Ten MLB players to follow on social media during the coronavirus shutdown


One of the major hurdles Major League Baseball has dealt with during the social media boom has been its schedule. Because of the daily grind of the season, baseball players have largely maintained less active social media profiles than their counterparts in other sports. With the coronavirus pandemic putting most of the world on pause, baseball players unexpectedly find themselves with time off this spring.

They’ve used some of that time to post about this real-life episode of “Black Mirror” that has turned their reality — and everyone else’s — upside down. It’s given fans a glimpse into an unprecedented situation, proving even famous athletes can’t escape the shadow of COVID-19.

Here are 10 players we think are worth following to keep tabs on how those in the game are dealing with the disruption to the 2020 MLB season and to their lives.

Hunter Pence, San Francisco Giants

Platforms: Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

Why you should follow him: Long one of baseball’s most eccentric personalities, Pence has been particularly active on social media since social distancing became the cultural norm. He has posted goofy Instagram stories, including one where he cries over finished rolls of toilet paper; lighthearted, yes, but even millionaire MLBers understand the value of common items at a time when stores are struggling to keep up with demand.

Best post (so far): Pence’s wife, Alexis, runs an active YouTube account, where the couple recently posted a vlog of their grocery shopping, including Pence’s thoughts on baseball postponing its season, in addition to tips on how not to spread germs.

Sean Doolittle, Washington Nationals

Platforms: Twitter and YouTube

Why you should follow him: Among the sport’s most thoughtful voices on the internet, Doolittle has remained characteristically active, whether it’s posting about the pile of books he’s planning on reading while social distancing, sharing videos of his dog, recording a Q&A for fans or getting his hair cut on YouTube by his wife, Eireann Dolan. Doolittle has also committed to donating 25,000 meals to help families deal with school closures and employment uncertainty during the pandemic.

Best post (so far):

Trevor Bauer, Cincinnati Reds

Platform: YouTube

Why you should follow him: One of baseball’s most polarizing personalities, Bauer has never been afraid to share his thoughts on social media, and the Reds’ righty has taken a unique approach to the pandemic by filming vlogs for YouTube while organizing sandlot games with his media company, Momentum. Bauer maintains an active YouTube presence, where he gives his subscribers a peek into his life and his thoughts on baseball. Through his vlogs, Bauer keeps his fans up to date on how he plans on approaching his workouts during the stoppage.

Best post (so far):

Alex Bregman, Houston Astros

Platforms: Instagram and TikTok

Why you should follow him: Bregman is one of baseball’s most active personalities on social media. In the wake of the Astros sign-stealing scandal, Bregman locked up his comment section on Instagram, but he has opened them back up in recent weeks. Since posting his first TikTok with Internet sensation Charli D’Amelio, Bregman has maintained an active TikTok account where he does everything from dancing to working out to showing off his MLB The Show squad.

Best post (so far):

Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays

Platform: Twitch

Why you should follow him: Snell is one of the most prolific Twitch streamers in baseball, and he regularly invites his followers to watch him play Fortnite. The setting allows Snell, a former Cy Young winner, to showcase his full personality with his fans. In the early days of the quarantine, Snell has played video games with other players, such as Gavin Lux and Willie Calhoun. Snell also posted his first TikTok recently.

Best post (so far):

Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox

Platforms: Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

Why you should follow him: Anderson has social media accounts that are clearly run by the man himself. His tweets and posts showcase his uniquely outspoken perspective. Beginning with the controversy that arose from one of his bat flips, Anderson has emerged as a player who “doesn’t care” about the unwritten rules and hopes to bring fun — and personality — to the sport.

Best post (so far): Anderson started a YouTube channel this spring, featuring raw montages of his days in spring training, giving a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his professional life. While the channel has gone quiet since the spread of the coronavirus, don’t expect it to be mute for long.

Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres

Platform: Instagram

Why you should follow him: Tatis maintains a fan-essential Instagram account where he routinely showcases his most fun life moments, including a road trip to San Diego with teammate Franchy Cordero.

Best post (so far): While it’s impossible to embed Instagram stories due to their temporary nature, disappearing from accounts after 24 hours, following Tatis on Instagram will give you an intimate look at the life of a rising star.

Marcus Stroman, New York Mets

Platform: Twitter

Why you should follow him: One of baseball’s most noted tweeters, Stroman updates his fans with what’s on his mind year-round, so of course the recent events are no exception. Stroman regularly posts motivational quotes and amusing insights.

Best post (so far): Stroman began stirring things up on Baseball Twitter on Thursday when he started a conversation about the 2021 World Baseball Classic team for the United States, getting online commitments from three guys on our list — Bauer, Snell and Clevinger — plus Walker Buehler, Trevor Story, Eric Hosmer, Christian Yelich, Nolan Arenado and Pete Alonso. Alonso added he “might cry” if he were named to the American squad.

Randy Dobnak, Minnesota Twins

Platform: Twitter

Why you should follow him: Dobnak rose into the consciousness of baseball fans last year as the Uber driver turned ALDS starting pitcher. Dobnak maintains a comical Twitter account where he has posted regularly about the suspension of baseball.

Best post (so far):

Mike Clevinger, Cleveland Indians

Platform: Twitter

Why you should follow him: The Cleveland right-hander likes going back and forth with fans on Twitter, showcasing his big personality, and he emerged as one of the Astros’ most vocal critics online back when sign stealing was the biggest problem on the minds of baseball players. And there might be even more to come during this quarantine, as Clevinger recently tweeted that he might be starting a vlog with teammate Zach Plesac during this time off …

Best post (so far): … so stay tuned.

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