MLB The Show 20 unveiled its cover athlete today, and Chicago Cubs superstar shortstop Javier "El Mago" Báez will appear on the cover of the game, which will release a little earlier than many might have expected. MLB The Show is SIE San Diego Studio's storied baseball simulation series, a franchise with incredible statistical depth, the kind of gameplay that appeals broadly to fans of baseball, a sport that relies heavily on analytics informing basically every level of the modern game.
The last five MLB The Show titles have all launched during the last week of March, scheduled for opening day, another indicator that shows just how much attention is paid to all of the game's traditions when it comes to the franchise. Today's announcement comes just one day before the World Series kicks off between a surging Washington Nationals squad and the Houston Astros, the latter of whom have another cover star contender in Jose Altuve. With the spotlight on baseball as large as it ever is each year, it's the ideal stage to announce the future of the MLB The Show franchise - and the player the series wants to give a nod to this year.
That player is none other than Báez, whose nickname means "The Magician" and who consistently dazzles as an all-around threat in the MLB. Báez finished second in the National League MVP voting in 2018 and recorded a league-leading 111 RBIs, and is one of the most dynamic young players in the game today. The announcement of Báez as the MLB The Show cover star came with another surprise, as the game will release on March 17, 2020, a full week before the usual launch date period. Báez shared his excitement in being chosen as the cover star in Sony's announcement post on the PlayStation Blog, stating:
"I am so honored and excited to be on the cover of MLB The Show 20. I'll never forget how it felt when I saw myself in the game for the first time (even as a backup!)"
MLB The Show 20 marks what could be the last time the franchise appears on PlayStation 4 - at least exclusively, anyways - as the window for the next iteration will place it squarely in the next console generation. MLB The Show 20 will have several different special editions, and pre-ordering any of them will give players four days of early access to the game.
Baseball games are a tough sell to those who aren't already interested, as the sport isn't as fast-paced or visually dynamic as other major national sports. With that said, though, the baseball fanbase is incredibly passionate about even the most minute details, and MLB The Show 20 looks like it will continue to embrace that love of the game with a cover star in Báez who might not have been the obvious choice, but makes perfect sense all the same.
Source: PlayStation Blog