There’s no denying that athletes are a powerful force on social. This postseason, MLB players presented a perfect example of the influence that athletes hold. Their collective audience size, activity, and engagement outrank that of their teams and the league itself. But the players’ impact could be even more significant.

We analyzed Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram data from the MLB’s owned channels, all 30 teams, and every active player throughout the postseason (10/1/18 – 10/28/18). Below, we show how the players compare with their teams and league, then share league’s postseason MVPs on social.

Audience

MLB players have a total audience of over 121 million fans and followers on social, outpacing the league six times over and even surpassing their teams.

With almost a thousand active players, it’s important to note the advantage that athletes have in terms of total channels and eyeballs. Still, the average MLB player has an average audience size of over 115 thousand, while teams average about 3.8 million followers.

Total

  • MLB players  — 121. 6 million followers
  • MLB teams  — 113.9 million followers
  • MLB  — 20.1 million followers

Twitter

  • MLB players  — 52.3 million followers
  • MLB teams  — 35.5 million followers
  • MLB  — 8.3 million followers

Facebook

  • MLB teams  — 57.9 million followers
  • MLB players  — 10.7 million followers
  • MLB  — 7.1 million followers

Instagram

  • MLB players  — 52.2 million followers
  • MLB teams  — 20.5 million followers
  • MLB  — 4.8 million followers

Engagement

MLB teams hold the lead for total postseason engagements with over 80 million. 67% of these engagements were generated by the two squads playing for the World Series Championship — the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox.

Total

  • MLB teams  — 80 million engagements
  • MLB  — 46.6 million engagements
  • MLB players  — 19.9 million engagements

Twitter

  • MLB teams  — 12.4 million engagements
  • MLB players  — 3.2 million engagements
  • MLB  — 3.2 million engagements

Facebook

  • MLB teams  — 11.9 million engagements
  • MLB  — 2.8 million engagements
  • MLB players  — 305 thousand engagements

Instagram

  • MLB teams — 55.7 million engagements
  • MLB  — 40.5 million engagements
  • MLB players  — 16.4 million engagements

Engagement Rate

As we’ve established, MLB players are powerful on social. There’s no better evaluation of this influence than analyzing the rate at which they engage their audience.

MLB players engage their fans at a 10X higher rate than their teams or the league itself.

The proof is in the performance. MLB players create impact when they share on social. Whether they’re raising awareness for a worthy cause, or simply sharing a pregame photo — what they say matters.

Total

  • MLB players  — 5.20%
  • MLB teams  — 0.57%
  • MLB  — 0.54%

Twitter

  • MLB players  — 3.21%
  • MLB teams  — 0.14%
  • MLB  — 0.01%

Facebook

  • MLB players  —1.26%
  • MLB teams  — 0.16%
  • MLB  — 0.09%

Instagram

  • MLB players — 8.20%
  • MLB teams — 2.31%
  • MLB  — 2.25%

Activity

The collective numbers are massive, but MLB players should be sharing more. Yes, the players collectively shared more posts due to total numbers, but individually, they are significantly less active than their teams and league.

MLB players averaged under five posts apiece through the postseason. That’s less than one post per week across all three social networks.

Meanwhile, teams averaged 277 posts each and league channels published more than 1,740 total posts in the same timeframe.

Total

  • MLB teams  — 8,314 posts
  • MLB players  — 4,563 posts
  • MLB  — 1,740 posts

Twitter

  • MLB teams  — 4.3 thousand posts
  • MLB players  — 2.4 thousand posts
  • MLB  — 907 posts

Facebook

  • MLB teams  — 2.4 thousand posts
  • MLB  — 450 posts
  • MLB players  — 228 posts

Instagram

  • MLB players  — 1.9 thousand posts
  • MLB teams  — 1.6 thousand posts
  • MLB  — 383 posts
This isn’t unique to MLB players. Like other leagues, the MLB and its teams employ talented crews to capture, create, and distribute content. Most players don’t have these teams around them. They act as their own content creator, strategist, and account manager on social. Meanwhile, they put in work on the field that becomes the content that their teams’ and league share. Just imagine the impact this content could have it returned to the players’ hands.

Next, we’ll take a look at how individual MLB players stacked up on social over the postseason.

Social MVPs of the MLB postseason

Throughout the postseason, baseball’s top players took to social to hype up their fans. Capitalizing on their success, several players competing to win the World Series leveraged their team success to build their social audience. The biggest winners may have been the Boston Red Sox, who not only took home the World Series championship, but also had multiple players rise to the top on social.

Audience

Total

  • Mike Trout  — 4.5 million followers
  • Robinson Cano  — 2.9 million followers
  • Justin Verlander  — 2.8 million followers
  • Bryce Harper  — 2.4 million followers
  • Jose Bautista  — 2.3 million followers

Twitter

  • Mike Trout  — 2.5 million followers
  • Yu Darvish  — 2 million followers
  • Justin Verlander  — 1.9 million followers
  • David Price  — 1.8 million followers
  • Masahiro Tanaka  — 1.5 million followers

Facebook

  • Robinson Cano  — 1.3 million followers
  • Albert Pujols  — 608 thousand followers
  • Buster Posey  — 578 thousand followers
  • Mike Trout  — 464 thousand followers
  • Chase Utley  — 446 thousand followers

Instagram

  • Mike Trout  — 1.5 million followers
  • Bryce Harper  — 1.4 million followers
  • Jose Altuve  — 1.2 million followers
  • Giancarlo Stanton  — 1.2 million followers
  • Javy Báez  — 1.1 million followers

Activity

Total

  • Marcus Stroman  — 220 posts
  • Trevor May  — 183 posts
  • Bryan Shaw  — 156 posts
  • Danny Duffy  — 75 posts
  • Tom Koehler  — 74 posts

Twitter

  • Marcus Stroman  — 169 posts
  • Bryan Shaw  — 156 posts
  • Trevor May  — 150 posts
  • Danny Duffy  — 75 posts
  • Brad Ziegler  — 70 posts

Facebook

  • Clayton Kershaw  — 21 posts
  • Masahiro Tanaka  — 17 posts
  • Matt Kemp  — 16 posts
  • Yu Darvish  — 15 posts
  • Wei-Yin Chen  — 15 posts

Instagram

  • Marcus Stroman  — 51 posts
  • Clayton Kershaw  — 35 posts
  • Wellington Castillo  — 34 posts
  • Trevor May  — 33 posts
  • Yefry Ramirez  — 32 posts

Engagement

Total

  • Mookie Betts  — 1.1 million engagements
  • Joc Pederson  — 767 thousand engagements
  • Matt Kemp  — 749 thousand engagements
  • Justin Turner  — 709 thousand engagements
  • Enrique Hernandez  — 690 thousand engagements

Twitter

  • Yu Darvish  — 191 thousand engagements
  • Christian Yelich  — 176 thousand engagements
  • Mookie Betts  — 161 thousand engagements
  • Andrew McCutchen  — 138 thousand engagements
  • Marcus Stroman  — 136 thousand engagements

Facebook

  • Clayton Kershaw  — 46.3 thousand engagements
  • Justin Turner  — 41.6 thousand engagements
  • Matt Kemp  — 30.7 thousand views
  • Javy Báez  — 29.7 thousand engagements
  • Yu Darvish  — 24.1 thousand views

Instagram

  • Mookie Betts  — 884 thousand engagements
  • Joc Pederson  — 766 thousand engagements
  • Alex Bregman  — 734 thousand engagements
  • Matt Kemp  — 670 thousand engagements
  • Kiké Hernandez  — 581 thousand engagements

Engagement Rate

Total

  • Walker Buehler  — 34.78%
  • Christian Yelich  — 27.49%
  • Marwin Gonzalez  — 20.05%
  • Cody Bellinger  — 19.63%
  • Xander Bogaerts  — 18.08%

Twitter

  • Eduardo Rodriguez  — 53.76%
  • Christian Yelich  — 24.31%
  • Eduardo Nunez  — 18.15%
  • Mookie Betts  — 16.46%
  • Miguel Andujar  — 14.92%

Facebook

  • Miguel Andújar  — 13.25%
  • Didi Gregorious  — 7.29%
  • Jason Kipnis  — 4.40%
  • Justin Turner  — 4.26%
  • Salvador Perez  — 3.15%

Instagram

  • Max Muncy  — 39.15%
  • Walker Buehler  — 34.78%
  • Christian Yelich  — 32.58%
  • Andrew Benintendi  — 24.28%
  • Cody Bellinger  — 22.39%

Growth

Total

  • Mookie Betts  — 97.9 thousand followers
  • Christian Yelich  — 72.1 thousand followers
  • Walker Buehler  — 60.7 thousand followers
  • Cody Bellinger  — 60.4 thousand followers
  • Andrew Benintendi  — 57.4 thousand followers

Twitter

  • Mookie Betts  — 21.6 thousand followers
  • Christian Yelich  — 21.1 thousand followers
  • Matt Kemp  — 18.1 thousand followers
  • Kevin Pillar  — 16.1 thousand followers
  • Yu Darvish  — 16 thousand followers

Facebook

  • Javy Báez  — 2.7 thousand followers
  • Kiké Hernandez  — 1.9 thousand followers
  • Justin Turner  — 1.7 thousand followers
  • Cody Bellinger  — 1.3 thousand followers
  • Clayton Kershaw  — 1.1 thousand followers

Instagram

  • Mookie Betts  — 76.3 thousand followers
  • Walker Buehler  — 53.8 thousand followers
  • Cody Bellinger  — 51.6 thousand followers
  • Christian Yelich  — 51 thousand followeres
  • Yasiel Puig  — 45.2 thousand followers

Growth Rate

Total

  • Walker Buehler  — 90.53%
  • Christian Yelich  — 27.56%
  • Jackie Bradley Jr.  — 25.28%
  • Eduardo Nunez  — 24.55%
  • Brock Holt  — 19.70%

Twitter

  • Erik Kratz  — 86.08%
  • Max Muncy  — 47.48%
  • Walker Buehler  — 41.05%
  • Steve Pearce  — 27.43%
  • Christian Yelich  — 26.31%

Facebook

  • Christian Yelich  — 17.28%
  • Miguel Andújar  — 7.29%
  • Cody Bellinger  — 6.53%
  • Victor Arano  — 5.65%
  • Didi Gregorious  — 2.55%

Instagram

  • Cody Bellinger  — 107.11%
  • Max Muncy  — 81.69%
  • Jackie Bradley Jr.  — 64.94%
  • David Freese  — 43.45%
  • Christian Yelich  — 28.12%