And he HAS to be the runaway favorite for the honor. Of course, I occasionally find ridiculous tweets of players who don't belong anywhere near the cover as much as Ohtani does (like the Tweet below), but I can't imagine it not being Ohtani.
Because if it isn't Ohtani, what exactly would he have to do more? He just had the greatest season of all-time. Not only that, but he had the greatest season in sports history.
There truly is nobody better to sell copies of MLB The Show than LA Angels' Ace/DH/OF Shohei Ohtani.
Shohei Ohtani is going to be an absolute cheat code in MLB The Show this year, as he was last year. Who else can pitch at an elite level, field, and also be the best overall offensive player in the game. He's got the most speed on the bases that the American League has to offer, and he proved just how dominant he was as a pitcher with his selection as not only the starting DH for the AL All-Star team but also the starting pitcher.
On the mound, Ohtani recorded a 9-2 record in 23 starts, posting a 3.18 ERA and 1.090 WHIP. He struck out 10.8 batters per nine frames and had a 141 ERA+.
At the plate, Ohtani smoked 46 home runs, drove in 100 RBIs, and scored 103 runs of his own. His slash line of .257/.372/.592 (.965 OPS) was pretty insane for any player, regardless if they pitch too. He's a walking cheat code in real life, so imagine what he can be in the game.
It's why there's truly no way that anyone else deserves this cover. Who could even come close to being as valuable of a player in The Show than Ohtani?
Ohtani is essentially the perfect player in a game like this. We're talking about a guy who already puts up video game numbers in real life as a hitter and a pitcher. Imagine what those numbers are going to be in an ACTUAL video game?
Like, remember when he stole home? He does things in real life that shouldn't even be allowed. They should only be allowed in virtual gaming like this, and it reminds us that there is nobody who can represent what video game production is better than the cheat code himself.
Put ShoTime on the cover. It would just be dumb if they didn't. And with just how nasty he's going to be in this edition, just re-name the game to 'MLB The Sho 22' this time.