What was your favorite baseball video game growing up? Stratomatic (pre Atari)? Earl Weaver Baseball? RBI on Nintendo? The more recent versions of MLB-licensed games for X-Box or Playstation?
For me, it was Baseball Stars on Nintendo, where you could build your own team and rack up sick stats. And that’s what Shawn Tolleson is doing these days in the minors. Tolleson’s prep teammate, Clayton Kershaw takes the mound today against the Reds while another of his teammates, Jordan Walden, is the Angels’ closer. In fact, Kershaw might have been the third-best pitcher on their high school travel team and Tolleson is showing why these days.
After Tommy John surgery shelved him in high school and sent him to college at Baylor rather than the minors, the Dodgers drafted and signed him last year. In his first pro season, he had a 0.63 ERA and 17 saves so he popped up on a lot of radars. But what he’s doing this year is, well, the exact same thing. In 21 games for three different minor league teams, he has an identical 0.63 ERA with 13 saves and has struck out 52 batters in 28.2 innings. That’s a career so far of 47 games, 30 saves, 57.1 IP, 28 hits and 91 strikeouts. Those numbers belong in a video game, not the minor leagues.