Rhys Hoskins spent three days last month practicing his video-game skills before he faced Miami Marlins infielder Miguel Rojas to celebrate what would have been baseball’s opening day. Turns out, Hoskins’ practice was for more than just one game.

Hoskins will represent the Phillies in Major League Baseball’s “MLB The Show,” a video-game league that launches Friday night comprised of 30 major-leaguers representing their team. Each game will be streamed on Twitch, YouTube, and MLB’s social media accounts.

The major-league season is delayed until at least the middle of May due to the coronavirus pandemic. There’s no telling when baseball will return. Until then, watching big leaguers on the virtual field is the closest we’ll get to baseball.

The players will play 29 regular-season games of Sony’s MLB The Show for PlayStation before the top eight teams advance to the postseason. Each game is only three innings, allowing the players to play multiple games a day. Hoskins plays his first games on Saturday, and they’ll be streamed at www.twitch.tv/rhyshoskinsmlb.

A screen capture of Rhys Hoskins playing MLB The Show in March.
A screen capture of Rhys Hoskins playing MLB The Show in March.

Carlos Santana, who smashed a TV in the Phillies clubhouse late in the 2018 season because he believed his teammates were playing too many video games, will represent the Cleveland Indians. Surely he’s glad it’s not a Fortnite league.

The league also will raise money for the Boys and Girls Club. Major League Baseball, the Players Association and Sony will donate $5,000 on behalf of each participating player to a Boys and Girls Club in their team’s community. The championship player will earn an additional $25,000 donation to the Boys and Girls Club in his community.

“I played it growing up a ton. I think the first thing I had was MLB The Show 09. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve played a lot less video games,” Hoskins said last month. “We have a lot more time now so it’s given us something to do.”

The MLB video-game league follows the NBA’s move last week to schedule a 16-player tournament with players facing each other in NBA 2K.

MLB The Show Players League Participants

Arizona Diamondbacks: Jon Duplantier

Atlanta Braves: Luke Jackson

Baltimore Orioles: Dwight Smith Jr.

Boston Red Sox: Eduardo Rodriguez

Chicago Cubs: Ian Happ

Chicago White Sox: Lucas Giolito

Cincinnati Reds: Amir Garrett

Cleveland Indians: Carlos Santana

Colorado Rockies: David Dahl

Detroit Tigers: Niko Goodrum

Houston Astros: Lance McCullers Jr.

Kansas City Royals: Brett Phillips

Los Angeles Angels: Ty Buttrey

Los Angeles Dodgers: Gavin Lux

Miami Marlins: Ryne Stanek

Milwaukee Brewers: Josh Hader

Minnesota Twins: Trevor May

New York Mets: Jeff McNeil

New York Yankees: Tommy Kahnle

Oakland Athletics: Jesús Luzardo

Philadelphia Phillies: Rhys Hoskins

Pittsburgh Pirates: Cole Tucker

San Diego Padres: Fernando Tatis Jr.

San Francisco Giants: Hunter Pence

Seattle Mariners: Carl Edwards Jr.

St. Louis Cardinals: Matt Carpenter

Tampa Bay Rays: Blake Snell

Texas Rangers: Joey Gallo

Toronto Blue Jays: Bo Bichette

Washington Nationals: Juan Soto