Players to Appear on Video Game Covers by fWAR

On January 31 of this year, Shohei Ohtani was named the cover player for MLB The Show 2022. He then went on to have one of the most impressive seasons in baseball history, finishing as both a top batter and top pitcher in the American League.

MLB® The Show™ 22 | Xbox

Every March, we all rush to buy the newest copy of MLB The Show. Since 2012, each installment has featured a different player than the prior year (well played, Mauer for being the last player to cover back-to-back editions of the game). There’s always persistent chatter that players who cover video games, across all sports, become victim to a curse that is followed by a down year or an injury-plagued season… But is this really the case? Let’s take a look for ourselves by analyzing every player to ever appear on the cover of a video game and their fWAR from the year it was released. That last part is crucial because in the late 90s and early 2000s baseball video games were often titled after the following year to align with other sports’ games, however, this has been rectified and standardized in recent years so the year in the game title aligns with the year of its release.

To separate all players into fWAR tiers, we will use the chart provided by FanGraphs. However, I will add a new tier. MVP will now be 6-8 WAR, with 8+ being now known as Elite. And off we go!

Scrub 0-1 WAR
Role Player 1-2 WAR
Solid Starter 2-3 WAR
Good Player 3-4 WAR
All-Star 4-5 WAR
Superstar 5-6 WAR

N/A – Did Not Play in MLB that Season

Player Release Date fWAR Game Region Exclusive
Jackie Robinson April 20, 2021   MLB The Show 21: Deluxe Edition  
Ken Griffey Jr. March 28, 2017   MLB The Show 17  
Hee-Seop Choi February 28, 2006   MLB 06: The Show South Korea
Babe Ruth January 1997   Aaron vs. Ruth: Battle of the Big Bats  
Hank Aaron January 1997   Aaron vs. Ruth: Battle of the Big Bats  
Reggie Jackson March 1989   Reggie Jackson Baseball  
Pete Rose March 1988   Pete Rose Baseball
Pete Rose: Pennant Fever

The general theme of this group could simply be described as “legends.” The obvious outlier is Hee-Seop Choi who had a career 2.8 fWAR in MLB. For a span of time, MLB The Show would release alternate covers in different regions, usually featuring players from that region. The South Korean cover that year featured six different players (we’ll discuss the others later), but only Choi would not land with an MLB team for the start of the 2006 MLB season. After spending 2006 with the Pawtucket Red Sox, he’d go on to enjoy eight more seasons with the Kia Tigers of the KBO before retiring at the conclusion of the 2015 campaign.

MLB 06: The Show | Sony PlayStation 2

The Negatives: <0 fWAR

Player Release Date fWAR Game Region Exclusive
Scott Hemond June 1995 -0.3 RBI Baseball ’95  
Steve Garvey January 1987 -0.6 Steve Garvey vs. Jose Canseco in Grand Slam Baseball  
Hyun-soo Kim March 28, 2017 -1.1 MLB The Show 17 South Korea
Billy Hatcher March 1994 -1.1 MLBPA Baseball  

By definition, a negative WAR implies that player should be replaced byat the least, a league-average player, however, these three players at least receive the consolation prize of covering a video game in the seasons they put up negative fWAR. Steve Garvey had a profound MLB career, even earning the honor of having his number retired by the San Diego Padres in 1988. He only played for about two months of the 1987 season, making his final appearance on May 23 of that year, but unfortunately accrued a negative fWAR in that time.

Steve Garvey vs Jose Canseco in Grand Slam Baseball Commodore 64/128 1988 22787641238 | eBay

As was relatively common at the time, the cover of RBI Baseball ’95 featured actual photographs from an MLB game as opposed to modeled photoshoots or edited images. In this case, the cover features Oakland Athletics pitcher Ron Darling pitching to Seattle Mariners batter Tino Martinez (we’ll get to them later), but in the bottom right of the cover, with his back to the camera, is clearly Scott Hemond with his large Athletic-green and yellow #2. Despite RBI Baseball not having a license to use MLB team logos at the time, the iconic colors of the Athletics went a long way in identifying Hemond in this photo. Darling pitched three games against the Mariners in 1994, the season before the game’s release, but only one of them had Hemond catching him at home. It’s safe to assume the photos featured on this cover are from May 25, 1994. Darling would throw a complete 9 IP with 7 strikeouts, but ultimately take the loss as the Athletics gave him no run support and fell 1-0.

Sega 32X Games - Giant Bomb

The Scrubs: 0-1 fWAR

Player Release Date fWAR Game Region Exclusive
Brian Jordan May 14, 1997 0.8 Triple Play 98  
Christian Yelich March 16, 2020 0.7 R.B.I. Baseball 20  
Brady Anderson August 31, 1998 0.7 Bottom of the 9th ’99  
Ron Darling June 1995 0.7 RBI Baseball ’95  
Javier Baez March 17, 2020 0.5 MLB The Show 20  
Wei-Yin Chen March 28, 2017 0.5 MLB The Show 17 Taiwan
Shin-soo Choo April 1, 2014 0.4 MLB 14: The Show South Korea
Wei-Yin Chen March 29, 2016 0.3 MLB The Show 16 Taiwan
David Ortiz April 28, 2009 0.3 Backyard Baseball 10  
Brent Gates March 1994 0.3 MLBPA Baseball  
Bo Jackson October 1991 0.1 Bo Jackson Baseball  
Bo Jackson June 1991 0.1 Bo Jackson: Two Games in One  
Aaron Sanchez March 28, 2017 0.0 MLB The Show 17 Canada
Jae Weong Seo February 28, 2006 0.0 MLB 06: The Show South Korea
Jason Giambi April 6, 2004 0.0 ESPN Major League Baseball  

There’s certainly a lot to unpack in this section as we have quite the mix of players grouped together. The most obvious and largest group would simply be mediocre players. Aaron Sanchez, Bo Jackson, Brent Gates, Brady Anderson, and Brian Jordan all enjoyed fine careers, but featured multiple seasons of 0-1 WAR production. Next, we have our international cover stars. Wei-Yen Chen and Shin-soo Choo would both be featured on multiple covers of MLB The Show in their native countries of Taiwan and South Korea specifically. Jae Weong Seo was one of the six players, along with Choi, to adorn MLB 06: The Show in South Korea. Following them, we have the aging former stars. Ron Darling and David Ortiz had fabulous careers with World Series championships for both and eventual Hall of Fame enshrinement for the latter. There’s nothing wrong with covering a game late in your career! Mid-way through the 2004 season Jason Giambi was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. He’d miss two months while recovering and put up pedestrian numbers in his return. Lastly, both Javier Baez and Christian Yelich, of course, fell victim to the shortened 2020 season.

Another fun thing to note here is the progression of these baseball franchises. Sega produced the World Series Baseball series from 1994-2003, before eventually being succeeded by the lone edition of ESPN Major League Baseball in 2004, followed by the MLB 2K series from 2005-2013. ESPN Major League Baseball : Video Games

The Role Players: 1-2 fWAR

Player Release Date fWAR Game Region Exclusive
Jason Heyward September 13, 2011 1.9 Nicktoons MLB  
Vladimir Guerrero November 10, 2008 1.9 MLB Superstars  
Mo Vaughn March 29, 1999 1.9 MLB 2000  
Bill Swift January 1994 1.9 World Series Baseball  
Jose Canseco January 1987 1.9 Steve Garvey vs. Jose Canseco in Grand Slam Baseball  
David Ortiz March 25, 2008 1.8 Backyard Baseball ’09  
Shawn Green March 10, 2003 1.8 MLB 2004  
Magglio Ordonez July 29, 2008 1.7 MLB Power Pros 2008  
Brett Lawrie April 1, 2014 1.6 MLB 14: The Show Canada
Takashi Saito July 29, 2008 1.6 MLB Power Pros 2008  
Ken Caminiti March 24, 1999 1.6 Hardball 6: 2000 Edition  
Cal Ripken Jr. April 14, 1998 1.6 MLB ’99  
Randy Johnson June 30, 1996 1.6 Front Page Sports: Baseball Pro ’96 Season  
Yasiel Puig March 31, 2015 1.5 MLB 15: The Show  
Chien-Ming Wang July 29, 2008 1.5 MLB Power Pros 2008  
Francisco Rodriguez July 29, 2008 1.5 MLB Power Pros 2008  
Ivan Rodriguez October 3, 2007 1.5 MLB Power Pros  
Marcus Stroman March 27, 2018 1.4 MLB The Show 18 Canada
Prince Fielder November 10, 2008 1.3 MLB Superstars  
Prince Fielder July 29, 2008 1.3 MLB Power Pros 2008  
Cal Ripken Jr. April 25, 2000 1.3 Backyard Baseball 2001  
Chan-ho Park February 28, 2006 1.2 MLB 06: The Show South Korea
Deion Sanders January 1995 1.2 World Series Baseball Starring Deion Sanders  
Gary Carter September 1988 1.0 Sporting News Baseball  

As we reach the lower single-digit fWAR range, the field becomes a lot more populated, so just some quick highlights. 2006-2011 saw the release of a few games that featured 5+ players on American covers, which is rare to say the least. These are MLB Slugfest 2006, MLB Power Pros and its sequel MLB Power Pros 2008, MLB Bobblehead Pros and its sequel MLB Bobblehead Battle, MLB Superstars, and perhaps the most interesting of them all, Nicktoons MLB. You’ll see these titles pop up more than a few times. Nicktoons MLB - Nintendo Wii : Video Games

David Ortiz holds a unique distinction by being the cover athlete for the last two installments of the main series of Backyard BaseballBackyard Baseball ’09 and Backyard Baseball 2010. There have been a few Backyard Baseball games released since, but they have not featured kid versions of MLB players like the games of our childhoods and have more recently been relegated to mobile release only.

Marcus Stroman’s Canadian cover of MLB The Show 18 was the last MLB The Show game to have an alternate cover for an international market.

The Solid Starters: 2-3 fWAR

Player Release Date fWAR Game Region Exclusive
Manny Ramirez June 5, 2006 2.9 MLB Slugfest 2006  
Manny Ramirez February 22, 2005 2.9 MVP Baseball 2005  
Jung-ho Kang March 29, 2016 2.8 MLB The Show 16 South Korea
Wei-Yin Chen March 31, 2015 2.8 MLB 15: The Show Taiwan
Ryan Howard March 4, 2008 2.8 MLB 08: The Show  
Daisuke Matsuzaka October 3, 2007 2.8 MLB Power Pros  
Fred McGriff January 1996 2.8 World Series Baseball II  
Ken Caminiti April 15, 1998 2.6 Hardball 6
Hardball 99
Randy Johnson March 10, 2003 2.5 MVP Baseball 2003  
Derrek Lee July 29, 2008 2.4 MLB Power Pros 2008  
Byung-Hyun Kim February 28, 2006 2.4 MLB 06: The Show South Korea
David Justice September 30, 1996 2.4 MLB Pennant Race  
Wei-Yin Chen April 1, 2014 2.3 MLB 14: The Show Taiwan
Sammy Sosa June 23, 2004 2.3 MLB Slugfest Loaded  
Darin Erstad October 2, 1998 2.3 VR Baseball 2000  
Darin Erstad May 22, 1998 2.3 VR Baseball ’99  
Pedro Martinez June 5, 2006 2.2 MLB Slugfest 2006  
Pedro Martinez February 28, 2006 2.2 MLB 06: The Show South Korea
Joe Mauer March 8, 2011 2.1 MLB 11: The Show  
Wei-Yin Chen March 5, 2013 2.0 MLB 13: The Show Taiwan
Darin Erstad March 31, 1999 2.0 Interplay Sports Baseball Edition 2000  

Some more baseball video game franchise history here! VR Baseball would release three titles from 1997-1998, with two in 1998 both featuring Darin Erstad as listed above, before changing the series name with their last baseball game to Interplay Sports Baseball Edition 2000.

One of the highest regarded baseball video games of all-time is MVP Baseball 2005. A little known fact is the MVP Baseball series, which only had an MLB and MLBPA license from 2003-2005, is the successor to the popular Triple Play franchise, which released titles from 1996-2002. Similarly, MLB Pennant Race would be followed by the MLB (989) series from 1997-2005 before finally transitioning into MLB The Show starting in 2006.

In the 90s and early 2000s, games were often released months apart on different gaming systems with different titles, as was the case with Hardball 6 and Hardball 99.

HardBall 6 - WikipediaHardBall 99 (Sony PlayStation 1, 1998) for sale online | eBay

The Good Players: 3-4 fWAR

Player Release Date fWAR Game Region Exclusive
David Price March 5, 2013 3.9 MLB 2K13  
Dontrelle Willis June 5, 2006 3.7 MLB Slugfest 2006  
Derek Jeter March 31, 2000 3.7 All-Star Baseball 2001  
Chipper Jones March 28, 1997 3.7 World Series Baseball ’98  
Cal Ripken Jr. December 1992 3.7 Cal Ripken Jr. Baseball  
Derek Jeter March 19, 2007 3.6 Major League Baseball 2K7  
Juan Gonzalez April 14, 1999 3.6 Bottom of the 9th  
Vladimir Guerrero June 5, 2006 3.5 MLB Slugfest 2006  
Shin-soo Choo March 31, 2015 3.4 MLB 15: The Show South Korea
Miguel Tejada March 10, 2003 3.4 MVP Baseball 2003  
Vladimir Guerrero October 3, 2007 3.2 MLB Power Pros  
Jose Bautista March 6, 2012 3.1 MLB 12: The Show Canada
Ryan Howard October 3, 2007 3.1 MLB Power Pros  
Adrian Gonzalez March 6, 2012 3.0 MLB 12: The Show  
Andre Ethier September 13, 2011 3.0 Nicktoons MLB  
Jason Giambi June 5, 2006 3.0 MLB Slugfest 2006  
Al Leiter April 20, 1999 3.0 Microsoft Baseball 2000  
Tony Gwynn June 1996 3.0 Triple Play 97  
Dave Winfield May 1985 3.0 Dave Winfield’s Batter Up  

Dave Winfield’s Batter Up released in 1985 was the oldest game I could find that featured a player on the cover! There will be many more cover players to come, but only Winfield can say he was the first.

Dave Winfield's Batter Up! (1985) - MobyGames

Derek Jeter has covered the most games, totaling nine in his career. It’s hard to say if we’ve seen the last of Jeter on the cover of games as a few players (see above) have covered games after their playing days concluded. Jeter covered a game each year from 1999 to 2007. He was featured on each All-Star Baseball installment from 1999-2004 before jumping ship and becoming the star of MLB 2K’s series from 2005-2007. Largely due to Jeter, the New York Yankees have had the most cover players.

The All-Stars: 4-5 fWAR

Player Release Date fWAR Game Region Exclusive
Andruw Jones May 8, 2001 4.9 MLB 2002  
Ken Griffey Jr. May 11, 1999 4.9 Ken Griffey Jr.’s Slugfest  
Nolan Ryan July 2, 1991 4.9 Nolan Ryan’s Baseball  
David Price July 6, 2011 4.8 MLB Bobblehead Pros
MLB Bobblehead Battle
Ian Kinsler November 10, 2008 4.8 MLB Superstars  
Jeff Bagwell March 18, 2002 4.8 Home Run King  
Vladimir Guerrero March 14, 2001 4.8 High Heat Major League Baseball 2002  
Tim Anderson March 16, 2021 4.7 R.B.I. Baseball 21  
Dustin Pedroia March 3, 2009 4.7 MLB 09: The Show  
Derek Jeter March 23, 2004 4.7 All-Star Baseball 2005  
Hideo Nomo December 1, 1995 4.7 World Series Baseball Japan
Mike Piazza May 21, 2002 4.6 Backyard Baseball
Backyard Baseball 2003
Russell Martin March 31, 2015 4.5 MLB 15: The Show Canada
Tino Martinez June 1995 4.5 RBI Baseball ’95  
Matt Holliday September 13, 2011 4.4 Nicktoons MLB  
Derek Jeter February 23, 2005 4.4 Major League Baseball 2K5  
Mark Teixeira July 6, 2011 4.3 MLB Bobblehead Pros
MLB Bobblehead Battle
Manny Ramirez August 1996 4.3 World Series Baseball ’96  
Josh Beckett July 29, 2008 4.2 MLB Power Pros 2008  
Derek Jeter March 17, 2001 4.2 All-Star Baseball 2002  
Jose Bautista March 5, 2013 4.1 MLB 13: The Show Canada
Derek Jeter February 28, 2003 4.1 All-Star Baseball 2004  
Bryce Harper March 26, 2019 4.0 MLB The Show 19  
Chase Utley July 6, 2011 4.0 MLB Bobblehead Pros
MLB Bobblehead Battle

To my record, Hideo Nomo is the only player to cover Japan-exclusive alternate edition.

Hideo Nomo World Series baseball Sega Saturn Japan Import Mint/Fair US SELLER | eBay

The R.B.I. Baseball series ran for two distinct stints. The “original” series spanned eight games from 1987 to 1995, with only the final release, RBI Baseball ’95, featuring MLB players on its cover, the aforementioned Ron Darling, Tino Martinez, and Scott Hemond. The series returned in 2014 and released installments annually through 2021. As of 2022, only MLB The Show remains among widely-released baseball video games.

The Superstars: 5-6 fWAR

Player Release Date fWAR Game Region Exclusive
Prince Fielder July 7, 2009 5.9 The BIGS 2  
Jose Reyes March 4, 2008 5.8 Major League Baseball 2K8
Major League Baseball 2K8 Fantasy All-Stars
Nomar Garciaparra May 20, 2003 5.8 Inside Pitch 2003  
Mike Piazza March 14, 2000 5.8 Triple Play 2001  
Sammy Sosa March 7, 2000 5.8 Sammy Sosa High Heat Baseball 2001  
Sammy Sosa February 29, 2000 5.8 Sammy Sosa Softball Slam  
Joe Mauer March 2, 2010 5.7 MLB 10: The Show  
Ivan Rodriguez April 4, 1996 5.6 Bottom of the 9th  
Pedro Martinez August 15, 2001 5.5 World Series Baseball 2K2  
Corey Seager March 28, 2017 5.4 R.B.I. Baseball 2017  
Troy Tulowitzki July 6, 2011 5.4 MLB Bobblehead Pros
MLB Bobblehead Battle
Frank Thomas November 1995 5.4 Frank Thomas’ Big Hurt Baseball  
Aaron Judge March 27, 2018 5.3 MLB The Show 18  
Johan Santana November 10, 2008 5.3 MLB Superstars  
David Ortiz February 28, 2006 5.3 MLB 06: The Show  
David Ortiz January 2005 5.3 Nintendo Pennant Chase Baseball  
Vladimir Guerrero March 8, 2005 5.3 MLB 2006  
Eric Chavez March 4, 2004 5.3 MLB 2005  
Sammy Sosa March 22, 1999 5.3 Triple Play 2000  
Anthony Rizzo March 31, 2015 5.2 R.B.I. Baseball 2015  
Miguel Cabrera April 1, 2014 5.2 MLB 14: The Show  
Robinson Cano September 13, 2011 5.2 Nicktoons MLB  
Felix Hernandez July 6, 2011 5.2 MLB Bobblehead Pros
MLB Bobblehead Battle
Curt Schilling February 19, 2003 5.2 High Heat Major League Baseball 2004  
Luis Gonzalez March 11, 2002 5.2 Triple Play 2002  
Derek Jeter March 7, 2002 5.2 All-Star Baseball 2003  
Bernie Williams August 1997 5.1 MLB ’98  
Jimmy Rollins July 29, 2008 5.0 MLB Power Pros 2008  
Jason Giambi March 10, 2003 5.0 World Series Baseball 2K3  
Larry Walker May 27, 1998 5.0 All-Star Baseball ’99  

In 2005, Nintendo announced it would be returning to the MLB-licensed video game space with Nintendo Pennant Chase Baseball, it’s first entry since Home Run King in 2002. After footage was shown at E3, an April 4 release was planned to coincide with the start of the MLB season. It would eventually be delayed to a June 13 release before being shelved permanently. 

Nintendo Pennant Chase Baseball - IGN

Here’s a little known fact! All-Star Baseball was a successful series running from 1997 to 2005, but did you know that Frank Thomas’ Big Hurt Baseball was the precursor to this series? Thomas would carry over and be featured as All-Star Baseball’s first cover athlete.

A random tidbit on a personal note, but the cover design of MLB 14: The Show is my favorite from the entire series. Happy to see future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera receive the special treatment. MLB 14: The Show : Sony Computer Entertainment: Sports & Outdoors

The MVPs: 6-8 fWAR

Player Release Date fWAR Game Region Exclusive
Alex Rodriguez March 26, 1998 7.9 Triple Play Baseball ’99  
Greg Maddux April 1, 1997 7.9 VR Baseball ’97  
Francisco Lindor March 20, 2018 7.8 R.B.I. Baseball 18  
Tim Lincecum March 3, 2009 7.8 Major League Baseball 2K9
Major League Baseball 2K9 Fantasy All-Stars
Albert Pujols March 9, 2004 7.8 MVP Baseball 2004  
Albert Pujols June 26, 2007 7.7 The BIGS  
Nomar Garciaparra March 2000 7.6 Microsoft Baseball 2001  
Cliff Lee September 13, 2011 7.5 Nicktoons MLB  
Evan Longoria March 2, 2010 7.5 Major League Baseball 2K10  
Derek Jeter April 8, 1999 7.4 All-Star Baseball 2000  
Fernando Tatis Jr. April 20, 2021 7.3 MLB The Show 21  
Frank Thomas May 24, 1997 7.2 All-Star Baseball ’97 Featuring Frank Thomas  
Ryan Braun July 6, 2011 7.1 MLB Bobblehead Pros
MLB Bobblehead Battle
Randy Johnson May 30, 1997 7.0 Front Page Sports: Baseball Pro ’98  
Josh Donaldson March 29, 2016 6.9 MLB The Show 16 Canada
Justin Verlander March 6, 2012 6.8 Major League Baseball 2K12  
Ken Griffey Jr. March 1994 6.8 Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball  
Cliff Lee November 10, 2008 6.7 MLB Superstars  
Miguel Cabrera September 13, 2011 6.6 Nicktoons MLB  
Alex Rodriguez March 23, 2004 6.6 Backyard Baseball
Backyard Baseball 2005
Jason Giambi May 19, 2002 6.6 World Series Baseball  
Mike Piazza June 18, 1998 6.6 Mike Piazza’s Strike Zone  
Ken Griffey Jr. May 25, 1998 6.6 Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr.  
Ryne Sandberg September 1991 6.4 Super Bases Loaded  
Jim Edmonds March 16, 2003 6.3 MLB Slugfest 20-04  
Ryne Sandberg July 27, 1990 6.3 Bases Loaded 3  
Adrian Gonzalez July 6, 2011 6.2 MLB Bobblehead Pros
MLB Bobblehead Battle
Ichiro Suzuki October 3, 2007 6.1 MLB Power Pros  
Derek Jeter April 3, 2006 6.1 Major League Baseball 2K6  
Orel Hershiser January 1989 6.1 Orel Hershiser’s Strike Zone  
Chipper Jones March 28, 2000 6.0 MLB 2001  
Mike Piazza November 1995 6.0 World Series Baseball  

It’s getting real now. A 6+ WAR season is no joke and each of the developers of these games should be psyched that they selected the correct player to adorn their covers, but are they the best of the best? Modern MVPs generally have an 8+ WAR… but how many times has this happened in the year they also covered a video game? It’s time to find out.

The Elite: 8+ fWAR

Player Release Date fWAR Game Region Exclusive
Barry Bonds June 19, 2002 12.7 MLB 2003  
Alex Rodriguez June 24, 2002 10.0 MLB Slugfest 20-03  
Ken Griffey Jr. June 10, 1996 9.7 Ken Griffey Jr.’s Winning Run  
Alex Rodriguez October 3, 2007 9.6 MLB Power Pros  
Shohei Ohtani April 5, 2022 9.5 MLB The Show 22
MLB The Show 22: MVP Edition
Pedro Martinez July 20, 2000 9.4 World Series Baseball 2K1  
Curt Schilling February 11, 2002 9.3 High Heat Major League Baseball 2003  
Alex Rodriguez April 2, 2003 9.2 Backyard Baseball  
Jason Giambi March 4, 2001 9.2 Triple Play Baseball  
Alex Rodriguez March 16, 2005 9.1 Backyard Baseball 2006  
Albert Pujols November 10, 2008 8.7 MLB Superstars  
Roy Halladay March 8, 2011 8.5 Major League Baseball 2K11  
Roger Clemens November 1991 8.5 Roger Clemens’ MVP Baseball  
David Wright February 26, 2007 8.4 MLB 07: The Show  
Matt Kemp July 6, 2011 8.3 MLB Bobblehead Pros
MLB Bobblehead Battle
Mookie Betts March 29, 2016 8.2 R.B.I. Baseball 2016  
Alex Bregman March 5, 2019 8.1 R.B.I. Baseball 19  
Andrew McCutchen March 5, 2013 8.1 MLB 13: The Show  
Albert Pujols June 5, 2006 8.1 MLB Slugfest 2006  
Albert Pujols May 12, 2006 8.1 Backyard Sports: Baseball 2007  

And there it is! Barry Bonds, who famously did not lend his likeness in several video games (shout-out John Dowd), is the owner of the highest fWAR in a year a player covered a video game. Of course, Bonds’ 2002 is regarded as one of the best seasons of any player ever, but talk about excellent scouting and contracting by video game producers for their 2002 releases as out of nearly 200 individual player seasons, the top two ever are both from that year! This section of the list is fun to look at and see all of the MVP winners from their respective seasons, as well as those that should have won (*cough* David Wright and Matt Kemp *cough*), immortalized on our media shelves and used video game stores alike for the rest of eternity.

MLB 2003 (Game) - Giant Bomb


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