On Monday, MLB The Show revealed its cover athlete for the latest installment of the video game and it went to ... drumroll please ... Los Angeles Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani. It is not too surprising that Ohtani landed the cover of MLB The Show 22, as he is quickly becoming one of the faces of baseball.
The right-handed pitcher/designated hitter released a statement after the cover reveal, saying (to ESPN through an interpreter):
"I was very excited about the possibility and it actually came true. This game has a lot of history. It's one of the only baseball games that has been out here, so it makes me want to get better on the field and live up to the hype."
Ohtani, the 2021 American League MVP, is interested in growing the game and wants to use the cover as a way to do so.
"There's a few type of fans. I'm sure there are fans that love to play the video game, but don't actually watch the game. Then the opposite, people that watch the game but don't play the video game. I'm trying to bring back the popularity and set an example for those watching the game," he said. "Sony and San Diego Studios, they're going the other route by making a video game trying to get the game popular that way. It's a good combination, trying to bring the popularity back as a whole."
"Shotime" earned his spot on the cover by becoming the first two-way player with more than 10 home runs, 20 stolen bases, 100 strikeouts and over 10 pitching appearances. His ability on the pitcher's mound and the plate makes him one of the most exciting athletes to watch in any sport.
The 27-year-old made history in 2021 and continues to do so, even in the offseason, as the first Asian athlete on the cover of a sports video game in the United States.
"I know I'm sure there's a lot of Asian people that don't know me yet. Hopefully by being on the cover of The Show, you get my name out there to those people who don't know me yet," Ohtani said.