Probable Rookie of the Year winner Aaron Judge has at least one thing in common with Ken Griffey Jr.: They are both video game cover athletes.
The New York Yankees slugger will grace the cover of MLB The Show 18, Sony announced Monday. After teasing the announcement throughout the day, the company finally made the news public, and revealed a pretty intimidating cover.
You can see that cover at the end of this trailer for the game:
— MLB (@MLB) November 7, 2017
Pretty fitting for one of the game’s elite sluggers, right?
The news shouldn’t come as a major surprise. The company’s teaser for the announcement contained the phrase “The Future is Coming,” and Judge certainly represents that. The 25-year-old hit .284/.422/.627, with 52 home runs, over 678 plate appearances in 2017. It would be a major shock if he didn’t walk away with the American League Rookie of the Year award for that performance.
The news also shouldn’t come as a surprise as the cover reportedly leaked on the Playstation Store hours before the announcement.
Judge is an obvious choice as the cover athlete. He’s young, excellent and he plays for arguably the game’s most popular team. Expectations will be sky high for Judge and the Yankees in 2018, so it’s tough to argue against the choice.
It would, perhaps, be more fitting to have José Altuve or Carlos Correa on the cover, but keep in mind these negotiations likely happen weeks before the news comes out. Sony had no idea the Houston Astros would win the World Series.
Judge now joins Yasiel Puig, Josh Donaldson and Griffey as athletes who have been The Show’s cover athlete in recent years. After doing Griffey as a throwback last year, the game decided to go back to its old format and choose a current player for the honor.
Judge would probably rather win some actual baseball hardware, but being a video game cover athlete is pretty cool. If anything, he’s in some iconic company.
The Show ratings don’t elicit as big of a response as we see from games like Madden. Still, we have to ask: With Judge leading the league in both home runs and strikeouts, which will rate higher when the game comes out in a few months?
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