NEW YORK (AP) — A record 109 players from the Dominican Republic were on opening-day major league rosters, boosted by an expanded pool following the layoff caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Major League Baseball said Friday that 288 of 1,026 players on opening-day rosters were born outside the 50 states, which comes to 28.1%. That is down slightly from 28.5% last year, 29% in 2018 and a record 29.8% in 2017.
Total players born outside the 50 states topped the previous high of 259 in 2017.
Dominican players were 10.6% of the big leagues, down from 11.6% last year and the record 11.7% in 2007, when there were 99 of 849.
Players came from 20 countries and territories, matching last year and one shy of the high in 2018.
San Francisco shortstop Mauricio Dubón became the first Honduran to make an opening-day roster.
There were 1,026 players in the pool, including 896 who were active, 109 on injured lists, 20 on the restricted list and one on the bereavement list.
Last year’s opening-day rosters included 251 of 882 players born outside the 50 states.
Active rosters increased to 30 for the first two weeks of this season but will drop gradually to 26, up one from the previous limit for the first five months of the season.
Venezuela was second with 75, followed by Cuba with 22 and Puerto Rico with 20, its highest total since 20 in 2011.
Canada, Japan and Mexico had nine each and Colombia seven, followed by Panama (five), Curaçao and South Korea (four each), Australia (three), Nicaragua and Taiwan (two apiece). Aruba, Brazil, Germany, Honduras, Lithuania and the Netherlands each had one,
Canada had its most players since nine in 2015, and Colombia topped it previous high of five in 2018. Panama’s total was its most since seven in 2012.
Houston and Minnesota Twins have the most players born outside the 50 states with 15 each, two more than the Chicago White Sox, Miami and New York Yankees.
The Yankees have players from eight countries and territories outside the U.S., one more than St. Louis.
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