Major League Baseball released its annual demographic analysis of Opening Day rosters today. The survey revealed that out of 882 players on active rosters, the injured list and the restricted list, 251 were born outside of the United States. Among those, 102 were from the Dominican Republic.
That’s the first time there have been more than 100 players from a single country other than the United States in major league history. Due to the larger number of players counted, however, that falls just short of the highest percentage of Dominican-born players. This year it was 11.6 percent. In 2007, 99 of 849 players were from the Dominican Republic, putting the figure at 11.7 percent.
The total of international players is the third highest behind 2017, when there were 259 players from outside the U.S., and last year, when there were 254. The 28.5 percent figure is down from 29 percent last year and is the fifth highest ever. The record was set in 2018 with 29.8 percent.
Overall, there were players from 20 countries on Opening Day rosters. After the United States and the Dominican Republic came Venezuela (68), Cuba (19), Puerto Rico (18), Mexico (eight), Japan and Canada (six each), Curacao and South Korea (five each), and Colombia (four). Aruba, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Taiwan and the U.S. Virgin Islands have one player each. Word on the street is that Hunter Pence is from Mars, but he was naturalized in 2007 and thus is counted as American, but I don’t put stock in rumors.
The Minnesota Twins and Pittsburgh Pirates have the most international-born players, with 14 each, followed by the Chicago White Sox with 13 and the Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays with 11 apiece.
Viva the national international pastime.