This is normally the time of year where baseball fans are getting excited about the beginning of the season. Unfortunately, as we all know now the Coronavirus had other plans and now baseball of all kinds has been shutdown.
Every spring about this time I get my copy of the new version of the Out of the Park (OOTP) baseball simulation game to review. I typically run it through some different scenarios and let Hangouters get a good idea of what’s new to this world class simulation baseball game.
This year though, I’ve decided to use this game to simulate a what if scenario for the 2020 Orioles season. With apologies to both Mike Elias and manager Brandon Hyde, I’m going to make the moves and manage the team on a day by day basis and publish the results.
How will the starting pitcher battles play out? When will Ryan Mountcastle be promoted? Who will be the first of the AAA starters to get promoted?
We’re even going to simulate the minors so what kind of year with Adley Rutschman have when he starts off at Frederick? How will DJ Hall adjust to AA? What if Gunner Henderson and Darrel Hernaiz made the jump to Delmarva to start the year?
First let’s take a look at the new OOTP 21 that we will use. OOTP 21 has all the rosters and every player throughout all of the 30 MLB organizations. Had the season actually started on time, they have an option to download the actual opening day lineups and rosters.
While we are going to focus on the 2020 season, all historical major league (1871-2019) and minor league seasons, including Negro leagues, are included for free!
I actually have played some very interesting “What if” Orioles scenarios in past versions including “What if the Orioles resigned Reggie Jackson and Bobby Grich after the 1977 season and what is the Orioles did a proper 2020 style rebuild after the 1986 season. BTW, I won multiple World Series from 1979-1981 and finally won a World Series in 1992 after doing the rebuild.
While you can read up on all the new features for OOTP 21 by going to https://www.ootpdevelopments.com/out-of-the-park-baseball-home/ , I’m going to focus on a few that I already love from playing just a few games.
The 3D graphics and ballparks continue to improve and this year they’ve added multiple camera looks including a pitcher-batter look for either behind the batter (video game view) or from a center field camera similar to the TV view.
While the graphics have improved, it’s something I truly hope their partnership with EA will allow them to make significant improvements in the future. My dream of watching a TV broadcast type of game play along with the OOTP simulation engine will hopefully one day become a reality. This would especially be amazing if old stadiums and year appropriate uniforms were available.
I haven’t yet tried the new drafting and scouting but I’m looking forward to that aspect of the game as well.In the past the scouting was tedious so there’s a lot of room for improvement there.
As always, OOTP is right up to date with rule changes so there’s a 26-man roster, 28-man extended roster in September, and a three man pitching rule in effect. There’s also a new home run hitting derby and prospect game added to All-Star weekend.
One of the best features of OOTP has always been it’s complete minor league systems that allow you to set rosters, lineups, and pitching roles of all of your minor leagues including setting pitch counts and batters faced maximums. They even have the Dominican Summer League guys.
If you like stats, you will love OOTP since it keeps everything from streak, to splits to fielding at every level. Although I wish the stats were more in a baseballreference.com model for team stats, the player stat cards are about as deep as your can imagine. About the only thing missing are statcast information and that would be a great addition to OOTP 22.
From everything I can tell is that OOTP21 is another great addition and upgrade to a great series.
The 2020 Orioles Sim Season
From here on out, we’re going to run the 2020 season with OOTP until the real season begins. At that point we will sim out the rest of the season and focus on the real one.
Hopefully this will scratch that baseball itch that we all have thanks to OOTP21.