Rating the Virtual Reds in MLB 13: The Show


Two of the biggest loves of my life are video games and baseball. So, naturally, I regularly play baseball video games. For the past several years, there have been no baseball video games to even come close to the quality and realism that the San Diego Studio of Sony Computer Entertainment provides in it’s annual ‘The Show’ game.

In years past, players were rated on the “bar” system. That is, the more their bar is filled up, the better the player is. Players with full bars regularly included the likes of Albert Pujols, Justin Verlander, and our own Joey Votto.

This year is the first year that The Show will feature a numbered rating system, similar to other sports games like Madden NFL and the 2k NBA Series. Players are rated on multiple skills on a scale from 1-99, which adds to their overall score, also on a scale of 1-99. These ratings are seemingly pretty well thought out, as Sony San Diego has said they’ve been doing extensive statistical analysis and baseball game watching to figure out the perfect formula for their ratings.

The result is something not seen in any other sports video game: 17 players rated 99 overall. Usually a perfect score is saved for the absolute pinnacle of an athlete. Names like LeBron James and Tom Brady are lucky if they get a 99 overall in their respective video games.

You might be thinking, “JOEY VOTTO SHOULD BE RATED 99! HE’S AWESOME!”

Actually, our main man Votto only managed a 98 overall. Not even the best player on the Reds team, according to the creators of The Show. Aroldis Chapman scored a 99 overall, and as a Starting Pitcher yet to boot.

Does that seem kinda wacky? It is. In fact, I would argue that the majority of the Reds roster (and many of the other rosters) are out of sync with reality. Here is the projected opening day 25 man roster, and their ratings in MLB 13: The Show :


Joey Votto – 98
Brandon Phillips – 93
Jay Bruce – 93
Shin-Soo Choo – 86
Ryan Hanigan – 83
Todd Frazier – 79
Ryan Ludwick – 78
Zach Cozart -76
Chris Heisey – 74
Devin Mesoraco – 73
Josh Donald – 72
Jack Hannahan – 72
Xavier Paul – 62


Aroldis Chapman – 99
Mat Latos – 94
Sean Marshall – 92
Johnny Cueto – 88
Homer Bailey – 87
Bronson Arroyo – 84
Sam LeCure – 81
Jonathan Broxton – 79
Nick Masset – 76
Jose Arredondo – 75
Logan Ondrusek – 75
Alfredo Simon – 72

There are many errors in these ratings that the casual Reds fan will be able to point out. Perhaps the most glaring is Johnny Cueto’s 88 rating compared to the relatively high 94 rating for Mat Latos. Now, I figured this would be skewed a bit due to Latos virtually being a strikeout machine in last year’s game. But an 88 for someone who was battling for contention in the Cy Young race last season? Seems a bit far fetched to me.

Also pretty evidently inaccurate is Aroldis Chapman’s rating of 99 as a starting pitcher. I could see a 99 rating given to Chapman as a closer, but he’s unproven as a starter. I’m hoping he lives up to his 99 overall rating in real life, and in my video game dynasty.

So, Reds fans, if you have a PS3 and you love baseball as much as I do, pick up MLB 13: The Show when it comes out next Tuesday. I will warn you, the game is very realistic, which means hitting the baseball is pretty hard. However, this year’s game includes a ‘beginner’ mode, which does a very good job of introducing the art of hitting to those new to baseball video games. Try it, you’ll like it!