Bryce Harper an unconventional choice as cover athlete for ‘MLB The Show 19’

Former Rookie of the Year and NL MVP Bryce Harper will be the marketing face of the upcoming video game “MLB The Show 19.” Despite a career high in RBIs (100), walks (130) and games played in 2018, Harper struggled mightily in the first half of the season before turning it on later in the year. In doing so, he was able to raise his batting average to what still ended up being a near career-low .249.

The Washington Nationals failed to meet high expectations as the team was unable to reach the postseason and gave up on even making a run in mid-August.

MORE: Five way-too-early bold predictions for the 2019 MLB season

When Harper does agree to a deal, which is expected to be the largest in baseball history, that’ll be a big opportunity for publisher SCEA to capitalize on the news and exposure that will come with it.

Until recent years, the “MLB The Show” cover was fairly easy to predict; SCEA would choose a young player who was well-established a few years into his career, hailed from a playoff team but not a World Series participant, and may have been an award winner. That has changed, though, with snagging the high-profile Harper and after selecting a legend for “MLB 17” (Ken Griffey Jr.) and a rising star coming off a rookie season for “MLB 18” (Aaron Judge).

“MLB The Show 19” will release March 26, 2019, for the PlayStation 4. Pre-ordering the game will provide 10 standard packs and a gold player choice pack for the game’s Diamond Dynasty team-building mode. A $70 MVP edition will include extra digital content.

Bryan Wiedey posts sports gaming news and analysis daily at, is co-founder of the sports gaming site, hosts the “Press Row Podcast” and can be reached on Twitter @Pastapadre.

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