MLB The Show has had many cover athletes involved with the game. With MLB The Show 23 releasing next month, I wondered what my favorite cover athletes and my least favorite ones are. So I am going to rank each of the Cover Athletes from worst to first, mainly on how the cover of each game looked like.

18. MLB The Show 19 – RF/DH Bryce Harper

I get why they chose Bryce Harper, as he had just signed a gigantic contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, and this looks cool, but honestly, I am not a fan of this cover. No disrespect to Harper, as he is a phenomenal player, but WTF were they thinking with that background? It is just super bland. Yes, the colors fade together as a reddish-blue color, but it does not work for me. I think it is too purple to me and it did not make sense to do it then.

17. MLB The Show 16 – 3B Josh Donaldson

I know they put Donaldson on the cover as he was having a career-best season, along with being one of the main pieces to the mid-2010s Toronto Blue Jays, but I was surprised that they did not give it to Edwin Encarnacion. I don’t mind Donaldson being on it, but I feel that this background was a bit too blurry and I am not a fan of a blue colored jersey having a light blue background. It would have been cool to see a less blurry background and the inside of the Rogers Centre on the MLB The Show 16 cover.

16. MLB The Show 06 – 1B/DH David Ortiz

I may be a Yankees fan, but boy, did I love watching David Ortiz playing baseball. I am glad he got on the cover for MLB The Show 06, but I am not a fan of the cover they made for him. This is an older design, but it is super confusing, except for Big Papi swinging. At least the background is more varied than Donaldson and Harper’s was.

15. MLB The Show 10 – C/1B Joe Mauer

Ehhh not a fan of this cover. I really like how they used the Sony logo as a baseball in the bottom right, but besides that, I really am not a fan of the cover.

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14. MLB The Show 07 – 3B David Wright

As a New Yorker, I will get a lot of flak here because Wright was a fantastic New York Met. Besides Ed Kranepool, David Wright is the only notable player who played with the Mets throughout his baseball career. However, I am not a fan of how these covers were designed. It is a lot better than the previous year’s with Big Papi, though. That is a plus, for sure.

13. MLB The Show 08 – 1B Ryan Howard

I like this a lot as it shows the Phillies stadium in the background. Ryan Howard’s strut when he hits a home run is a neat addition too. I don’t like that it is in black and gray, and I would have preferred a close-up of him running to the plate.

12. MLB The Show 09 – 2B Dustin Pedroia

I could copy and paste what I said above, but I won’t. However, I like how Pedroia dominates most of the cover and is swinging at home plate.

11. MLB The Show 12 – 1B Adrian Gonzalez

This is my favorite of the baseball background covers. Especially as they have Gonzalez phased into the background, it looks so cool. I wish they continued this with others on the cover. Whoever designed this did a great job.

10. MLB The Show 20 – SS Javier Baez

MLB The Show 20 Cover Javy Baez

It took them long enough to put Baez on the cover, but man, is this super disappointing as the cover. I am not a fan of the red in the background. I am also not a fan of the where the placement of the main MLB The Show 20 logo is at.

9. MLB The Show 13 – OF Andrew McCutchen

Gosh, I remember when Andrew McCutchen was once a rising star in the league and was going to be the central piece to the Pirates franchise. It is a shame that injuries derailed him, and he was traded to the San Francisco Giants. What sells me with this cover is how awesome the baseball is in the background of the cover—well done.

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8. MLB The Show 11 – C/1B Joe Mauer

Joe Mauer is on the cover twice in MLB The Show. I like him on the Cover of MLB The Show 11 a lot more than I do with him on MLB The Show 10, mainly because I like how they have the baseball in the background, and it is turning into the out-of-a-ball-park home run. It is super cool that they made the background this way.

7. MLB The Show 21 – SS/OF Fernando Tatis Jr.

This was the first time MLB The Show started experimenting with making the background truly pop out with multiple colors. While I find it strange that they used a lighter blue combination here, I am only nitpicking. I don’t mind it too much, as it makes Tatis pop out. I also love the many details they put in this, and I still give it a thumbs up.

6. MLB The Show 23 – CF/2B Jazz Chisholm Jr.

I could copy and paste what I said with Fernando Tatis Jr in MLB The Show 21, but I won’t waste your time. So instead, this is higher because I love the colors in the background. I hope they keep doing this with other games and make the colors fit along with the player and team being featured.

5. MLB The Show 14 – 1B/DH Miguel Cabrera

Miguel Cabrera is a player that I wish played on the New York Yankees, as he was my favorite Detroit Tiger when they competed years ago. I like how Cabrera’s reaction toward the hit is, as that is the usual pose for a home run. Plus, the spotlight being bright is a neat addition as well.

4. MLB The Show 15 – RF Yasiel Puig

Puig was one of the main pieces to the Dodgers at the time. He was one of the league’s top players, and this cover is so cool. I like his pose, along with the background standing out. MLB The Show 15 one of my favorite covers in the entire series.

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It is a shame that Yasel Puig is turning into one of baseball’s biggest falls from graces. Especially with the many allegations against him involving gambling and sexual assault. Terrible stuff.

3. MLB The Show 22 – P/OF/DH Shohei Ohtani

Ohtani is one of my favorite current baseball players in the MLB today. He is a generational talent not only as a hitter, but as a pitcher too. Having Ohtani on the cover is great to get international sales as well and capture the Japanese market. I hope that Ohtani just gets better and is on another baseball game for the future.

2. MLB the Show 18 – OF Aaron Judge

Many will think this is high, but this is my list, and I make the rules here. Aaron Judge is my favorite New York Yankees player today, and I was so happy he got to be on the cover of MLB The Show 18. Plus, As a Yankees fan, I like how this cover is black and whole, excluding the logo.

1.MLB The Show 17 – CF Ken Griffey Jr.

No question here. This is the best cover in the game’s entire history. Griffey Jr is one of the greatest baseball players that never won a world series. I like how they have Griffey’s signature on the cover and have him as a Seattle Mariner, where he played his best years of baseball.

So, that is my tier list of cover athletes. I love each and all of them in every way, but this is who I value more than others. Do you agree with my list? Let me know in the comments below.

MLB The Show 23 is coming March 28th on PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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