The day MLB The Show fans have been waiting for has finally arrived. Today, SDS held a Feature Premiere live stream on their Twitch and YouTube channel. This stream went over Presentation, Commentary, March to October and Franchise mode. This stream lasted almost two hours and is by far the biggest one so far this year. The team went over new commentary lines, presentation options, as well as the overhauled scouting and drafting feature coming to Franchise and March to October (MTO).
Presentation & Commentary
The first half hour of the live stream went over the major changes to presentation and commentary in MLB The Show 23. Like the previous stream, it started with the new sounds in the game. This included glove pops, bat cracks, field sounds and crowd chants.
There will also be new animations that play during games. The new Game Stage is similar to what you see pre-game in national broadcasts of real games where the players are all together in front of some cool graphics. There will be new celebrations for walk-off homers, playoff series wins, and big statistical milestones.
There will be a few stadiums that will have exterior shots included. In season modes like Franchise and MTO, there will be a featured Game of the Week with unique presentation graphics. In Mini Seasons, the league will be referred to as the Global Baseball League, with its own graphics and commentary lines.
For commentary, Jon “Boog” Sciambi and Chris Singleton return to the broadcast booth. There are tons a new lines of commentary, including lines specific to modes like Mini Seasons, Road to the Show, and Franchise. There are also new name audios added for created players.
Franchise & MTO
After a short intermission, we got to the part we were all here for. The team started talking about the new changes that will be coming to both Franchise and MTO. They started by talking about logic changes, which are a yearly update for these modes. This includes trade deadline logic, tiebreakers, minor leagues, trade logic, and lineup logic.
The team also talked about how some of the CBA changes from the last couple years would finally be added to the modes. The new playoff format that went into effect last year will now be in both Franchise and MTO. The Universal DH has now been fully implemented, including awarding the NL DH Silver Slugger Award. Two-way players will now also be allowed to DH in games that they also pitch in. Shift restrictions had been announced to be in the game in a previous live stream.
There are also a lot of smaller changes being added. These includes updates to the Competitive Balance Tax, minor league realignment, balanced scheduling, minor league affiliations and league names. The new draft lottery for the top six picks in the draft will take place behind the scenes. However, the pitch clock and pickoff rule have yet to be confirmed.
The entire second hour of the stream was talking about the overhauled drafting and scouting system. This started with the new logic for generating the prospects in each draft class. In the past, draft classes included far too many older players. Now, drafts will contain players in the range of 18-23 years old, with about 90% of players being either 18 or 19 years old.
The classes of these new prospects have also changed. Now, instead of just high school or college players, there will be more options based on if the player is at a JUCO or four-year institution. You will also see players that went undrafted in previous drafts but did not return to school show up in the draft pool. The new prospect classes are:
- High School Senior
- First Year Junior College
- Second Year Junior College
- Four Year Freshman
- Four Year Sophomore
- Four Year Junior
- Four Year Senior
There is also new logic called bust and diamond in the rough. This will mimic real life where someimtes players who slip in the draft that become superstars. This will also have some players who are drafted high end up not panning out.
Scouting has been completely overhauled this year. The number of scouts has decreased from 4 to 3. The salaries for these scouts have also been adjusted to be more realistic. The ratings for these scouts have also been adjusted to be better for the new system that has been created.
Scouting is now a weekly process throughout the season. Each week, players will be able to assign their scouts to one of three slots: the high, middle, and low priority slot. This is similar to the Free Agency interface that was added to MTO last year. When assigning your scouts, you can assign them to scout a single position, scout a single player, or discover new players that are not on your draft board yet. How much progress your scouts make towards their task for that week will depend on which priority slot you assigned them to.
Injuries will now be a concern for players when choosing who to draft. Prospects will be able to either opt in or out of getting a physical shortly before the draft. This physical will let players know if a prospect has had injuries in the past. Just because a prospect has had injuries, this does not mean they are guaranteed to be injury prone throughout their professional career.
The traditional 20-80 scouting scale has been abandoned for the 99 point scale that are used everywhere else in the game. Players will see a range for prospects that will shrink. However, you will not know a players true ratings and potential until you draft and sign them.
Drafting and Signing
The actual draft day process has also changed. There is a brand new draft screen that makes everything look a lot better and modern. During the draft, CPU teams will have 10 second to make their picks, while user teams will have 4 minutes. There is no pausing during the draft, so you will need to have your strategy ready going into draft day.
Your work won’t be over after draft day though. The MLB Draft slot and signing bonus system has been added into the game. Based on where you draft prospects and their overall interest in signing with your team, prospects will be able to demand different amounts for their signing bonus. Players only have a certain amount to use on signing draft picks, so they will need to be strategic with how they spend it. Also, if prospects will be able to reject your offers and return to school.
Overall, these seem to be the biggest changes made to Franchise and MTO in MLB The Show in a long time. The scouting and drafting systems are the oldest systems, having been mostly unchanged for at least a decade. It is nice to see some major effort be put into these modes. Of course there are things that still need to be added in the future. These changes also need to work properly once the game releases. Regardless though, it is nice to finally see genuine effort be put towards these fan favorites modes for the first time in a while.