MLB rosters feature 251 international players

March 29th, 2019

A total of 251 players represented 20 different countries and territories outside of the 50 United States on 2019 Opening Day 25-man rosters and inactive lists, Major League Baseball announced today.

The 251 players born outside the U.S. (28.5%) come from a record-high pool of 882 players (749 active 25-man roster players and 133 injured, suspended or restricted Major League players) on March 28th rosters. Opening Day and inactive list players represented 20 countries and territories by birthplace, the second-highest total behind only the record 21 countries and territories represented in 2018. The 251 foreign-born players are the third-highest total in history, trailing 2017 (259) and 2018 (254), and the percentage of 28.5 is the fifth-highest figure in history, behind 2017 (29.8), 2005 (29.2), 2007 (29.0) and 2018 (29.0).

As it has each year since MLB began releasing this annual data in 1995, the Dominican Republic again leads the Major Leagues with a record 102 players born outside the United States. This marks the first time in history that any foreign country or territory has exceeded 100 players on Opening Day rosters. In addition, Dominican-born players represent 11.6% of the pool of 882 Major Leaguers, marking the second-highest total ever behind only the 11.7 in 2007 (99 of 849). The D.R. accounts for 40.6% of all internationally-born players on Opening Day rosters, the most ever, eclipsing the previous mark of 40.4% in 1995 (57 of 141).

Venezuela ranks second with 68 players, while Cuba places third with 19 players. Rounding out the totals are Puerto Rico (18); Mexico (8); Japan (6); Canada (6); Curaçao (5, tied with 2014 and 2018 for its record high); South Korea (5); Colombia (4); Aruba (1); Australia (1); Brazil (1); Germany (1); Lithuania (1); Netherlands (1); Nicaragua (1); Panama (1); Taiwan (1); and the U.S. Virgin Islands (1). 

The Minnesota Twins and the Pittsburgh Pirates have the most internationally-born players with a total of 14 on each roster. They are followed by the Chicago White Sox (13), Miami Marlins (11), Tampa Bay Rays (11), New York Yankees (10), Oakland Athletics (10), Philadelphia Phillies (10) and Texas Rangers (10). The Los Angeles Dodgers, Yankees and Athletics each have players from seven different countries and territories outside the U.S., marking the most in the Majors. They are followed by the Atlanta Braves (5), Boston Red Sox (5), Chicago Cubs (5), Cleveland Indians (5), Houston Astros (5), Twins (5) and Rays (5).

For the 2019 season, MLB will work with 129 international media partners to broadcast games in 15 languages across 204 countries and territories.