So we’re just a few days out from the Clutch Baseball 2018 release. Are you someone who still hasn’t picked a Starter Set? Fear not, today this 3-part blog series marches on to help you make the decision. Let’s talk about some of the stand-out players in this set.
REMINDER: 3 Different Themed Starter Sets (East, Central, West)
Last year I had the privilege of bringing you the exclusive first peek of our 2017 set in a short series of “Can’t Miss Clutch Cards” blogs. This year I will be previewing a different Starter Set each week, as well as a few other “themed” “Can’t Miss Clutch Cards” teams. If you are new to Clutch Baseball, your best option is to start with a Starter Set. There are 3 different Starter Sets to choose from: East, Central, and West. This year our East set will feature “Power Pitching”, the Central set will feature “Speed and Defense”, and the West set will feature “Power Hitters”. Each set comes with a complete 25 man roster, 20 strategy cards, and 5 stadiums. The included strategy decks will also be relevant to the players in your Starter Set, allowing for more competitive games right out of the box.
Jose Ramirez, Cleveland (.318 AVG, 19 HR, 83 RBI)
You want a Starter Set that has everything in it? The Central Starter is loaded with players that have icons. There are players with the SB icon, SL icon, W icon, Hold icon, and 3 GG icons! This set features the rare foil Jose Ramirez, who finished 3rd in MVP voting last year behind Jose Altuve and Aaron Judge. Ramirez is a 5-tool player, donning just 4 outs, +4 defense (SS and 2B), 16(B) speed, singles on 8, and the SL icon. Oh, and he’s the most valuable switch-hitter in the set. Jose is a sure bet to build a 25 man roster around.
Whit Merrifield, Kansas City (.288 AVG, 80 R, 34 SB)
If you don’t want to pay out of the nose for speed, look out for Whit Merrifield (led AL in steals) who makes his Clutch Baseball debut in 2018. He is a triple threat with +4 defense, 20(A) speed, and a 5 out chart. Merrifield is the Billy Hamilton of the infield, except better. The biggest difference is Merrifield is CLUTCH! Hamilton on the other had had -3 Clutch in 2017. There are only three batters in Clutch Baseball 2018 with 20(A) speed and +2 clutch. The first is Whit Merrifield, the second is Jarrod Dyson, and the third is Mike Trout.
Byron Buxton, Minnesota (.253 AVG, 16 HR, 29 SB)
I can’t believe we have a Starter Set dedicated to defense, and I haven’t mentioned Byron Buxton yet! I’m sure this year will be a heavy debate between whose the better speed-man: Byron Buxton, Billy Hamilton, or (now center fielder) Dee Gordon. Buxton is the middle ground of the two. If you don’t have a LF/RF with the GG icon, simply use Buxton. Some strategy cards will give a bonus if just one OF has the GG icon. If your lineup is already stacked with left-handed hitters, use Buxton (right-handed). Want an entire speed team? Use all 3 of those guys in the outfield!
Zach Davies, Milwaukee (17-9, 3.90, 3.3 WAR)
Lastly, this “defense and speed” team is lead by Quintana and Davies (W icon) at the top of the rotation (both have +4 defense). Raisel Iglesias was a major impact in Clutch Baseball last year with his 3 IP. Unfortunately, he has been converted to a full-time closer and has been updated to 1 IP. The good news is that he’s even cheaper now, with a 1 X-Zone, and positive clutch (fairly important for a closer IMO). This Central team has a well balanced pitching staff, with a +4 defensive average.
Next up: “Power-Hitters” West Starter Set.