World Baseball Network
At the beginning of the 2022 Major League Season, the Dominican Republic had 99 players on the 40-man roster of Major League Baseball clubs — the second largest number of players of any country other than the United States. By the conclusion of the 2022 season, a total of 171 players from the Dominican Republic had appeared on the 26- and 40-man rosters, comprising over 11% of players from the island along with outside of the United States.
Since the first Dominican-born player, shortstop Ozzie Virgil Sr., stepped onto a Major league field for the New York Giants on Sept. 23, 1956, the Dominican Republic has had 863 players play in the Major Leagues. Here are the top 10 players from the Dominican Republic according to World Baseball Network.
10. Miguel Tejada – Oakland, 1997–2003; Baltimore, 2004, 2010; Houston, 2008–09; San Diego, 2010; San Francisco, 2011; Kansas City, 2013.
Tejada was a workhorse, playing in 162 games for six consecutive seasons, including 2002 in Oakland, the year he won the A.L. MVP. A six-time all-star and two-time Silver Slugger winner, Tejada batted .285 over his career, with 2,407 hits and 307 home runs. Tejada pleaded guilty to perjury in 2009 for lying to the U.S. Congress during testimony about steroid use by his Baltimore teammate Rafael Palmeiro. In 2013, he was suspended 105 games for testing positive for amphetamines.
9. Moises Alou – Pittsburgh, 1990; Montreal, 1990, 1992–1996; Florida, 1997; Houston, 1998, 2000–2001; Chicago (N.L.), 2002–04; San Francisco, 2005–06, New York (N.L.), 2007–08.
Alou, the son of long-time major league player and manager Felipe Alou and brother of Luis Rojas, came from a baseball family. He put together a solid career, appearing in 1,942 games across 17 seasons with seven different teams, batting .303 for his career with 2,134 hits and 332 home runs. A six-time all-star and two-time Silver Slugger award winner, Alou won the World Series with Florida in 1997.
8. Manny Ramirez – Cleveland, 1993–2000; Boston, 2001–08; Los Angeles (N.L.) 2008–10; Chicago (A.L.), 2010; Tampa Bay, 2011; EDA Rhinos (CPBL), 2013.
Known for his quirky personality, Ramirez built a Hall of Fame resume, appearing in 12 All-Star Games, winning nine Silver Sluggers, an American League batting title (2002), and leading the A.L. in home runs in 2004. He’s best known for being the World Series M.V.P. for the 2004 Boston Red Sox team that won the World Series, breaking an 86 year run of futility at Fenway Park. Ramirez was suspended twice for using performance enhancing drugs, for 50 games in 2009 and 50 games in 2011, the last suspension effectively ending his major league career.
7. Adrian Beltre – Los Angeles (N.L.) 1998–2004; Seattle, 2005–09; Boston, 2010; Texas, 2011–18.
Beltre must have a big trophy case in his home to display his five Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers. The 5-foot-11, 220-pound third baseman put together one of the best careers ever at the hot corner, batting .286 while socking 477 homers and rapping out 3,166 career hits.
6. Sammy Sosa – Texas, 1989, 2007; Chicago (A.L), 1989–91; Chicago (N.L.), 1992–2004; Baltimore, 2005.
Sosa is best remembered for finishing second in the 1998 home run race, his 66 homers falling short of Mark McGwire’s 70. The seven-time all-star won the National League MVP and Roberto Clemente Awards in 1998, led the N.L. in homers in 2002 and 2002 and in RBI in 1998 and 2001. In 2009, the New York Times reported that Sosa had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs during MLB’s survey testing in 2003. The spectre of performance enhancing drugs kept Sosa out of the Hall of Fame via the Baseball Writers’ Association of America balloting, though he may one day get in via the Veteran’s Committee.
5. Vladimir Guerrero, Sr. – Montreal, 1996–2003; Los Angeles (A.L.), 2004–09; Texas, 2010; Baltimore, 2011.
A feared, free-swinging slugger, Guerrero played most of his career in relative obscurity in Montreal and Anaheim, but hit .318 with 449 career home runs. A winner of eight Silver Slugger awards, Guerrero appeared in nine All-Star Games, one World Series (2010), and was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018 on his second ballot.
4. David Ortiz – Minnesota, 1997-2002; Boston, 2003-16.
Big Papi, like Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski before him, will never pay for a drink in Boston for as long as he lives. He led the Red Sox to three World Series titles, was a 10-time all-star, a seven-time Silver Slugger, an ALCS M.V.P. (2004), and a World Series MVP (2013). He was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot, getting 77.9% of the vote, which makes you wonder the reasoning behind voting against someone with Ortiz’ numbers.
3. Pedro Martinez – Los Angeles (N.L.), 1992–93; Montreal, 1994–97; Boston, 1998–2004; New York (N.L.) 2005–08; Philadelphia, 2009.
Martinez is revered by fans in Boston and Montreal, who got to see him at his best. He won three Cy Young Awards, led the majors in ERA five times and the A.L. in strikeouts not once, not twice, but thrice. The eight-time all-star was a key member of the pitching staff of the 2004 Red Sox club that won the World Series.
2. Juan Marichal – San Francisco, 1960–73; Boston, 1974; Los Angeles (N.L.) 1975.
Marichal was a 10-time all-star for the Giants and one of the most dominant pitchers of the 1960s. He led the senior circuit in wins in 1963 and 1968 and in ERA in 1969. Marichal and the Braves’ Warren Spahn pitched complete games in a 16-inning marathon at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on July 2, 1963, that sports writers and fans often refer to as the greatest pitcher’s duel of all time. In one of the lowest points of the Giants/Dodgers rivalry, Marichal struck Dodgers catcher John Roseboro with a bat, instigating one of the worst brawls in baseball history on August 22, 1965. Marichal, nicknamed “The Dominican Dandy,” was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983 on his third ballot.
1. Albert Pujols* – St. Louis, 2001–11, 2022; Los Angeles (A.L.) 2012–21; Los Angeles (N.L.) 2021.
Pujols one of only four members of the 700 home run club, an 11-time all-star, three-time N.L. MVP, has two Gold Gloves and six Silver Sluggers, won a batting title, and twice led the N.L. in home runs – and if that wasn’t enough, he also has 3,384 career hits to his name. He’s a free agent for 2023, and even if he decides to retire rather than play next season, La Maquina will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.