The latest installment of OOTP Baseball, Out of the Park Baseball 17, launches next Tuesday, March 22, and I had a chance to play a beta version of it. It was, to put it bluntly, unbelievable. OOTP Baseball 17 is the third licensed MLB game (the other two being MLB The Show 16 and R.B.I. Baseball 16), allowing the images of real players along with ratings and attributes. This is the first year that OOTP will include fully licensed MLB attributes such as logos, rosters, and leagues, as well as projected ratings based on advanced stats such as ZiPS.
Prior to playing OOTP Baseball 17, I didn’t know what to expect. But, it’s a game that is known for being a season-to-season simulator, so that’s the route I chose to pursue. I started off by putting myself in the roles of general manager and skipper of the 2016 Detroit Tigers. Right off the bat, owner Mike Illitch sent me a “personal message” saying that I had three goals for the season: 1. Have a record over .500; 2. Win a World Series within three years; and 3. Sign Francisco Rodriguez to an extension. The third was easily obtainable; the other two, not so much. The first three weeks went horribly. While simulating those three weeks, the Tigers went something like 8-20; it was BAD. So, I surfed the web and turned it around, bringing the Tigers to an AL Central title as well as a deep playoff run (we lost in the ALCS, unfortunately).
That was cool. I was HOOKED, and I mean hooked, and then I remembered that the game gives players the ability to simulate past seasons, so I went with the obvious. I took over the 1919 White Sox and simulated that season five times. Each time I simulated the 1919 White Sox, they won the World Series. So there’s the answer to that old-as-time question. You can play through almost every past MLB season imaginable, and OOTP even has MiLB games dating back to 1919. Another cool feature is that you have the ability to simulate a single game or series, so if you want to see if the Amazin’ Mets win every time, go right ahead. A more intriguing idea is to simulate through the games when Michael Jordan briefly played baseball and see what happens (that’s not a bad idea, actually).
The other neat thing about OOTP Baseball 17 is that you have the ability to (I haven’t done this yet, but it’s on my to-do list) take over the professional league teams of countries around the world. Leagues such as the Nippon Professional Baseball, among many others (South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, Cuba, etc.), with their real players are yours to explore. The more you dive into OOTP 17, the more you realize that it’s the best version yet and the possibilities are nearly endless. OOTP Baseball 17 is a must have for any baseball fanatic.