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MLB Players On Opening Day Rosters Span The Globe



In 2018, baseball is truly an international game. This year’s Major League Opening Day rosters contain at least one player born on every continent with the exception of frozen and barren Antarctica.

Beyond the obvious representation from North America (United States, Mexico, Canada and others) and South America (Venezuela and Brazil among others), MLB also has plenty of representatives from Asia as usual (thanks to players from Japan and South Korea). 

This year, Australia has three players on Opening Day rosters as well (Peter Moylan, Warwick Saupold and Liam Hendriks). Africa is also represented thanks to Gift Ngeope, a South African native. And Europe has Max Kepler (Germany), Didi Gregorius (Netherlands) and Dovydas Neverauskas (Lithuania).

Ngeope is believed to be the first African-born player to make the majors. He was not on the Opening Day roster last year, so this is the first time in MLB history that all populated continents are represented on Opening Day.

As expected, the largest number of big leaguers in 2018 were born in the United States. Even counting Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands separately, 71.2 percent of all players on Opening Day active rosters were born in the U.S.



The Dominican Republic is second with 9.1 percent of the active big league population. Venezuela (8.8 percent) is the only other country with more than 20 big leaguers for Opening Day.

MLB Opening Day Players By Country

USA  | 534  | 71.30%

Dominican Republic | 68 | 9.08%

Venezuela | 66 | 8.81%

Puerto Rico | 17 | 2.27%

Cuba | 14 | 1.87%

Mexico | 10 | 1.34%

Japan | 8 | 1.07%

Canada | 5 | 0.67%

Curacao | 5 | 0.67%

Colombia | 4 | 0.53%

South Korea | 4 | 0.53%

Australia | 3 | 0.40%

Brazil | 2 | 0.27%

Germany | 2 | 0.27%

Nicaragua | 2 | 0.27%

Aruba | 1 | 0.13%

Lithuania | 1 | 0.13%

Netherlands | 1 | 0.13%

Saudi Arabia | 1 | 0.13%

South Africa | 1 | 0.13%

Kepler, Max Brace Hemmelgarn Minnesota Twins Getty Images (1)

One International Signing Class Can Reshape A Franchise. Just Ask The Twins.

The Twins' 2009 international class elevated their status in the Dominican Republic and landed future building blocks on a playoff team.

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