Since Rob Manfred took office last year as the 10th commissioner of Major League Baseball, his focus has been clear: The sport must address its waning connection to our youth or risk losing a generation of fans.
Manfred has already implemented changes to the rules of the game itself to quicken the pace of play. Investments in technology have also been made at the league and franchise level - virtual reality, in-game wearable tech (the Motus Baseball Sleeve measuring stress on elbows and the Zephyr Bioharness monitoring heart and breathing rates) and the recent announcement of Blast Motion as the official "bat sensor technology" analyzing swings.
However, at the player level, it's all about social media.
A recent report from MVPIndex ranked the top 10 Major League Baseball players on social media, who are doing their part to engage the masses. Here are the All-Stars...
10. Miguel Cabrera
With 758K Twitter Followers and 516K Instagram followers, the Venezuelan Detroit Tigers' player tweets and posts in his native language of Spanish. Cabrera maintains a high following and sense of community demonstrated through posts of his strong familial bond.
9. C.J. Wilson
Wilson has 236K Twitter and 76.6K Instagram followers. When he isn't on the baseball diamond, Wilson is showing love for his second favorite sport, on the racetrack. As the owner of a professional race team, a team car has recently been available for download in the popular racing video game Forza Motorsport.
8. Jose Bautista
1.07M Twitter and 647K Instagram followers engage with Periscope sessions and promotion of the Bautista Family Education Fund. Bautista also shows love for his favorite rapper, Drake, by Photoshopping him into one of his infamous bat flips- one of his highest engages photos yet!
7. Bryce Harper
The notoriously vocal Washington Nationals' right fielder is not only expressive to the media, but also to his 642K Twitter and 834K Instagram fans. Harper's recent cleat release with Under Armour, the #HarperOne, is definitely his topic of choice.
6. Yu Darvish
You may need Google Translate to understand his captions, as Darvish mainly posts in Japanese. As a self-proclaimed "foodie", 1.56M Twitter and 67.8K Instagram followers engage with Darvish while cooking or consuming, showing his passion for nutrition and just good eats!
5. Clayton Kershaw
The 6X All-Star Dodgers' pitched enjoys talking sports to his 319K Twitter followers. Kershaw does, however, promote different events from @KershsChallenge, his personal charity that donates globally to children in need.
All proceeds from auction go towards @KershsChallenge, benefitting in-need kids in LA, Dominican Republic, Zambia & Dallas.— Clayton Kershaw (@ClaytonKersh22) July 22, 2015
4. Anthony Rizzo
With 293K Twitter and 281K Instagram followers, Rizzo runs the "Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation". His social content focuses mainly on families of children suffering from pediatric cancer.
3. David Ortiz
While we know him as "Big Pappi", in the socialsphere, he is known as #TheLargeFather. Apparently, Ortiz has a retirement plan that involves crashing children's birthday parties and taking the first swing at the piñata.
I don’t crash the party, I crush it. I am: the piñata slayer. https://t.co/nktXxyzrtN— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) June 6, 2016
2. Mike Trout
Trout is a strong advocate for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County. He engages with his 1.9M Twitter and 1M Instagram followers, encouraging them to mentor a child in need.
1. Robinson Cano
Occupying the #1 seed, Cano does more than engage his fans in the game. With 519K Twitter and 688K Instagram followers, fans participated in Cano's "dream project"- the build and opening of a school in San Pedro de Macoris through his RC22 Foundation.
...Ranking is according to the player's overall reach and fan engagement across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Google+