With the close of the 2017 MLB season, preparations for the release of MLB The Show 18 are in full swing with the selection of New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge as the cover athlete.

MLB The Show 18 promises to bring even more realistic and exciting hardball experiences to gamers around the world. The hype for the game’s release, which is slated for March 27, 2018, can begin now that the game’s producers have revealed whose face will be on the cover.

Although we are still awaiting many announcements on new game integrations, limited edition bonuses and the always-anticipated player rankings

from San Diego Studios, the annual cover athlete reveal usually marks the unofficial beginning of the MLB offseason.

As far as star power backed up by performance during the 2017 season goes, Judge has plenty of that. Judge played in 155 games for the New York Yankees in 2017, recording 542 at-bats during the season. In those ABs, Judge slashed .284/.422/.627 while driving in 114 runs and drawing 127 walks. His 52 home runs were an MLB single-season rookie record along with leading the American League. He ranked second in the American League in runs batted in and slugging percentage as well.

In case you forgot, Judge is also the reigning All-Star Game Home Run Derby champion with a collection of moon shots like this.

In addition to being depicted on the game’s cover, Judge will also have his image strewn throughout other aspects of the in-game experience. Past versions of the game have featured an image of cover athletes at the main menu, for instance.

While it’s easy to argue that there are some players who are equally deserving considering their celebrity status and performance during the 2017 season, it would be hard to make a case that they were more deserving than Judge.

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