OOTP XX: Blue Jays are Bad But Vlad is Good (and so is the game)

Out of the Park Baseball 20 (or OOTP XX) has been out for a few weeks now and it’s definitely the deepest and smoothest version of the game yet. I’ve been playing OOTP for several years and the game keeps getting better from year to year. With added game modes (like the very cool Perfect Game mode) and improved 3-D graphics, OOTP XX gives you more ways to play GM than ever before.



OOTP has been around for several years and they’ve continued to improve the game, adding major league licenses, adding 3-D graphics for in-game simulations and now with the Perfect Game mode. The Perfect Game mode allows you to compete against other online players in a game where you put your group of player cards against other GMs. Each player gets six packs of six cards to begin with and you can get cards for players ranging from All-Time Greats to present day players. They can be scrubs or stars and each pack gives you different chances to bolster your line up.

Your team name and logo are customizable, as is your ballpark and other details of your team. When you do well, you get more Perfect Points with which to buy more card packs. You can also buy and sell individual cards in the market. Take the players from your cards to build your lineup and pitching staff and then set them against other teams in the leagues. You’ll keep escalating leagues until you hit a wall.

For example, my team, the Basingstoke Burgundians finished first in my division in a Bronze Level league in 2019 and fourth in the division in a Silver Level league in 2020, moving up to a Gold Level in 2021 and 2022, Things didn’t go so well. While my stats improved, scoring more runs and allowing fewer runs, I finished with records of 65-97 and 64-98 in the two years.

Of course, this is without purchasing Perfect Points (which can be done for about $1 per 1000 points). I do have some stars on my team, including Max Scherzer, Chris Archer, Frank Viola of 1998, Miguel Cabrera of 2016 and George Springer (of 2019) are also on my team. That said, I need some better cards but don’t have the Perfect Points to purchase them for another couple of seasons.



Now, about those Blue Jays. Like I do every year, I simulated the Toronto Blue Jays for a season, trying to keep things mostly plausible and similar to how the season has worked out. You can actually go into a game mode, new this year, that will give you an up-to-date roster selecting and season progression, so, had I wanted to, I could have started with a Toronto Blue Jays lineup and record starting from the actual date that I started my simulation.

Instead, I just put the same guys the Jays had on their roster, trying to make reasonable decisions as to when to bring up pitchers like Clayton Richard and David Phelps as they come back from injury (and their injuries weren’t always accurate).

So how did the Blue Jays do? Ummmm. Not that well. We had a final record of 66-96, slightly outperforming our Pythagorean record of 65-97. We went 3-1 in March and 7-18 in April, our worst month. That was followed by a 12-16 May and 12-15 June with a 9-17 July. August was 10-17 and September was our only month above .500 at 13-12.

We were 6th in the AL with a .260 batting averge and ranked eighth in OPS (.757) while finishing eighth in home runs (199) and third in stolen bases (105). On the pitching side, things were atrocious. We were 14th in the AL in ERA at 5.18 while we were dead last in opponents batting average. Yeah, it was ugly with our best pitching ranking was 12th in the AL for home runs allowed.

As far as individual stats go, Vladimir Guerrero Jr led the club in OPS, hitting .362/.431/.617 with 30 doubles, six triples and 21 home runs, walking 50 times and striking out 83 times in 109 games (after being called up on May 1).

Rowdy Tellez was second, tied with Randal Grichuk with an .850 OPS. Rowdy hit .273/.328/.522 with 21 doubles, a triple and 23 home runs in 370 at bats while Randal had a .269/.325/.524 slash line with 30 doubles, a triple and 45 home runs but he struck out a massive 210 times on the season.

Danny Jansen had a solid year, hitting .292/.355/.485 in 493 plate appearances, hitting 32 doubles and 21 home runs and Teoscar Hernandez hit .265/.327/.481 with 33 doubles, three triples and 24 home runs.

A couple of moves I made to help bolster a rough team: to replace Socrates Brito, who I released, I traded Danny Barnes (also to make room for pitchers coming off the DL) to Texas for Delino Deshields Jr. Deshields hit .244/.325/.345 in 110 games but also stole 39 bases. Brito was actually picked up by the Baltimore Orioles and hit WAY better than he did with us (he had a 61 OPS+ for the Jays in 45 games and a 108 OPS+ for Baltimore in 109 games). I also traded Justin Smoak to Cleveland for 23-year-old Jake Bauers. Bauers spent most of the year in the minors with Deshields, Grichuk and Teoscar/McKinney in Toronto and he struggled after coming up in September, hitting just .274/.269/.333, but he’s got a lot of potential and could replace the Teoscar/McKinney group in coming years.

As for the pitching staff? Yikes. Matt Shoemaker was our best starter, posting a 3.97 ERA and 1.21 WHIP with 1.9 WAR. Marcus Stroman had a 5.56 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in 191 innings (team lead), posting 1.5 WAR. Ken Giles had the third-most WAR at 0.9 while the next starter was Aaron Sanchez with 0.5 WAR and a 6.10 ERA and 1.55 WHIP.

In good news, we got Travis Bergen back from the Giants and he got into seven games and a 3.29 ERA and 0.95 ERA with 21 strikeouts and three walks in 13 2/3 innings. Clay Buchholz had a 5.48 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 133 innings. Good things are coming from Trent Thornton who had a 3.05 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 41 1/3 innings.

OOTP 20 is very deep as usual (you can read my previous reviews — 2019, 2018, 2017 — to get an idea of what’s in the game) and the 3-D graphics are improving but I feel like it still takes a little too long for plays develop when managing in-game and there are times when the play you see in the graphics doesn’t match the outcome. For example, sometimes a slow grounder is hit to short and the runner actually beats the throw in the graphics that we see but is still called out in the game. And there’s no instant replay for you to challenge the call.

Otherwise, OOTP is getting better for online play and I still play an online league with the game. I’ve been playing the game for about eight years now and it’s not getting old at all.

You can find OOTP 20 on Steam and at the OOTP Developments website.

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