MLB With World Flavor: New Record for Foreigners on the Rosters Set and Impact of Latinos

MLB With World Flavor: New Record for Foreigners on the Rosters Set and Impact of Latinos

The 2020 Major League Baseball started by breaking a record – a record for foreigners on rosters. There are countries that you’d never believe to have players in MLB but this 2020 Major League Baseball has confirmed the impact that the presence of foreign players has on its structure: a record of 288 players from 20 countries and territories outside the United States started in rosters for 2020 regular season Opening Day. Of that number, 252 are from Latin American countries. 

The total number of 288 broke the previous mark of 259 international players at the beginning of 2017, and in part, it came after active rosters have been expanded to 30 players per team. The 288 born outside the United States represent 28.1% of the total players who started the season: 1.026 players – also a record – 896 on active and 130 on wide rosters. The 20 countries or territories tie for the second-most in history (2019), just one from the record of 21 (2018). 

When it comes to active rosters, there are 108 internationals from 14 countries outside the USA. Given that 300 players were named on opening day rosters for the 2020 season, foreign players make 36%. 

THE NUMBER OF FOREIGN PLAYERS BY COUNTRY ON 2020 MLB ROSTERS:

  • Dominican Republic: 109 (35 on active rosters)
  • Venezuela: 75 (31)
  • Cuba: 22 (11)
  • Puerto Rico: 20 (12)
  • Canada: 9 (4)
  • Japan: 9 (2)
  • Mexico: 9
  • Colombia: 7 (3)
  • Panama: 5
  • Curaçao: 4 (4)
  • South Korea: 4 (2)
  • Australia: 3
  • Nicaragua: 2
  • Taiwan: 2
  • Aruba: 1 (1)
  • Brazil: 1
  • Germany: 1 (1)
  • Honduras: 1 (1)
  • Lithuania: 1
  • The Netherlands: 1

MLB TEAMS WITH MOST FOREIGNERS:

  • Houston: 15
  • Minnesota: 15
  • Chicago White Sox: 13
  • Miami: 13
  • NY Yankees: 12
  • Cleveland: 12
  • St. Louis: 7
  • Atlanta: 6
  • Boston: 6
  • Tampa Bay: 6
  • Toronto: 6

The record-breaking number of players from abroad in MLB in 2020 is just scratching the surface of the success of foreigners in the league. 

Baseball is fundamentally a team game, but it also needs players who individually contribute to the success of their respective teams. In such a long season, maintaining that consistency is an unbelievable job and this effort is recognized each year with the Most Valuable Player or MVP award.

Latino players, since breaking into the Major League Baseball, have performed great feats and many have become legends, breaking down all kinds of barriers to assert themselves among the most dominant in modern baseball. Roberto Clemente from Puerto Rico was the first Latino to win the Most Valuable Player award (1966) and also the first to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. 

Latino players dominate when it comes to overseas MVPs in MLB.

THE LIST OF LATINOS WHO HAVE WON THE MVP AWARD:

  • 1966 – Roberto Clemente (Puerto Rico)
  • 1967 – Orlando Cepeda (Puerto Rico)
  • 1984 – Willie Hernández (Puerto Rico)
  • 1987 – George Bell (Dominican Republic)
  • 1988 – José Canseso (Cuba)
  • 1996 – Juan González (Puerto Rico)
  • 1998 – Sammy Sosa (Dominican Republic)
  • 1998 – Juan González (Puerto Rico)
  • 1999 – Ivan Rodríguez (Puerto Rico)
  • 2002 – Miguel Tejada (Dominican Republic)
  • 2003 – Alex Rodríguez (Dominican Republic)
  • 2004 – Vladimir Guerrero (Dominican Republic)
  • 2005 – Alex Rodriguez (Dominican Republic)
  • 2005 – Albert Pujols (Dominican Republic) 
  • 2007 – Alex Rodríguez (Dominican Republic)
  • 2008 – Albert Pujols (Dominican Republic)
  • 2009 – Albert Pujols (Dominican Republic)
  • 2012 – Miguel Cabrera (Venezuela)
  • 2013 – Miguel Cabrera (Venezuela)
  • 2017 – José Altuve (Venezuela)

There are other milestones than just MVP that Latin American players won so far.

INTERNATIONAL MILESTONES OF LATINO PLAYERS IN MLB:

  • 1951 – Chico Carrasquel (Venezuela), first overseas All-Star Game starter
  • 1956 – Luis Aparicio (Venezuela), first overseas American League Rookie of the Year
  • 1965 – Zoilo Versalles (Cuba), first overseas American League MVP 
  • 1969 – Mike Cuellar (Cuba), first overseas American League Cy Young Award
  • 1971 – Roberto Clemente (Puerto Rico), first overseas World Series MVP
  • 1973 – Roberto Clemente (Puerto Rico), first overseas player inducted into Hall of Fame
  • 2012 – Carlos Correa (Puerto Rico), first overseas No.1 draft selection

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