Pretend baseball and baseball from the past are the only kind we can get right now. We’ve already seen what a pretend season simulation yielded for the 2020 Boston Red Sox, but what about at the individual level? The ebbs and flows of a season are a bit different when just looking at one player’s perspective. Since I’ve turned to MLB The Show to feed some of my hunger for baseball, I thought the game’s Road to the Show game mode could serve as a tool to create the next great pitching prospect for the Boston Red Sox. Well, the pretend version of the organization anyway, because that’s all we have right now.
My process for creating our prospect involved using random number and name generators as well as rolling dice and flipping coins. I wanted to choose just about everything at random. I’ll be using the same method to make any decisions throughout the process, but will be playing each of our player’s games. In the past, I found trying to simulate until getting called up to the majors wasn’t as effective as actually putting in the work. What an important lesson for us all. I also was using the 2019 version of the game since I haven’t sprung for the 2020 version just yet. Here’s the final result.
The newest Red Sox prospect is Oliver T. Marquez, who shares the same initials as our fine website. That wasn’t exactly an accident. I chose the first and last names mostly at random. The only thing I controlled was picking among first names beginning with the letter O and last names beginning with the letter M.
Marquez is a 5’10”, 211-pound starting pitcher. Marquez throws from the right side and features a sweeping curve, changeup and sinker while relying more heavily on control than velocity. His preferred jersey number is 13 and his delivery is reminiscent of Dennis Eckersley.
In the lead-up to the draft, Marquez was chosen to participate in a scout day and a player showcase. Since his country of origin is the high seas, he was placed on the International prospect squad. During the scout day, he threw a bullpen session and impressed those in attendance with the precision of his pitches. His curveball snapped into place, his changeup clipped the corners and his sinker punched the catcher’s mitt.
After seeing him pitch live, the scouts rated all three of his offerings above average. His curveball and changeup both netted out at 70 on a scale of 20-80 and his sinker fell just behind at 60. He also got 70 ratings for break and control. In terms of velocity, his curveball and changeup both hit between 75 and 80 miles per hour while his sinker serves as his higher velocity pitch by reaching 90 on the gun.
After the scout day, the four different teams of prospects (International, West, Central and East) squared off in head-to-head exhibitions.
Pre-Draft Showcase Game One
Marquez was picked to start the first matchup for the International squad against the West team. He got help right away as the International prospects broke out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
With such run support, some of the pressure was off, but Marquez’s first pitch was a sweeping curve off the outside edge for a ball. He eventually surrendered a bloop single to right to the first batter, who then stole second. With his nerves rattled slightly, Marquez walked the next batter, putting runners on first and second with no outs.
His luck continued to falter against the next batter. Even after inducing a ground ball, the relay from second to first was off the mark, thwarting a double play attempt.
Marquez finally took control of the inning from there, striking out the next two batters looking, first with a changeup on the outside corner and then with a curveball.
The second and third innings went a bit more smoothly. Marquez again let up a leadoff single in the second, but he got the next batter to ground into a 4-6-3 double play. He then gave up a double but induced a 5-3 groundout to end the frame.
In the third, with the International side up 5-0, Marquez began his second run through the order and despite a dribbler that allowed the first batter to reach, Marquez set the rest of the side down in order.
That spelled the end of his day and it was a solid one. He allowed zero runs over three innings while letting up four hits and one walk to go with three strikeouts. Plus, the International squad took home the win by an 8-3 margin.
Pre-Draft Showcase Game Two
In the second and final game of the showcase, Marquez again made the start. The opponent this time was the Central squad.
Marquez breezed through the first two batters of the game before a fielding error let the final out of the inning slip away. However, the batter who reached was thrown out trying to steal second.
The second inning began with the score still tied 0-0. Marquez again got a quick first out but allowed the next batter to reach by committing an error. Luckily, his defense helped him out with a 6-4-3 double play to the end the inning.
The International side took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the third inning and Marquez held it. The first batter reached when Marquez couldn’t cover first quickly enough on a grounder to the first baseman. However, with his sinker working, Marquez was able to get another 6-4-3 double play and eventually close out the inning — following another error and a single — by getting a groundout to third.
Marquez left the game after that, but it turned out to be a wild one, with the International team pulling out a 9-7 win. Marquez finished the day after throwing three innings of one-hit ball.
Normally the drafting process would be outside of a player’s control, but since we are playing a video game and since this is a Red Sox blog, I fudged things a bit to make sure Marquez was drafted by the Red Sox. That didn’t stop me from letting out a deep sigh of relief after a long pause during the Yankees’ selection in the 15th round. Marquez ended up going a couple picks later as the 30th pick of the round.
In another stark reminder that this is all pretend, Marquez was immediately assigned to Double-A Portland. He also was thrust right into the starting rotation as the fifth starter. Marquez’s contract is for $30,000, which doesn’t exactly line up with the actual pay scale, once again reinforcing that minor league players are not paid fairly. But that’s a more serious topic for a more serious post. For now, Marquez has gotten himself into an MLB organization and now its time to start the season. Tune in next week when we’ll catch up with Marquez following his first few weeks in Double-A.