Gutfoxx put together a really interesting video earlier this week where he compared real pitch speeds to those in MLB The Show 20. In other words, he put together his own little Mythbusters concept to show off pitch-speed differentials between a real baseball game and the video game.
The biggest caveat is that obviously he’s counting frames where the frames are not going to be one-to-one between his video example and The Show. So the comparison is probably not perfect, but I still think it’s a valid test case. Either way, it’s also interesting to see pitch speeds in action here because it does give me more appreciation of how hard it is to hit any sort of pitch at a professional level. Even on HOF difficulty, you get more time to process and swing the bat than you would on the real diamond — where you also still need to load and swing all while processing where the pitch will be.
On top of that, it does really show me once again how easy it might be to say “sit fastball and adjust” from the stands, while the reality is that’s really hard to do. To me, if a fastball has enough velocity, you really do need to just sit fastball in real life, otherwise it has to be next to impossible to even turn on one. The thought of even trying to turn on a Chapman, Hicks or Syndergaard fastball — that generally is not just straight either — just about turns me into soup.
It also highlights a major difference between The Show and real life in terms of basic strategy. We maybe move the PCI to sit inside, but we don’t really need to guess pitches in order to react, swing and make great contact. I don’t think you can really have that approach at the plate in real life. You need to actually go into each pitch sort of thinking about location and pitch type in a way you simply never have to in MLB The Show. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it’s just something I sometimes lose sight of when talking about the pitcher-batter duel in the game. As always, mad respect for hitting a baseball even two feet because it is not easy.
The other biggest thing to come out of this is that the difference between HOF and Legend pitch speed seems to be either incredibly small or simply non-existent this year. This is not totally surprising as HOF certainly is a major step up in pitch speed already. So maybe The Show developers decided to just keep the pitch speed consistent and focus more on the PCI as the way to differentiate the two top difficulty levels. In either case, it’s good to have a bit of confirmation about this because it helps for both online play and tuning gameplay sliders for the community.
Anyway, check out the video because I think it’s a really fun watch even if you already knew The Show wasn’t like hitting in real life — even on HOF difficulty.