Scott Alfano's first experience with the PS4 MLB The Show. Mandatory Credit: Scott Alfano

MLB The Show 14: Scott Alfano's First Review

Every spring I pounce upon the local Gamestop and pre-order the newest MLB The Show. I don’t play video games nearly as much as I used to, comes with being an adult so I’ve heard, but I always make sure I have enough time to play MLB The Show. This year will be no different. Armed with a 9-5 job and no children, I may actually get to play a lot more than I did last year when I was in graduate school.

Personally, I always play “Road To The Show.” There’s something about starting off in Double-A with a random team and trying to make it big that I’ve always loved. This year I will examine all the other game types as well, but I have to start off with my RTTS. In previous years, you can choose to be randomly assigned to a team’s Double-A level, or pick your favorite team. However, this year, there is a RTTS Amateur Showcase. I’ve seen elements like this in my NHL games, but never in MLB The Show. The welcome screen states, “Over the next three games, you will be competing against fellow MLB Draft hopefuls while trying to impress the scouts in attendance. How you perform will go a long way in determining your draft position, and your path to the Majors. Good luck!” Wow! I’m already more excited for this new element. Other sports games have made a great introduction to this type of play, hopefully The Show will advance it even more.

Of course, before you can get right into play RTTS, you have to create your player. Normally, I try to make the player look a little like me, but not overly so. I don’t bother with cheek bone structure and every minute detail. However, where I spent a lot of time this season was who to emulate my swing after. In past years I have always used a favorite player; Robinson Cano one year, “Country Breakfast” Billy Butler last year. However, this year I wanted to go with a swing that looks as close to my actual swing as possible. I scoured hundreds of players, looking at where their hands start, how they hold their bat, their distribution of weight on front and back legs. After about 25 minutes, I finally found my guy. Lonnie Chisenhall. I bet you weren’t expecting that, nor was I. The 25-year-old Indians’ third baseman has almost the exact same swing that I had in high school. Who knows, maybe he stole it from me.

I am entering play as a 6’4″, lefty first baseman (I’m only 6’0″ but the rest is accurate) trying to increase my draft stock to be selected in an early round. Unfortunately, my play did not match my desire in my three games, grabbing just one hit. I entered the draft unsure of where I would go, but was drafted in the 6th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers. I was ready to accept my assignment, but now a new option popped up. “Go back to school?” I have the option to go to school where I can increase my draft stock. My choices are 1-year junior college, 2-year junior college, 3-year university, or 4-year university. I honestly have no idea which the smartest option would be, but I know I’m not going to simply accept my draft spot with the Dodgers. After much relenting, I decide to go to a 4-year university. I am truly preparing myself for training greatness.

I realized afterwards, that depending on which school you choose simply determines how many training points you are given for your player. The 4-year university option gives me 600 very valuable points. After applying points, you are again thrust into a 3-game showcase. This time around, my player’s showcase went much better. However, I was still drafted in the 6th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. In fact, I was drafted later than when I bombed the first showcase.

I’m going to end my first review here. So far I have only explored the Road To The Show, and only through the draft at that. I suspect this will turn into a weekly column. If it does, I will be examining every aspect the game has to offer and will be reporting it all to you. All I can say is the game is visually stunning and I’m glad I waited for the Playstation4 version of it.

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