Baseball in 100 Years? A Computer Simulation Until 2116

This was an idea I got a while back but only now did I get around to writing about it. I began with the PC game OOTP Baseball 17, an interactive baseball simulator where you can call the shots—or in this case subject yourself to the computer's mercy. I told the game to simulate everything until the year 2116 and after nearly 48 hours of waiting, the results were in. There was no zombie apocalypse and the 2016 election cycle didn't burn America to the ground. But baseball changed so much, yet so little from the game we know and love today. Into the time machine we go...

How Major League Baseball Changed:


Major League Records:

Records are meant to broken, or are they? Joe DiMaggio's record 56 game hit streak remains unbeatable while nobody has even sniffed the records of Barry Bonds and Cy Young. That being said, the record books have welcomed many new faces in 100 years.

  • 98 of the 100 highest single season strikeout totals (for a batter) came from our simulated century.
  • Hall of Famer Frank Castillo smashed the MLB record with 3,559 strikeouts in his career. Entering 2016, the all-time leader was Reggie Jackson with 2,597.
  • Nobody could reach 60 homers in one season.
  • The top 100 single season stolen base list remained unchanged after 100 years.
  • The simulation's hit king was second basemen Miguel Valle with 3683, edging Stan Musial for fourth all-time.
  • Real life amatuer outfielder Brad Czerniejewski came the closest to Bonds with 579 career homers.
  • Though nobody stood a chance against the dead-ball era's ERA records, starter Mike Pollock led the simulation with a 1.54 ERA in 2078. Ironically, the Cubs traded Pollock midseason for a package of four Seattle Mariners prospects—all four were complete busts as Pollock led the Mariners playoff push with a 1.32 ERA for Seattle.
  • Cardinals starter Jared McCulloch broke the Major League record with a 0.70 WHIP in 2099.
  • Nobody cracked the 20 strikeout club, but White Sox pitcher David Palmer led the simulation with 19 in a 2049 game.
  • In 2028, Tigers right fielder Angel Quintanar became the first player to hit five homers in game.
  • Kenley Jansen almost chased down Mariano Rivera for the all-time saves record, but the White Sox relegated him to the 8th inning role in 2029, his final season. Jansen, 633, finished his career 19 saves behind Mo.
  • Aroldis Chapman was maybe the most overpowering reliever baseball ever saw. He set major league records with a career 13.8 K/9 ratio and an opponents average of .180.
  • Noah Syndergaard became arguably the greatest pitcher in baseball history. With 5,662 career strikeouts, 335 career wins, and a career 0.96 WHIP, Syndergaard won nine Cy Young Awards and four MVP awards.
Notable World Series History and Droughts:
  • In 2016 the Oakland Athletics defeated the Washington Nationals.
  • The Cubs lost the 2018, 2021, and 2035 Fall Classics before finally winning it in all in 2042 for the first time in 134 years. They would go on to lose the next two World Series.
  • The Cardinals ended a 19 year drought when they topped the Twins in the 2030 World Series. This was the apex of an 11 year stretch where the Cardinals never missed the playoffs, an all-time franchise record and simulation high.
  • The El Paso Mutiny won the 2037 World Series over the New York Mets to become the simulation's first expansion franchise to win a championship.
  • From 2080-2083, the San Diego Padres joined the New York Giants of 160 years earlier as the only franchises to win four straight NL pennants. Of the four World Series appearences, the Padres were only victorious once.
  • The Cardinals won the 2097, 2100, and 2113 World Series to end the simulation with 15 franchise titles. The 2097 championship marked the first in 67 years.
  • The Cardinals never made the playoffs from 2067 to 2095, with only seven winning seasons during that span.
  • The Cubs entered another championship drought with their last title coming in 2063.
  • In 2095, the Red Sox won their first title in 82 years.
  • In 2108, the Reds finally ended their 118 year championship spell.
  • The Royals last championship came in 2035.
  • The Angels last championship came in 2002.
  • The Marlins went from 2034 to 2111 without a title.
  • The Yankees didn't win a World Series from 2022 to 2115.
  • The Giants 89 year drought ended with a championship in 2103.
  • The Rays, who entered Major League Baseball in 1998, still haven't won a championship.

While the average contract grew in value, I was suprised to see the richest contracts in 2116 weren't much different compared to 2016. According to Cot's Baseball Contracts, Clayton Kershaw salary this year is larger than any player in the 2116 simulation. In 2016, 34 players have a salary of $20 million or greater. The 2116 MLB had 53 such players. When looking at salaries of $10 million or more, real life 2016 had 119 players compared to 172 in 2116 in OOTP 17. The highest paid pitcher in the simulation was Austin Toads starter David Stacy who, despite only supplying 17.9 WAR over his first five seasons, had a salary $33 million in 2116. The highest paid player overall was Rockies catcher Lyle Hawn, a three time MVP, who at age 37 made $34.5 million. Salaries in general were on the rise, however. Case in point: the Rays payroll surpassed $185 million in 2116.

Hall of Fame:

For the Cardinals, not much happened in terms of inductees. Ten players were enshrined in Cooperstown over the 100 year simulation, although no 2016 Cardinals were inducted. Even in the simulation, no player ever received a unanimous vote. Astros second basemen Karl McDonald, a 4 time MVP, tied Ken Griffey Jr. for the highest induction percentage ever when he was voted in with 99.3% support in 2068.

Thank you for reading. If you want more of my shenanigans you can follow me on Twitter @Tyler_Opinion

Go Cards!