Bautista is one of several athletes who have taken it all off for ESPN The Magazine's annual Body Issue.
The right fielder admits he had never seen the issue when they initially asked him to take part, so his first reaction was "No." He tells The National Post
, "Once I found out more and I was educated enough, I was still concerned about doing it, but after consulting with a lot of people I decided to do it." He adds, "It's not pornographic at all, and that was my concern." He says one of the keys to his decision was that the featured athletes had final approval over the photos.
Bautista told ESPN.com
he wants readers "to understand that athletes make a lot of sacrifices for their bodies. Our bodies are our biggest work tool, and keeping them in shape by working out, eating correctly and playing the sports we love take a toll. But if you do everything correctly you can take care of it and come out with a nice looking body."
He appears in the magazine along with NFL stars Rob Gronkowski and Maurice Jones-Drew, New York Rangers forward Brad Richards, golfer Suzann Pettersen, and the WNBA’s Candace Parker.
ESPN.com has posted the photos online
in advance of the issue that comes out later this week, and also put together a video of Bautista's photo shoot.