Screen Shot 2020-02-17 at 19.36.45So, this is going to be something a little different from me. Firstly I’m back playing MLB Road to the Show, and I’ve decided to write about it. Now I’ve done that before, with my series with my Relief Pitcher Jorge Garcia, but this time I wanted to approach writing about it in a different way. I want to write this series in a very “Let’s Play” format, where I discuss my player, how he’s playing and what’s happening in his career, whilst keeping the role play element that I have always liked about these types of game modes. It’s why I’ve grown to hate the NBA2k MyCareer series, because all the creativity has been lost. Throughout this series, we’ll analyse our player, his major decisions, how the game world impacts him, as well as looking at his stats every now and then.

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Meet Riley Emerson, our character for this series. Riley is an 18-year old left handed pitcher from Boston, Massachusetts. Riley stands at 6’1″ and weighs 175lbs and is nominally a Starting Pitcher – ie a pitcher who starts the first inning of ball games and goes usually between 5-8 innings unless things are going either really well or really badly. Riley currently throws 3 main pitches, a 2-seam fastball, a circle changeup and a slider. As time goes on, we’ll add more, but for unknown reasons, you’re forced to only start with three, even though most SP’s have more – even if they’re not very good – by age 18.

Riley is largely a ‘Control Pitcher’, an archetype (Control Freak) you have to select in game, choosing between that, Flamethrower (a fastball, power pitcher) and Plain Filthy (break pitcher, relying on deception). This surmises a basic statement of what I want Riley to be. He will develop velocity and break on his pitches as he develops – in MLB RTTS, you only improve based on what you do in game and in training – but his core focus will always be pitching accurately, and hitting the corners of the strike zones. The two pitchers I see Riley developing to be a mix of are Greg Maddux and Clayton Kershaw, who were both known for their outstanding control.

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Being from Massachusetts, I see the Red Sox as a team Riley would obviously like to play for, but I don’t want to delve too deeply into this, because I want to focus more on how the game world impacts him than a large amount of pre-conceived ideas about who he is. So far, he’s played one game, the Amateur Showcase to decide where he is drafted. Riley played two games, having a horrendous start in the first, giving up four runs in the first two innings – two which resulted from poor fielding – before calming down in the third and getting the whole side out. In the second game, Riley only gave up one base hit in his three innings of action, a far better performance. In the end, this led to Riley being drafted with the 8th pick in the 24th round – yes, MLB Drafts are huge – by the Atlanta Braves. Because he’s been drafted so far down, I hardly think we can consider Riley to be an arrogant person, used to constant success. Riley will now report to the Braves’ AA affiliate, the Mississippi Braves, imaginative I know.

Before I end this first update, I will say, in case anyone would like to know, that I’m playing on a high level of difficulty on this game – Hall of Fame. Next time I update, we’ll discuss how Riley starts with the Braves, and perhaps look at some early statistics. Until then, thank you very much for reading, and as always should you have any questions about baseball, Riley, or my long-term aims for this series, then please don’t hesitate to ask either in the comments section of this blog, or on my Twitter (@JLAspey). Thank you again.

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