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 currently have jumped two spots to claim the 9th position.
A critical observation of my research is posing the question – will CUBA baseball go the way of the Negro Leagues? From my perspective the answer is no because while the talent has decimated during the last decade, baseball in Cuba is a national commodity whereas the Negro Leagues were part of the African-American culture making it much easier to transition into the broader society.
A couple of notes from this year’s edition
- The 2022 lineup totals 27 players, an increase of two.
- American league teams have the majority of players at 17, unchanged from last year.
- The National league has 10.
- Surprisingly 15 teams have ZERO players.
- 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||2021||2022||Change 2022 v 2021|
|Boston Red Sox||0||0||0|
|Chicago White Sox||4||4||1|
|Kansas City Royals||1||0||0|
|Los Angeles Angels||1||0||1|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||1||1||1|
|New York Mets||0||0||0|
|New York Yankees||1||1||1|
|San Diego Padres||1||0||1|
|San Francisco Giants||0||0||0|
|St. Louis Cardinals||1||0||1|
|Tampa Bay Rays||2||2||0|
|Toronto Blue Jays||1||1||0|
The Last Out (Doc)
Last Seasons in Havana: The Castro Revolution and the End of Professional Baseball in Cuba
The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball
Gonzalez Echevarria, Roberto
Major League Cuban (Doc)
Jailed for Smuggling Players
Whether you are a serious fan of Cuban baseball or the Negro Leagues you will find this documentary an outstanding piece to help you better understand the history. It came out in 2020 and I viewed it as part of my Amazon account.
Here is another good doc to give more perspective. The material is good but the authors appear somewhat bias towards to bitterness to the Castro regime. For me, of all the interviews and voices presented I did not count one from an Afro-Cuban perspective, but still good information to balance your thoughts. The doc is part of public broadcasting so you will need to match up your local channel and when it (if) will be shown.