The fan-fare surrounding Shohei Ohtani with the Los Angeles Angels translated to him being the most popular player in jersey sales over the course of the 2023 season.
With another Most Valuable Player performance on the field, Ohtani edged the likes of Ronald Acuña Jr., Aaron Judge, Fernando Tatis Jr., Mookie Betts, Jose Altuve, Julio Rodríguez, Matt Olson, Alex Bregman and Mike Trout. All of whom rounded out the top-10 in MLB.
Ohtani appeared in the top-10 in both 2018 and 2021, this is the first year Ohtani reached the number one slot. He’s the first Japanese player to finish No. 1 overall in total jersey sales.
Trout continued his streak of appearing in every top jersey sale list since his debut in MLB in 2012.
The Atlanta Braves were the most well-represented team on the most popular jersey list, having four players in the top 20. Their rise to the top of baseball’s number one record is accompanied by a lot of popularity amongst fans, and it’s translated to merchandise sales.
With Ohtani on track to win his second MVP award, the Angels witnessed another year they possessed the best player in the sport.
Shohei Ohtani has a fan base that follows him no matter what
Ohtani is the clear leader with his fandom reach, and his 5.9 million Instagram followers clear all other big league players by a fair margin. Without the hype of his following, there isn’t much support for the Angels when the team isn’t playing overly well.
Mike Trout being out doesn’t help that, but Ohtani’s loyal fan base have made quite the impression whether on the road or at Angel Stadium.
Ohtani’s performance in the 2023 World Baseball Classic was about as good as it gets, and his eventual championship crown in the WBC happened against Trout and Team USA. That moment attracted global fans, and for Team Japan, a picture-perfect moment.
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