Get to know the top athletes in Arizona for 2022.

Meet Arizona’s Most Popular Athletes of 2022
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As the year 2022 draws to an end, sportsbooks in Arizona have had an exhilarating season. The Phoenix Suns had an impressive 64-18 record during the 2021-22 season, but unfortunately, they fell short in the Western Conference Finals.

Despite this, it has been a remarkable year for standout individual performances, with many Arizona-born athletes making a name for themselves in every major league. As a result, we conducted a study to gauge the popularity of each athlete in order to determine the most beloved sports figures from Arizona.

Analyzing online and social media metrics for active NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB stars in 2022 will help us identify the most highly anticipated athletes from Arizona in the past year.

To achieve this goal, we created an index that considered five key factors, each assigned specific weightings that added up to a total of 100.

Data was collected over the past year on average monthly Google searches, Wikipedia page views, social media growth, social media mentions, and the percentage of positive online comments.

Keep reading to find out who the best players are and why some are continuing to improve.

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1. Cody Bellinger

In 2022, Cody Bellinger, a former outfielder for the Dodgers, has been crowned as Arizona’s most talked-about major league sports star.

Bellinger, a Scottsdale native, earned the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2017 and then went on to win the NL MVP two years later by hitting 47 home runs. Despite a dip in his performance lately (resulting in a one-year deal with the Cubs), Bellinger maintains the highest index score among all Arizona-born athletes on our ranking table at 75.5.

Bellinger consistently topped Google searches each month with an impressive 317,000 searches and received a total of 254,000 Wikipedia views. The only person more popular than Bellinger was Matisse Thybulle, who came in second place on the leaderboard.

The former Boys in Blue player garnered an impressive 81,000 mentions on social media this year, outperforming all other athletes in the top 10 and even the top 5.

Even though he has left and his performance has been on the decline this year, it seems that this star is still generating a lot of online buzz, with as much as 17.3% of conversations being positive.

On the other hand, it’s possible that people were simply more fascinated by him than ever, eagerly anticipating which team he would join after leaving the Dodgers.

While Dodgers fans may miss the slugger who came up through their farm system, Bellinger’s departure has not had a major impact on the team’s World Series prospects. BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona currently ranks the Dodgers with the third-best odds of winning the championship at +800.

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2. Matisse Thybulle

Matisse Thybulle, hailing from Scottsdale, has emerged as a standout athlete this year, garnering attention from many. With an impressive index score of 52.1, he currently holds the second spot among Arizona’s top athletes in 2022.

In 2022, the defensive specialist from the Philadelphia 76ers received an impressive 173,000 monthly Google searches and 260,000 Wikipedia page views, showcasing the immense popularity and fascination he commands among fans and beyond.

Thybulle’s lack of offensive output, with a career-high of just 5.7 points per game, was likely a contributing factor in only 7.7% of positive online conversations about him this year, the lowest among Arizona’s top five athletes.

Nevertheless, Thybulle was able to accumulate an impressive 63,000 social media mentions. This increase in popularity may be due to the 76ers extending his contract until the 2023 season, as well as his captivating YouTube vlogs that offer a glimpse into life in the NBA.

3. Cole Tucker

Cole Tucker, the former Pirates shortstop/outfielder, signed a minor league deal with the Colorado Rockies but still managed to attract a lot of attention this year. As a result, he secured the third spot on our list of the most popular Arizona sportsmen.

Even though Tucker, a Phoenix native, had an index score of 50.6, he received a much higher total of 439,000 Wikipedia page views in 2022 compared to his predecessor Thybulle, who only got 260,000 views.

Despite being ranked third on our list, Tucker only received 3,600 social media mentions for the year, the lowest among all contenders. This lack of attention may be attributed to his limited appearances in 18 games for the Pirates and his difficulties at the plate.

Arizona residents appear to be closely monitoring his career rehabilitation with the Rockies organization.

4. Matthew Tkachuk

Matthew Tkachuk, a player for the Florida Panthers, had the highest number of Wikipedia page views among the top five athletes reviewed, totaling 288,000 views for the year. In terms of popularity among Arizona athletes, he ranked fourth with a score of 44.5.

Tkachuk, a Scottsdale native like Bellinger and Thybulle, has achieved notable success in sports, particularly while playing for the Calgary Flames.

Tkachuk was instrumental in helping the Flames achieve one of their most successful seasons to date in the 2021-2022 NHL campaign.

This is likely the cause of his numerous reviews, as he has garnered 47,000 monthly searches and 33,000 social media mentions in 2022.

Tkachuk and the Panthers are currently listed at +2000 odds to win the Stanley Cup in his debut season with the team at Caesars Sportsbook Arizona.

5. Dalen Terry

Phoenix native and Chicago Bulls rookie Dalen Terry was named the most popular Arizona-born athlete of the year, ranking fifth on our leaderboard with a score of 36.3.

Terry, born and raised in Phoenix and a former Arizona Wildcats basketball player, is still dedicated to his love for the game. He maintains a strong following, with an average of 33,000 monthly Google searches for his name in the current year.

Despite finishing last among the top five athletes from Arizona, Terry saw the biggest growth in followers in 2022, with an impressive 51,000 individuals now following his personal and professional life online. Furthermore, he had a recorded 17.9% of positive online conversations this year, surpassing second-place finisher Thybulle (7.7%).

After pinpointing the top sports star in your state, consider exploring further research findings we have discovered.

For a comprehensive analysis and more detailed information, be sure to check out, the ultimate destination for everything related to Arizona betting apps.


In order to identify the top athletes in Arizona for 2022, we created a comprehensive index that considered five key factors, each with their own specific weightings that added up to a total of 100.

1. In 2022, the average monthly Google search volume was 30.2. Wikipedia page views totaled 20.3, while follower growth on Instagram reached 20.4. The total social media mentions on Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram in 2022 were 20.5. Additionally, 10% of Reddit and Twitter posts in 2022 were classified as positive online conversations. compiled all individual factor scores to create a final index score ranging from 1 to 100, which determined the athlete’s ranking based on popularity. A higher score indicated a higher level of popularity.



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