The 2021 MLB The Show cover athlete was finally revealed today. Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. will grace the cover, and the game will be released for both Playstation and Xbox consoles.
Tatis is one of the game’s most electrifying players and became known for his bat-flips as well as his fantastic numbers. The 22-year-old followed up his strong rookie season by hitting .277/.366/.571 (155 OPS+) with 17 homers, 11 doubles, 11 steals, 45 RBIs, and 2.8 rWAR in 59 games. With his help, the Padres made it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
2021 MLB The Show: Is There a Cover Curse?
In the NFL, there’s a belief in something called the “Madden Curse”, where athletes have seen their careers get derailed shortly after they appear on the cover of a game. In MLB: The Show, that hasn’t been as prevalent, though there have been some years where the cover athlete has failed expectations.
In 2011, Joe Mauer graced the cover of MLB: The Show for the second straight year, however, that was the year where Mauer began to suffer from knee problems. He only played in 82 games that season and had the worst season of his career at that point, hitting just three homers with a .729 OPS.
In 2015, Yasiel Puig was selected as the cover boy after he was an All-Star the previous season. Puig only played in 79 games in 2015 and hasn’t made it back to the All-Star game. In 2016, Puig even got sent to the minors due to his underperformance.
The most recent example of there maybe being a curse for cover athletes came in 2020. Javier Baez was on the cover and conveniently reverted to his 2014 form, striking out in almost a third of his plate appearances in the 2020 season.
The 2021 MLB The Show announcement was highly-anticipated, as we normally know who the cover athlete is by mid-December. Xbox owners are particularly excited since this is the first year the game will be available for that console. MLB: The Show 21 is expected to be released on April 20. You can preorder it now.
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Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images