Baseball-Reference.com is an amazing site filled with just about every baseball statistic under the sun. But along with showing us stats, they are collecting stats on users, particularly which players you are searching for on their site.
Sean Forman, the founder of Baseball-Reference, tweeted out an interesting map showing each state and which player users from that state search for the most. Some aren’t too surprising - Californians search for Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani, New Yorkers search for Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom. Even locally, the searches make sense - Kansans searched for Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield, Missourians most searched for former Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols. Colorado also searched for Whit Merrifield, which Whit explains tongue-in-cheek here:
In AAA, all of our flights connected in Denver. I was in AAA a long time. I made a lot of friends in that airport. This seems accurate. https://t.co/uI5XDsGd5g— Whit Merrifield (@WhitMerrifield) December 16, 2021
But the most surprising state was Mississippi. For reasons that are unclear to me, their most-searched for player was Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi.
Why Mondesi? Did he wear an Ole Miss cap at one point? Make an appearance on the HGTV show “Home Town” set in Mississippi? Did they confuse him for Eli Manning?
The best I can come up with is Mondesi did a short five-game rehab stint in Northwest Arkansas last year. They didn’t play any Mississippi teams, but perhaps those games excited fans throughout the South?
In any case, perhaps this can help the Royals if they are looking to trade Mondesi this off-season. He has some star power in the South that can help sell tickets! Mondesi for Ronald Acuña, Jr, who says no?