This year’s edition is late but once again we note professional baseball players who hail from Cuba and are now playing in Major League Baseball (MLB). The list is compiled from those making the 40 player roster of the thirty MLB teams. Like many professional sports in the United States the rosters have become more diversified representing players from all over the globe.
Cuba has a tremendous baseball legacy. It is the national sport. It became a key topic in my journey to explore the Negro League’s presence in a country where the teams were welcomed and a strong brotherhood was created. Before the U.S. imposed embargo players and many teams took great joy to make the trek to the Caribbean’s largest country. Even though key players have departed resulting in a sharp decline of their status in World Baseball Rankings, they still pose a threat to teams that take them lightly. In the last decade they were consistently in the top 5 and now find themselves in 11th place. During my recent visit to Esquina Caliente in downtown Havana the sentiment from the locals was it is time for the Cuban Baseball Federation to retool and make adjustments so they can regain their prestige on the world stage.
A couple of notes from this year’s edition
- The 2021 lineup totals 25 players
- American league teams have the majority of players at 17.
- The National league has 8.
- Surprisingly 15 teams have ZERO players (5 from American and 10 from National)
- Cuban National players account for approximately 2% of all players.
- MLB escalated investing in Latin America in the early ’60’s and it is not surprising that Dominican Republic leads the pack.
- Another important feature of this list is understanding Cuban baseball is still strong but over the years the top talent has been diluted as more players have defected or made it over to the U.S.A.
|TEAMS||2020||2021||Change 2021 v 2020|
|Boston Red Sox||0||0||0|
|Chicago White Sox||3||4||1|
|Kansas City Royals||1||1||0|
|Los Angeles Angels||0||1||1|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||0||1||1|
|New York Mets||0||0||0|
|New York Yankees||0||1||1|
|San Diego Padres||2||1||1|
|San Francisco Giants||0||0||0|
|St. Louis Cardinals||2||1||1|
|Tampa Bay Rays||2||2||0|
|Toronto Blue Jays||1||1||0|