Top 10 MLB Players with the highest social interactions among fans
The MLB postseason is heating up with only four teams left: the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Washington Nationals, and St. Louis Cardinals. Playing baseball in October is exclusive to playoff teams. The MLB season is the longest of the four major US sports, and 162 games of preparation all come down to 11 wins in the postseason. It is also worth noting that seven out of the ten players on the leaderboard are on a playoff team. So while individual performance always helps an athlete’s engagement, it’s still a team effort at the end of the day.
Verlander Throws 3rd Career No-Hitter
On September 1, Justin Verlander became the sixth pitcher in MLB history to throw three career no-hitters. Four of the five other pitchers have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame. He was a pitcher that was commonly discussed among elite company, but with the addition of his 3rd no-hitter, he is surely cemented as one of the greatest pitchers of his generation. His last no-hitter was also against the Toronto Blue Jays in the Rogers Centre, on May 7, 2011, a little over 8 years ago. This gap represents the second-longest no-hitter gap in MLB history, clear evidence of Verlander’s consistent dominance of the league. Verlander also reached the 250-strikeout mark for the season on Sep. 1, striking out 14 batters during his performance. His complete control over the league has been evident since he arrived in 2006, with 8 All-Star appearances, and one Cy Young and MVP campaign. There was speculation that Verlander had lost velocity on his fastball when he was traded to the Astros, but it remained speculation. Verlander’s first pitch of the game was a 94 mph fastball, and his last pitch of the game was a 97 mph fastball. His five fastest pitches of the outing came in the final plate appearance of the game. Verlander is one of the greats of his generation, and a career month comfortably put him at the #1 spot on the MLB leaderboard.
Yelich out for the season with an unfortunate knee injury
Christian Yelich had an incredible 2018 NL MVP campaign that seemingly came out of nowhere. Yet he continued the dominance into the 2019 season. He became the first Brewers player in franchise history to reach 30 home runs before the All-Star break in 2019. He also won his second NL batting title and knocked 44 home runs and 97 RBIs. Every 11th at-bat, Yelich was hitting a home run. Sadly, he suffered a season-ending injury on Sep. 10, when he fouled a ball off his right knee and fractured his kneecap. Yelich posted a heartfelt message to the fans on Twitter, thanking them for their support and wishing his team luck before the playoffs. After the injury, he called out ESPN on Twitter for misquoting him for “clicks” as well. Yelich had the highest month-to-month jump from any MLB player on the interactions leaderboard, moving up 72 spots into #7 on the rankings. Yelich’s established notoriety and utilization of his social channels make him a solid individual to have on your team both on-and-off the field.
Nelson Cruz = Not Old
After the 2018 season with the Seattle Mariners, Nelson Cruz was a free agent and 39 years old. Surely close to the end of his career, he signed a one-year deal with the Minnesota Twins. Since then, he has hit 41 home runs and knocked in 108 RBIs. On Sep. 22, he hit his 400th career home run, also his 40th home run of the season. For 2019, his triple-slash line was .311/.392/.639, and for his efforts, he earned a $12 million club option for the 2020 season. The Twins also clinched the AL Central on September 25, when the Chicago White Sox defeated the Cleveland Indians. Cruz garnered enough interactions to leap 12 spots on the leaderboard, taking the #9 spot. Cruz’s play, as well as the Twins, have comfortably lifted him into the Top 10.
Naturally, as we move deeper into the postseason, more eyes are on every game and every player. The greatest players in sports are heavily decided by how great they can be in the most important situations. The season is long and monotonous, but every small detail is perfected for October baseball. We should appreciate this MLB season for what it is, another season full of career moments and memorable highlights.
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 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.