto led all first basemen on the circuit with a .992 fielding percentage and made just eight errors in over 1,000 innings played at first base. Not to harp on it and with no disrespect meant to Pratto, who runs well for a first baseman, having him feature a higher speed rating (74) than Heath (73) who is one of the fastest base runners in the entire system seems a bit...odd. Let's just say the roster creators are going to make some ratings tweaks!
The final 2019 Blue Rock we'll highlight here is catcher and Mills Cup Championship MVP MJ Melendez. Taken in the same draft class as Pratto and also just 21, Melendez has an "A" potential to match Pratto's. Melendez showed his power in the Carolina League in 2019, which is no small feat when playing all your home games at the notoriously spacious Frawley Stadium. He also displayed his strong defensive skills which many rave about. It appears "The Show" took that into consideration as his throwing power, arm accuracy and blocking are all already hovering near or a bit above the 70 mark. Last season, Melendez threw out 60% of would-be base stealers (36 out of 60) and made it known very quickly that you don't run on him. Melendez also led all catchers in fielding percentage at .991 in the Carolina League.
Other notable former Rocks who aren't featured in the game at the time of writing are Jonathan Bowlan (RHP/#9 prospect according to MLB.com), Austin Cox (LHP/#11 prospect), and the aforementioned Daniel Lynch. We're hopeful they'll be added in a future roster update so you can help get your Royals & Blue Rocks fix digitally until baseball returns to the field in real life.
"MLB The Show 20" is out now and available for PlayStation gaming systems.
If you couldn’t tell, we are itching for baseball.