MLB 22 The Show – How to Scout In Franchise Mode

For anyone that has tried and failed to get a handle on scouting in MLB The Show it can be super frustrating. Depending on how you want to experience your game and how much input you want scouting prospects your franchise mode experience will vary. As we discussed briefly, Franchise Mode is dead to SDS – they aren’t talking about any improvements or features for the mode in any of their feature videos prior to release. In that spirit, as a Franchise Mode ‘purist’ I am sad, but also want to help you bring life to your experience. Today the focus is on the scouting system that has existed for quite some time.

Depending on your team needs you will want scouts that better fit your target areas.

In the scouting section at the main menu for Franchise Mode you can get a quick look at where your team ranks in Overall rankings across MLB.

As you can see, the Pirates have needs virtually everywhere. You will want to look deeper at your minor league rosters and see your highest potential players and possibly move your scouting efforts if you plan on bringing them up to the big leagues – less work is always better!

In the case of the Pirates in MLB 21 (using the late season version of Ridin Rosters) the Pirates need a lot of pitching help and they also need corner outfielders (RF/LF). One aspect that seems low at first glance is SS, but if you look at their depth in the minor leagues there are two ‘A’ potential players, so you can move forward with a scout focus initially on Pitching and Outfield.

The first thing you will want to do is look for scouts that have the highest Discovery Rating – these scouts will increase the amount of players you can actively scout. In the case below, we see that Marc Weilman has a high discovery rating and his focus for positions is position players (non-pitchers), but that is only 51, which is fittingly bad for the Pirates. The real point of concern is Efficiency which is 41. Compare that to MacKenzie McManus’ 89 Efficiency and you will see that the problem becomes obvious.

Upon setting your scouts up for discovery, you will want to make sure that they are allowed to go until you get a notification that they have discovered all available prospects for their assignment. After that, you will have a choice to make depending on their best scouting ability. If you are fortunate, their efficiency rating will be at least 75. This will allow you to scout players faster once you have assigned them to individuals which can be strangely clunky.

Once you have a player you think needs more focus, you need to put assign a scout to them by pressing square. Depending on your need, you will want to focus on their Potential and Overall. The scouting scale which is on the 80/20 range lets you know that anyone under 50 is most likely better off unscouted unless you look at their ratings such as Overall or a desired ability like hitting power or pitching command and decide they are worth a look.

EFFICIENCY IS EVERYTHING!!!

The most broken aspect of MLB The Show Franchise Mode is in how scouting is handled and built from the start. Anyone that pays attention to baseball scouting will tell you that it’s a year-round cycle. The Show makes it into a 2 1/2 month drive-through at White Castle experience. This means that if you keep Weilman assigned to discovery like I did, you lose 3.5 weeks to him simply finding right handed pitchers in the West Region. Meanwhile, McManus fully discovered lefties in the west and then fully scouted 4 pitchers by the time Weilman was finished only discovering. To this end, you want to make sure that you sign scouts that have high efficiency if at all possible.

While the region of a scout might play a role, I have found this to be nominal for the most part – so, buyer beware on trying to diversify your regions over everything (it doesn’t really matter much, if at all).

That said, and keeping this as short as possible here is my recommendation on how to handle scouting.

1 – Prior to any assignments, make sure all of your scouts have a 75 Efficiency rating. If they don’t, go into Contracts under the Acquisitions menu and find someone to replace them with.

2 – Assign two or three scouts with the highest discovery ability to discover players in their region in which you have the biggest need. Once they finish their area, move them to another region. You can also do the ‘scorched earth’ approach and assign your high discovery scouts to the same region and try to cover it even faster, the choice is yours.

3 – I recommend assigning your highest efficiency scout to your most noteworthy prospects (starting with 80 potential and working your way down).

4 – Once you’ve exhausted discovery, start assigning your scouts to different prospects (again, start with 80 potential). As the potential/overall changes you can decide if you’ve seen enough of a prospect. Generally, once a prospect drops below 65 Potential you can move on confidently looking for others.

5 – This really 4A, but have an idea of what matters most to you as you build your franchise. I have found that having high velocity against the cpu matters less for pitchers than command. Better control has been far more beneficial for me than simply throwing fire. This is similar for batters with contact ratings vs. vision. Do yourself a favor and press Triangle (Y on XBox) and look at the players a bit more closely.

6 – Keep a scouting diary/notebook! SDS has abandoned Franchise Mode and it’s sad but true that Madden at least has the ability to build a big board in the prospect menu. The Show basically forces you to try and remember every top player and the draft is an afterthought. You don’t have to do this, but it will help you as your franchise mode progresses.

7 – Scout intriguing low-rated prospects from May 15 until the draft starts. Give your scouts a day or two to get a rating together before you move on as this will give you a chance to find hidden talent and a reason to pay attention to the rounds 3-6 of the draft.

How To Use Scouting and Build A Franchise – MLB 18 The Show

Building your franchise in MLB The Show is a process that can be daunting if you decide to grab a terrible team.  This will serve as a guide for starting your franchise in the best possible way in your first season.  For the sake of commonality, I used the OSFM 1.5 Roster available in the online roster vault.

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Make sure after you select your team of choice you press square on Player Development and General Manager Tasks, this will allow you to control every aspect of your team (on top of Coaching Tasks).

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Start your season during spring training and take a look at your roster ranks in the Trade Talks menu.  The only good spot for the Tigers is Miguel Cabrera – he is declining quickly and the 2018 season will probably be his last chance of productivity – so I am moving him during the spring.  Before that happens, you better find a replacement in the free agent pool or involve the replacement in the trade.  In my case, I found a nice free agent and signed him.  If you want to see potential in free agents press triangle on them and it will be right there for you to see.MLB(R) The Show(TM) 18_16.jpg

I traded Cabrera to the Yankees and in return for the 90 OVR first baseman, coupled with a couple disposable minor leaguers I managed to bring in a much needed reliever, a top prospect in Clint Frazier (I’m surprised the Yankees haven’t traded him in real life yet) and I grabbed their newly acquired Brandon Drury to be my utility guy.  This is the kind of trade you want to make if you have one good player that is over 30 with an OVR of 80 or higher… the same goes for even older guys.

TIME TO START SCOUTING!!!

Before you start thinking about scouting, you want to look at what players you already have in the farm system.  MLB(R) The Show(TM) 18

The current look of the Tigers for 2018 isn’t great.  However, once you take a look at the potential of some of the Starting Pitchers, the up and coming 1B that was newly signed as well as our future CF in Clint Frazier, suddenly those rankings aren’t so bad.  This is where you start looking at what you want to scout for in the draft in June.

For the Tigers, this means looking at 2nd and 3rd base as well as trying to find a great complimentary corner outfielder.  Add bullpen pitchers and there are some serious changes that need to happen.  This is how you do it.

GO TO CONTRACTS AND SIGN NEW SCOUTS

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Sign a scout in every region (East, West, Central, and International).

Invest in new scouts to replace your crappy ones.

Scout ratings are simple to understand and once you do, it will make the rest of your process easy.

Efficiency – This is how fast a scout can determine the ratings of prospects.  When looking at the scouting menu you will see players that are scouted fully with green bars and others that are not scouted at all in the red.  Focus on players in the region of your scout for even faster scouting results with higher efficiency (in 3 to 4 days a highly rated efficiency scout can fully scout a prospect in his region).

Discovery – This tells you how many players  scout can find.  When assigning a scout to discover players he won’t be able to look at individual prospects – keep this in mind as a large player pool is great, but if you have so many you can’t scout them all – it leaves you in a tight spot.

Position Players – These scouts will get you more accurate ratings on players that are non-pitchers.

Pitchers – These scouts are the best at accurately rating pitching prospects.

Look at prospects in positions you need to fill in a couple years.  Next year they will be young prospects and will need time to become big league ready.

The MLB ETA on the prospect list is important.  If you need a player soon, find a player with a MLB ETA year that is for the next season.  If you have time to develop a guy behind a current player you can draft someone that isn’t going to be ready for a couple years.

MLB(R) The Show(TM) 18_49.jpgThat covers the important aspects of scouting.  Make sure you jump on this on the first day of the regular season.  It will end up providing you with a great draft class in June.

 

MLB 18 – Franchise Mode House Rules

The first rules I generally set for myself in any sort of Franchise Mode involves trading and player acquisition. In my last post, I talked about the sim gameplay aspect of using directional batting – after trying this for the last couple days, I firmly stand by this suggestion. The team management area of franchise mode is what drives me to have the most fun with the game. It can also lead you towards a short-lived journey if you don’t set up some rules to prevent you from dominating a less than stellar CPU AI when it comes to trades and team building.

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Trades/Free Agents During Season

  1. You have to select the players you want from a specific team before offering your own player(s).
  2. You may make one trade in the initial Spring Training (Two trades in following spring trainings).
  3. You are permitted one trade before the All Star Game and it must not occur until at least May 1.
  4. You are permitted two trades after the All Star Break.
  5. You can only sign a free agent during your first season if your team suffers an injury on the MLB level that requires 60 Day – DL.

Scouting Prospects –

I generally prefer to take the scouting aspect as a personal project, but the more I look at how MLB 17 runs things, I tend to believe that leaving scouting on Auto allows your scouts to actually do what they will do based on their ratings. This also prevents the user from figuring out how to find all of the Top Prospects with ease.

In-Game Rules

There are only a couple basic rules I set for myself for MLB The Show. First, I believe that user control generally makes for a better performing team overall. Once you get settings/sliders that provide you with optimal challenge and enjoyment it is crucial to set up a system that you can follow without second guessing your rules.

Here are mine for MLB 18.

  1. Pitching/Defense – Once you allow the first run you must Quick Manage the remainder of the defensive halves of each inning until the 9th inning. If you wish, you may use your closer if there is a save situation.
  2. Batting – You get THREE strike outs per game. These can be offset if you draw walks. If you strike out twice and then draw a walk you can subtract one of those strike outs. Once you strike out three times you must quick manage each half inning your team is at bat until the ninth inning. You can also allow a home run to reset all strike outs.

That’s it… pretty simple in the scheme of things. You will find that your season will progress a bit quicker and you will have a bit less direct influence on the simulation feel of the stats, etc. Also, I have found that this rule gives me a better eye at the plate because walks give me a real goal to offset strike outs.

There are more updates coming. Baseball season is finally here… even if it is 30 degrees outside.