Adam Hunger/Getty Images

29.8% of players on 2017 Opening Day rosters born outside the U.S., setting new record

22 Comments

Major League Baseball announced on Monday that 259 players on rosters to open the 2017 season — 29.8 percent — were born outside the United States. That sets a new record. Those 259 players span 19 different countries and territories.

The previous record for total players born outside the U.S. on Opening Day rosters was 246 in 2007, and the previous record for percentage was 29.2 percent in 2005.

The Dominican Republic is the foreign nation with the most players on MLB rosters at 93. The only other countries with more than 10 are Venezuela (77), Cuba (23), and Puerto Rico (16).

The Rangers have the most foreign-born players on its roster with 14 players spanning six countries and territories. The only other teams with more than 10 are the Padres (12), Mariners (12), White Sox (11), Indians (11), Angels (11), and Phillies (11). The Royals have the most players from different countries and territories with eight.

José Ramirez’s 17-pitch at-bat kickstarts Indians’ five-run comeback in ninth inning

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
1 Comment

With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.

Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.

After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.