Top 10 MLB Players with the highest social interactions among fans
After the trade deadline on July 31, MLB organizations either start to think of the postseason or plans for next year. Teams are making late season runs for a Wild Card spot, and the toll of the long season is beginning to wear on players. Due to circumstances both on and off the field, four new players since last month have entered the interactions leaderboard: Bryce Harper, Enrique Hernandez, Yasiel Puig, and Justin Verlander. Verlander tossed his 3rd career no-hitter on Sep. 1, becoming the 6th player ever to do so.
Bryce Harper on Absolute Fire
The Phillies signed Harper to a 13-year, $330M deal that brought Harper to Philadelphia for the majority of the remainder of his career. Relative to his time in Washington, Harper was having a disappointing first half of the MLB season. He failed to make the All-Star Game, only his second time missing since joining the league in 2012, and he only hit three home runs for the entire month of July. August was very different. Harper’s career-best for HRs in a month is May 2015 when he hit 13 for the Nationals. He hit 11 home runs in August 2019 and knocked in 25 RBIs. The highlight of the month for Harper was on Aug. 15 when he capped off a Phillies comeback vs. the Chicago Cubs with a walk-off grand slam in the 9th. While only posting a handful of times on his social accounts, Harper was able to garner far more interactions than every active MLB player. Harper also welcomed his first child into the world, Krew Aron Harper, on August 26th.
Justin Turner Helps his Foundation by Torching August
The Los Angeles Dodgers are once again on top of the NL West, and look like the team to beat in the National League. And yet again, Justin Turner is a key player in the Dodgers lineup, especially heating up this last month. For the month of August, Turner had a triple slash line of .330/.389/.680. He also crushed 10 home runs and 19 RBIs. His incredibly hot month could be due in part to the fact that REX Real Estate agreed to donate a sum of money to the Justin Turner Foundation based off of Turner’s plate production throughout August. The Justin Turner Foundation’s mission is to support homeless veterans, children (and their families) battling life-altering illnesses, as well as various youth baseball organizations. REX pledged $1,000 to the foundation for every home run Turner hit, $500 per each triple, $200 for every double and $100 when he hit a single. Turner jumped 12 spots on the interactions leaderboard, surely due to his hot streak and his notable fundraising efforts. He earned his foundation a $12,600 donation on top of having a career month.
Yu Darvish Finding His Form
The Cubs signed Darvish in 2018 to a 6-year, $126M deal that was questioned by many. Plagued by injuries throughout the first year, it seemed like a wasted contract. However, Darvish has been trending in an upward direction this summer. He made history on Aug. 15 when he became the first pitcher since 1893 to have five consecutive starts with 8+ Ks and 0 BBs. Four of those outings came in August. Darvish also stated that Cubs newcomer, Craig Kimbrel, taught him a new knuckle-curve that he’s already been utilizing in-game. Darvish posted 63 times in August, the majority of posts in his native Japanese. Darvish’s frequency of posts, his ability to reach a worldwide audience, on top of some of the best pitching of his career solidify him at the #5 spot on the interactions leaderboard.
When the MLB season starts to heat up, every at-bat, every pitch, every managerial decision begins to carry a little bit more weight. Teams are aiming to hit their stride come late September, just to hit peak form in October. Look for players like Turner, Darvish, Verlander, and Lindor on future leaderboards since they play for teams who are in postseason contention and are able to continue playing in front of an audience late into the year.
Written by Patrick Romo
Patrick recently graduated from San Diego State University in May 2019, finishing with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, emphasis in Economics. He initially joined the Hookit as a Sales Development intern in September 2018 and transitioned into a full-time partnership role after graduation. In his free time, he enjoys going to concerts, playing basketball and beach volleyball, and exploring southern California. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, he is a lifelong Cubs fan and the greatest/most stressful moment of his life was Game 7 of the 2016 World Series.