Baseball is played all around the globe, and accordingly, there have been great sluggers from many different parts of the world. Which MLB player has the most home runs of anyone who was born in his native country (or in the case of Puerto Rico, territory)? Here's a look, with a minimum of 100 career homers necessary to qualify for this list:
Aruba: Xander Bogaerts, 118
It didn’t take long for Bogaerts to take this title -- he hit his fifth home run in his 73rd career game. Bogaerts, born in Oranjestad, has really started to show his raw power over the past three seasons -- he hit a career-best 33 home runs for the Red Sox in 2019, when he finished fifth in American League MVP Award voting. Heading into his age-28 season, he’s just entering the prime of his career, so we can expect this number to increase substantially.
Runner-up: Chadwick Tromp, 4
Australia: Dave Nilsson, 105
Nilsson was born in Brisbane and became the best Australian-born position player to appear in the Majors. The catcher was an All-Star with the Brewers in 1999, hitting .309/.400/.554 with 21 homers in 115 games. But that was the last time he’d appear in a Major League game -- the following year, in order to qualify to play for Australia in the 2000 Olympics, he signed with the Chunichi Dragons in Japan. But he struggled there, batting just .180 in 18 games before being demoted to the minor leagues. He did get the chance to represent his country in the Olympics, though, and did well, hitting .565 with six doubles and six RBIs for Team Australia. He attempted an MLB comeback with the Braves organization in 2004, but didn’t reach the Majors.
Runner-up: Joe Quinn, 30
Brazil: Yan Gomes, 103
The Sao Paulo-born Gomes hit a career-high 21 homers with a .785 OPS for the Indians in 2014, winning the Silver Slugger Award for AL catchers. He was an All-Star for Cleveland four years later, posting a .762 OPS with 16 homers in 2018. He was a key member of the 2019 Nationals, who started off 19-31, but went on to win the first World Series title in franchise history. He hit .429 in the NL Championship Series against the Cardinals.
Runner-up: Paulo Orlando, 14
Canada: Larry Walker, 383
Walker became the first position player born in Canada to reach the Hall of Fame when he was elected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on his final ballot in 2020. The native of Maple Ridge debuted with the Expos in 1989, and went on to launch 383 homers over his 17-season career, including a career-high 49 in a 1997 National League MVP campaign. He remains the only Rockies player to win an MVP Award, and became the first Rockies player to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Walker was much more than a slugger -- a true five-tool player, he won seven Gold Glove Awards in right field and stole 230 bases.
Runner-up: Joey Votto, 295
Colombia: Edgar Renteria, 140
Renteria, who was born Barranquilla, etched his name in the history books in his rookie season, when he hit a walk-off single up the middle to win Game 7 of the 1997 World Series for the Marlins. Thirteen years later, he delivered another hit that would prove to be the difference in the clinching game of the World Series -- a three-run homer for the Giants off Rangers ace Cliff Lee in the seventh inning of Game 5 to put the franchise on the verge of its first World Series championship since moving to San Francisco in 1958. Renteria also played for the Cardinals, Red Sox, Braves, Tigers and Reds over a 16-season MLB career.
Runner-up: Orlando Cabrera, 123
Cuba: Rafael Palmeiro, 569
Palmeiro has the distinction of being the slugger who hit the most home runs while hailing from Cuba, one of the most prolific countries in the world when it comes to producing Major League talent. With a smooth, easy swing, the La Habana native launched 30 or more homers 10 times while playing first base for the Cubs, Rangers and Orioles in a career that spanned 20 seasons. In an era filled with great first basemen, Palmeiro was an All-Star only four times, a number that certainly could have been higher, and won three Gold Glove Awards.
Runner-up: Jose Canseco, 462
Curacao: Andruw Jones, 434
With Jones being one of the greatest defensive center fielders of all time, it can be easy to forget just how powerful he was at the plate -- he smashed 434 homers over a 17-season career, including an MLB-best 51 in 2005. From 2000-06, the Willemstad native averaged 37 homers a season as he continued to rack up the Gold Glove Awards -- he finished with 10 of those. Playing for the Braves beginning in the mid-1990s, Jones had a lot of postseason opportunities and made the most of them, belting 10 homers, including two as a rookie in 1996.
Runner-up: Jonathan Schoop, 141
Dominican Republic: Albert Pujols, 662
He’s one of the greatest right-handed hitters in the history of the sport. Pujols, who hails from Santo Domingo, passed Willie Mays on the all-time home run list with two against the Rangers on Sept. 18, 2020. He is currently fifth, with an outside chance to surpass Alex Rodriguez (696) for fourth before it’s all said and done. He’s a three-time NL MVP, a 10-time All-Star, and hit 30 or more homers in each of his first 12 MLB seasons. Nicknamed “The Machine” with good reason, he hit 40 or more homers seven times, leading the Majors with 47 in 2009, and leading the NL with 42 in 2010.
Runner-up: Sammy Sosa, 609
Germany: Max Kepler, 101
Kepler was born in Berlin and graduated from Berlin’s John F. Kennedy High School before signing with the Twins in 2009. And what a find he was for Minnesota -- Kepler’s breakout year was 2019, when he launched 36 homers while posting an .855 OPS, garnering a few MVP Award votes. He’s under team control through 2023, and will likely put a lot more distance between himself and the runner-up in the years to come.
Runner-up: Mike Blowers, 78
Jamaica: Chili Davis, 350
Davis, who hails from Kingston, enjoyed a long and successful Major League career, lengthening it to 19 seasons by becoming a full-time designated hitter in the later years. Davis’ career-high of 30 home runs came at age 37 in 1997, a season before he joined the Yankees for the final two years of his career, helping the Bronx Bombers win back-to-back World Series championships as part of the Yankees’ 3-peat from 1998-2000. Overall, Davis played for five clubs during his career -- the Giants, Angels and Twins in addition to the Royals and Yankees.
Runner-up: Devon White, 208
Japan: Hideki Matsui, 175
Sure, perhaps if Ichiro decided he wanted to be more of a power hitter at the expense of his batting average, he would have hit more homers during his career, but the fact remains that Matsui is the home run leader among Japanese-born Major Leaguers. Matsui came to the Majors from the Nippon Professional Baseball organization at age 29 in 2003, and immediately made an impact for the Yankees. He didn’t miss a single game from 2003-05, and had his first big year in ’04, when he hit .298/.390/.522 with a career-high 31 homers. He will perhaps be most remembered for his 2009 World Series MVP performance -- he hit .615 with three homers and eight RBIs in New York’s six-game victory over the Phillies.
Runner-up: Ichiro Suzuki, 117
Mexico: Vinny Castilla, 320
Castilla was born in Oaxaca and signed by the Braves after raising eyebrows in the Mexican League. He was skinny, but wiry strong, and didn’t miss fastballs. He got his big break when the Rockies selected him from Atlanta in the 1991 Expansion Draft. Castilla gradually got more playing time, and in 1995, became a member of the Colorado slugging group nicknamed “the Blake Street Bombers.” Amazingly, from 1996-97, Castilla posted identical figures in batting average (.304), home runs (40) and RBIs (113). Then came 1998, his finest season, when he posted a .951 OPS (127 OPS+) with 46 homers and 144 RBIs.
Runner-up: Jorge Orta, 130
Netherlands: Didi Gregorius, 120
Gregorius, like Bogaerts, earned this title pretty fast -- he hit his third homer in his 16th career game. The Amsterdam native began his career with the D-backs, but really took off after joining the Yankees, averaging 24 homers per year for New York from 2016-18. Still just 30, he’ll be widening that 118-homer gap between himself and second place among Dutch-born Major Leaguers.
Runner-up: Greg Halman and Jack Lelivelt, 2 each
Panama: Carlos Lee, 358
Lee was born in Aguadulce and signed by the White Sox in 1994. Upon reaching the Majors in ’99, he was a productive hitter, and from 2000-09, he averaged 29 homers and an .852 OPS per season for the White Sox, Brewers, Rangers and Astros. He was a three-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger Award winner and received MVP Award votes in three seasons.
Runner-up: Ben Oglivie, 235
Puerto Rico (U.S.): Carlos Delgado, 473
You can hear Rich Eisen now: “Carlos Delgado … DelGAAAT-it.” Delgado was a purveyor of massive home runs, including four in one game at SkyDome on July 25, 2003, against the Orioles. Delgado, a native of Aguadilla, smashed 25 homers in his first full season in 1996, and didn’t look back -- he hit 30 or more homers in each of the next 10 years, finishing fourth in AL MVP Award voting in 2000, and runner-up in 2003, the season he hit those four homers in a single game.
Runner-up: Carlos Beltrán, 435
South Korea: Shin-Soo Choo, 218
Choo, who was born in Busan, has spent 16 seasons in the Majors, primarily as a right fielder and designated hitter. He’s been productive at the plate throughout his career, even while getting older. Though he’s never eclipsed the 30-homer mark in a season, Choo has consistently hit 20-plus over the years, including a career-best 24 for the Rangers in 2019. Though he made his MLB debut with the Mariners in 2005, he only played in 14 games for Seattle before being traded to the Indians. He made a name for himself while with Cleveland, and was traded to the Reds after the 2012 campaign. Following one season with Cincinnati, he joined Texas, where he has played since.
Runner-up: Jung Ho Kang, 46
United Kingdom: Bobby Thomson, 264
Thomson has a lasting place in baseball lore for “the Shot Heard 'Round the World,” a walk-off home run for the New York Giants against the Brooklyn Dodgers to win the 1951 NL pennant. It is considered one of the most famous home runs in baseball history, but Thomson hit a lot more homers over a 15-season career. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and arrived with his family at Ellis Island in New York when he was 3 years old. Thomson hit 20 or more homers eight times and drove in more than 100 runs four times, earning three All-Star selections.
Runner-up: Tom Brown, 64
United States: Barry Bonds, 762
Bonds is the all-time and single-season home run king, and one of the greatest position players in baseball history. Born in Riverside, Calif., he was raised in the Bay Area, where his father, Bobby, was a star outfielder for the Giants. Barry was drafted by the Pirates sixth overall in 1985, and soon became the best all-around player in the game, winning the first two of seven career NL MVP Awards in 1990 and ’92 with Pittsburgh. He then signed with his hometown Giants as a free agent that offseason, and proceeded to hit 586 homers with San Francisco, including a record 73 in 2001.
Runner-up: Hank Aaron, 755
Venezuela: Miguel Cabrera, 487
Cabrera got to demonstrate just how great a hitter he was right off the bat, as his Marlins won the 2003 World Series in his rookie season thanks in large part to his bat, from which three homers left the yard in the NLCS against the Cubs, and another in the Fall Classic against the Yankees. Born in Maracay, he was instantly one of the best sluggers in the game, smashing 30-plus homers in nine of the next 10 seasons. He is a two-time AL MVP and won the Triple Crown in 2012 for the Tigers. Before it’s all said and done, he’ll very likely be part of the prestigious 500-home run club.
Runner-up: Andres Galarraga, 399