Shohei Ohtani has already taken the MLB by storm but the World Baseball Classic has elevated his platform, showcasing his talents to baseball fans from around the world. His Ohtani’s WBC home run was heard around the world, he’s become the most followed active MLB player on Instagram, adding more than 2 million followers on the social media platform.
Los Angeles Angels’ phenom Shohei Ohtani has officially become the most followed MLB player on Twitter.
Since the beginning of the World Baseball Classic, Ohtani has doubled his Instagram following. He’s added 2.1 million followers on Instagram and now has more than double the number of followers as the next-highest active player, Angels’ teammate Mike Trout.
Not only has Ohtani become the world’s most popular baseball player but he’s also the first active player in MLB history to eclipse 4 million Instagram followers, according to Joe Pompliano.
Shohei Ohtani Becomes Most Followed MLB Player on Instagram with 4M Followers
The World Baseball Classic has been good for the game of baseball and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said on Tuesday that the tournament will “100 percent” return in 2026.
The tournament has drawn competitive crowds, excellent TV ratings, and some memorable moments.
Perhaps none of those moments have been more memorable than Ohtani’s earth-shattering home run versus Australia.
SHOHEI OHTANI 3 RUN HOME RUN AND THE TOKYO DOME GOES WILD!!!
— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) March 12, 2023
Since then, Ohtani’s stardom has taken off to new heights.
The Angels star has more than doubled his Instagram following since the beginning of the WBC, adding 2 million followers to become the first ever active MLB player with more than 4 million followers.
Ohtani’s Doubles IG Followers During World Baseball Classic
Ohtani began the 2023 World Baseball Classic with around 1.7 million Instagram followers, but that number has sky-rocketed to 4.1 million followers head of Japan’s WBC Finals match versus the USA.
That number represents an increase of 141 percent.
3) MLB averaged just 26,566 fans per game in 2022.
That's the lowest # in 25+ years.
And MLB players are less popular than other athletes.
Shohei Ohtani: 4 million
LeBron James: 148 million
Cristiano Ronaldo: 563 million
So this is where the WBC comes in.
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) March 20, 2023
MLB stars have struggled to gain the same type of notoriety on social media as other athletes. However, the WBC has helped change that by bringing the intensity and excitement of playoff baseball to the world stage.
Ohtani signed a 1 year, $30 million deal to stay with the Angels in Los Angeles.
But after his performance in the WBC, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Ohtani’s next contract top $500 million.
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