MLB 08 THE SHOW Weekly Update: Pitcher/Batter Analysis

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Hi everyone. My name is Lorne Asuncion, Designer for the MLB: The Show franchise. I’m here to explain two of our new features this year: the Pitcher and Batter Analysis. One thing we wanted to improve on and enhance was the strategic thinking of the hardcore sports gamer who play this game. With the Pitcher and Batter Analysis, you as the gamer, will be able to break down the game even more by using these two features to sort and filter different categories to get accurate and helpful results. This is a Scouting Report that’s quick and easy to manage.

On the Pitcher Analysis, you can sort by numerous categories (which have sub-categories) such as the team, the specific pitcher, the batter handedness, the pitch type, the situation and the result. This sort will break down a pitcher’s tendencies on where he likes to throw each pitch and how often. A pitch plot will appear on the right-hand side of the screen to give you a visual on the selected sort. On the bottom left-hand side, a breakdown of each pitch that the pitcher throws is shown. Each pitch type is tracked by the number of pitches, strike percentage and opponent’s batting average. All of this information is pertinent because it shows the pitcher’s strengths and weaknesses for each pitch, in each zone, in all situations.

The picture below is an example of the Pitcher Analysis. It shows that Josh Beckett likes to throw his changeup very low and sometimes out of the strike zone. The Yankees haven’t had too much success with that pitch by only getting one hit out of Beckett’s last nine changeups.

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Another example below shows how the Red Sox have been doing against Chien-Ming Wang’s devastating sinker. As you can see, Wang consistently throws his sinker down with positive results (an out, three foul balls, two swing and misses out of eight pitches). Because he’s been successful with that pitch all game long, swinging at that pitch might not be the best idea.

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The Batter Analysis breaks down a batter’s tendencies and batting statistics by sorting through different categories and their sub-categories. When pitching, this will give you a better idea on where a batter has positive and negative results in each section of the strike zone. You can also view the batter’s Batting Average and Slugging Percentage in each area of the strike zone. If a batter hits well in a zone, that zone appears red. If he doesn’t hit well, that zone will appear blue. After a long period of time, you’ll see a heavy sample on where a batter like to hit pitches and, conversely, make outs. This is very useful in Road to the Show because you will be able to see the success and failure in each zone for your created player. This information might help your player get to “The Show” even sooner.

In the picture below, you can see the pitcher-batter duel between Jake Peavy and Andruw Jones. By looking at the pitch plot, you can see that Jones has been very patient with all of Peavy’s pitches by taking nine of the 13 thrown. Even though he was patient, the results were mixed because he had only one hit, on a fastball down low. If you were batting with Jones, you should be looking for a lot of pitches down in the strike zone as there were only two that were high.

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In another Batter Analysis picture below, you can see the how the Padres have been doing against Brad Penny by looking at the Hot/Cold Zones on the right-hand side of the screen. It shows that the Padres haven’t had any success on pitches that are down and away or down and inside. On the flip side, they’ve gotten hits when Penny leaves a pitch around the heart of the plate.

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By using these two features consistently more and more, you will gain more knowledge and a feel of all tendencies for a batter and a pitcher. This is exactly what we want you to take away from this game. It’s more than just a “See Pitch, Hit Pitch” type of game. There’s an enormous amount of strategy, much like real baseball and this is another way of conveying that. I hope you enjoy these two features and the rest of MLB 08: THE SHOW.

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