MLB The Show 22 needs international teams, and Japan should be first up

MLB The Show 22 is embracing their international appeal this year with baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani on the cover, but there are other ways they can step the game up.

We've seen the precedent set in other games, and it's now time for MLB The Show 22 to add international teams instead of staying stuck with just the MLB and MiLB.

MLB The Show 22 is going international with Shohei Ohtani cover

MLB The Show 22 is bringing baseball gaming forward once again, and even with the minimal news we've gotten so far it's clear this year will be another huge one for Sony San Diego.

MLB The Show 21 broke new ground by jumping to Xbox for the first time and introducing crossplay, something most major sports titles have yet to invest in or consider worthwhile.

MLB The Show 22 international
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SHO-TIME: This epic cover was done by Afro Samurai creator Takashi Okazaki

With MLB The Show 22, they've announced living legend and international superstar Shohei Ohtani as the cover athlete. He's also getting an extra special anime-inspired cover for the Deluxe Edition.

Since the announcement, both US and Japanese media have been on the hype train, and it's with good reason considering the truly generational talent that Shohei Ohtani has become.

While the covers are a good step, there's another huge way that MLB The Show 22 can actually take this franchise international like never before.

MLB The Show 22 needs to finally add international teams

MLB The Show 22 has really stepped their game up in recent years when it comes to core gameplay and graphics, but there are other areas where they're lagging behind and could truly make a change this year.

As of now, MLB The Show 22 only includes players and teams from the American leagues, primarily Major League Baseball and their lower-level counterpart Minor League Baseball. It's not a shock considering how MLB branding is tied to the game, but it doesn't necessarily restrict them.

The biggest example of this today is in NHL 22, as that game has truly embraced international leagues and Olympic teams at the same time. NHL 22 recently made history by adding the Women's Olympic teams to the game, as well as the World Juniors squads.

The game is also packed with teams from international leagues, though it's not shocking that the NHL has embraced this sooner. For as much international appeal as baseball can have, the NHL relies more on talents coming through those European leagues than most other American sports.

The best way to start this would be to bring Nippon Professional Baseball to MLB The Show 22. While there are other leagues, like the US, it is NPB that stands at the very top as the highest level of baseball in Japan.

This was also the league where Shohei Ohtani got his start, and he began setting the baseball world on fire as part of the Hokkaidō Nippon-Ham Fighters. Adding that team, as well as the rest that make up the 12-team NPB league, would be a huge step forward for MLB The Show 22.

That would likely just be the beginning, as there are active baseball leagues across Europe, Asia, Latin America, and even in Australia that could join the mix. MLB The Show 22 needs to step things up this year, and international teams would be a perfect way to do that.

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