In what may come as a surprise to many readers of Sports Illustrated, the cover boy for the magazine's 2015 MLB preview issue will be topless.
Giancarlo Stanton, the 25-year-old Miami Marlins slugger who signed a $325 million extension during the offseason, appears on the cover in body paint meant to resemble his uniform. And it looks extremely accurate:
— MLB (@MLB) February 25, 2015
The Sports Illustrated artists included all the minor elements, like Stanton's sleeve and the buttons on his jersey. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the process:
You've got to hand it to the designers for nailing all the details here because normally the models wearing body paint don't, er, have as much clothing.
— POPSUGAR (@POPSUGAR) February 11, 2015
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Body Paint - ... pic.twitter.com/PE4zwFshNm
— Son Modelos.com (@sonmodelos) February 22, 2015
Stanton is quite comfortable without his shirt, as he appeared on the cover of ESPN The Magazine's "Body Issue" in 2013.
Giancarlo Stanton in one of ESPN's The Body Issue. pic.twitter.com/yYqYhg4qgs
— SLANDER MACHINE (@mrvasallo) July 10, 2013
Things are looking good for Stanton, who was in contention for last season's NL MVP award until he was beaned by Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Mike Fiers in September. Despite missing the final 17 games of the season, Stanton still led the league with 37 home runs.
Stanton reported to training camp this week feeling 100 percent healthy and told reporters that he doesn't expect the injury to affect his play.