The controls for sports games can often be complicated and lengthy, and MLB The Show 19 is no different. While you don't have to do everything at once, there are several main features that you need to learn and perfecting the art of power hitting, base-stealing, or fielding will take some time. Without any in-case control manual these days it can also be hard to discover and learn all the controls you need, that's where we come in. This is the complete controls guide for MLB The Show 19.
The controls for hitting are not complicated, but it is still hard. It's all about timing and pitch recognition. You should be using a normal swing (X) in most situations, but in a 3-0 or 3-1 count a power swing (■) is what you should use. When you have two-strikes against you using a contact swing (O) to try and put the ball in play is your best bet.
Bunts (▲) are rarely the sensible option in baseball as they are tough to successfully score hits with, but some of the faster players have terrific bunt ability so from time to time you can lay one down and try to leg it out.
If you use the guess pitch type and guess location and get it right you can hit the ball way out of the park, get it wrong and you have almost no chance of connecting with the ball.
The pitching controls of MLB The Show 19 are pretty simple. You can select a pitch with one button and use the left stick to determine the ideal location. If the vector lines are red it should cross the plate in the strike zone, if blue then it will be outside. Of course it is still at the umpires discretion if a pitch right on the edge is called a strike or a ball.
To deliver your pitch you use three taps of X. The first locks in the location and begins the power meter. The second locks the power, ideally this will be just before the bar enters the yellow zone where your pitcher is striving for maximum velocity. The third is the location and release of the ball. As the pitch indicator comes back down you want to stop it as close to the yellow line as possible. The later or earlier you are the less accurate your pitch, and if you get it right on the bar then you'll hit your spot perfectly.
If you aren't sure what type of pitch to throw then you can ask the catcher to recommend a pitch and a location with R2. In this case a spinning icon will appear over a pitch and the catchers glove will shine through the strike zone.
Pickoff throws will help you keep the runners closer to their starting base. You have a little window in the corner of the screen that shows you if they are trying to extend their lead and what their speed and stealing stats are. The higher the stats the more attention you'll have to pay to them so they don't swipe an extra base.
Baserunning & Stealing
Baserunning and stealing can be tricky in Franchise Mode and full games. In Road To The Show where you are only in control of yourself then it is a bit easier, but in a full game experience it can be very tricky to time your steal attempt correctly and still take advantage of a poor pitch that hangs in the middle of the plate.
You can advance your lead off of a specific runner by pointing the left stick at them and pressing L1, but if you only have one man on base and you want him to extend his lead you can just click L1 once. The more you advance the runner the more the AI will notice him, and the harder it will be to get back on a pick-off attempt, especially if your runner doesn't have good speed or stealing stats. Remember too that it is tougher to steal from first base against a lefty as he is looking right at first as he prepares to pitch.
Once you find your ideal lead off range you then need to time your get off and hit L2 while pointing the left stick at your runner. You want to go just as the pitcher starts his motion. There is a deceptive pick off move available for pitchers, which again is easier as a lefty, but for the most part if you time it right you can take second base with almost anyone.
Stealing third is a much harder prospect as the catcher has a shorter distance to throw to the base, so only the fastest and best stealers should attempt that one.
Fielding is often the trickiest part of any baseball game. It can be difficult to get a good angle on the ball, especially in the outfield, but the important thing to remember is that you have to use the left stick to move but that it is not needed in the direction of the throw. You throw to bases using X, O, ▲, & ■, or to the cut-off man with L1, and should hit that as soon as possible.
With fly balls and pop-ups a large baseball will appear on the ground in the area the ball is going to land. You should position yourself under that and stay in it as it shrinks. For grounders you should be able to see the path of the ball and position yourself to cut it off. You can dive with R2 if it is likely to fly past your shortstop or jump with R1 if your outfielder needs to climb the wall to make the home run saving catch.
This is the part of the game that will take the most time to master, especially if someone is trying to steal on you as it can be very tricky to spot. If you are a strikeout master then you hope not to field too much, but with most pitchers you will need the defense behind you to be effective and efficient, and that means putting practice time into mastering the fielding controls.
For more articles like this, take a look at our MLB The Show page.