"MLB The Show 18" also features the highly anticipated debut of Shohei Ohtani. In an unorthodox move, Ohtani will be available on the game's shipped roster.
The usual procedure for rookies is that they aren't added to the game until they become a member of the MLB Players Association, which requires an appearance in a major league game. That means rookies who get their first action early in a season typically don't make it into a roster update until mid-April. Developer SCEA, however, reached an agreement individually with Ohtani for his rights, which allowed it to include him before that milestone happens.
Ohtani enters the league with a very favorable rating of 86 Overall. That ranks him at a potential All-Star level before even throwing a pitch or making a plate appearance. Only 16 starting pitchers across the league rate higher than Ohtani. He's listed as a starting pitcher, but has corner outfield as a secondary position. It's still unclear whether a system has been put in place that will allow him to play the field or DH on non-pitching days.
Entering the league as one of the most anticipated rookies ever makes it somewhat understandable that he's been rated so highly, but his performance in spring training has not backed up the hype, and it isn't even a certainty that he'll begin the season on the big-league club.
"MLB The Show 18" releases Friday, March 23, for those who have preordered, and then goes wide on Tuesday, March 27, for PlayStation 4. Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is featured on the cover .
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 .