Baseball is one of the most popular sports west of the Atlantic Ocean, where millions of people enjoy catching, throwing, and batting balls all year round. From the world’s best teams in the MLB, right down to minor league and Little League baseball, there’s a large and growing number of fans right around the world. The World Baseball Classic could prove that out.
And while the USA and Canada have provided a whole host of incredible athletes over the years (Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Barry Bonds ー we could go on), there have also been a number of great Latin American players that have graced the sport with their presence — and especially in recent years. Current MLB stars like Juan Soto, Carlos Correa, and Ronald Acuña Jr. all see their names regularly appear on the bet slips of expert punters on American and Canadian betting sites. In other words, Latin Americans are now essential members of their respective MLB teams, frequently playing crucial roles, leading their teams to glory, and breaking records along the way. Venezuelans, Dominicans, Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans – they’ve all become highly sought-after nationalities for MLB teams.
Ever since the sport made its way from the USA to Cuba, from Cuba to Venezuela, and from Venezuela to the rest of South and Central America, baseball has been fostering an ever-growing number of Latin American stars. Let’s take a look at some of the best baseball stars of Latin American origin currently in the MLB.
Ronald Acuña Jr.
Of course, we have to start with the MLB’s 2023 MVP, Ronald Acuña Jr. Since his breakout season in 2018 when he won National League Rookie of the Year, the Venezuelan has claimed four MLB All-Star appearances and set a host of modern-era records. Still only 25 years old, you can expect more things to come from this outfielder!
Born in Venezuela, this young catcher plays for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was recently awarded a Golden Glove Award and a Fielding Bible Award for his exploits during the 2023 MLB season, making him one of baseball’s most notable up-and-coming stars.
Fernando Tatís Jr.
The son of a former professional MLB player, Fernando Tatís Jr. is a Dominican-born professional shortstop and right fielder for the San Diego Padres. He was named an All-Star for the 2021 season and won a Fielding Bible Award during the 2023 MLB season.
Playing as a designated hitter and left fielder for the Houston Astros, Yordan “Air Yordan” Álvarez is a Cuban professional baseball player with a wicked left-handed bat. In 2019, he became just the fourth player in MLB history to hit four home runs in his first five games, and has gone from strength to strength ever since.
A former Nationals player, Yan Gomes currently plies his trade with the Chicago Cubs. The Brazilian helped the Washington Nationals win the World Series in 2019, playing an integral part as their keen-eyed catcher, and will go down as one of the best Brazilian players in MLB history.