List of players from Puerto Rico in Major League Baseball

Puerto Rico currently has the second-most active players in Major League Baseball (MLB) among Latin-American jurisdictions, behind only the Dominican Republic. More than two-hundred players from the archipelago have played in the major leagues since 1942. This includes players who were born in either one of the archipelago's islands and those of Puerto Rican heritage who have represented Puerto Rico in international competition. Only those players who have worked in the league are listed, not those active in the minor leagues.

The first player from Puerto Rico to play in MLB was Hiram Bithorn.[1] After the baseball color line was abandoned following Jackie Robinson's debut in the league, more players from the island signed contracts. This led to an improvement in their performance, and some of them were selected to participate in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Including their names in the Major League Baseball Draft is a requisite for first-year players born in Puerto Rico, because the league recognizes the island as a jurisdiction within the United States.[2] Following the implementation of this measure, Puerto Rico's government requested exclusion from the draft and help to develop players, in order to reduce the impact of the change in the format of talent development.[2]

Historical performance and regulations

Baseball was introduced to Puerto Rico by immigrants during the nineteenth century. The first sanctioned baseball game in the island was played on January 9, 1898 in Santurce, Puerto Rico, where two teams composed of Puerto Rican, American and Cuban players participated.[3] After this game, baseball became a widespread sport and professional and amateur leagues were organized. During this time period, the Puerto Rico national teams experienced success on international competition and Afro-Puerto Rican players began to participate in the Negro Leagues.[4]


The first player born in Puerto Rico who played in MLB was Hiram Bithorn, who debuted as a pitcher with the Chicago Cubs on April 15, 1942.[1] This was followed by the introduction of African American players in Major League Baseball, which allowed more chances to players born in the island. Subsequently Afro-Puerto Rican players such as Orlando Cepeda and Victor Pellot began having solid performances in the league, and were selected to participate in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.[5] In 1973, Roberto Clemente became the first player from Puerto Rico and first Latin American to be elected as a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.[6] Since then Puerto Rico has kept a stable amount of players in the league. During this timeframe, several players have been selected to participate in the All-Star Game or won awards for their performance, while others imposed records within the league. These include Javy López, who holds the record for most home runs hit by a catcher in a single season.[7] Both Iván Rodríguez and Roberto Alomar hold the record for most Gold Glove Awards in their positions.[8][9] Recipients of the Most Valuable Player Award include Orlando Cepeda, Juan González and Iván Rodríguez. Roberto Clemente and Mike Lowell also won the World Series MVP Award in their respective divisions.[10] Carlos Delgado is the only Latin to hit 4 homers in a game.

Originally, players who were either born or naturalized in Puerto Rico were able to sign with MLB teams as free agents, usually receiving minor-league contracts prior to their debut in the league. In 1989, Major League Baseball decided to include the island in the list of jurisdictions within the United States, which made mandatory that first-year players include their name in the Major League Baseball Draft in order to receive a contract.[2] This was based on an initiative that was supposed to create a national and international drafting system. The change reduced the amount of players that were able to participate in the league, by limiting the number of them selected by the teams;[2] this led to the island's Secretary of Recreation and Sports, to formally ask to Major League's involvement in developing specialized schools to produce more players and other measures to reduce the impact of the draft's implementation.[2] The original proposal included Puerto Rico's exclusion of the draft for a period of ten years, but this was not approved by the league.

Puerto Rico was one of sixteen teams to participate in the inaugural edition of the World Baseball Classic.[11] The tournament was created by Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association, and other professional baseball leagues and their players associations around the world, including the Puerto Rican Professional Baseball League. The first event was organized in 2006, and was sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation. The Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico served as one of the venues for the first and second rounds.[12] The stadium also hosted 22 Montreal Expos home games in 2003, after the league decided to relocate the team to San Juan as part of an experiment to "globalize" baseball.[13] During the series there was an average attendance of 14,222.[14]

List of players

This includes a total of 234 baseball players from Puerto Rico that have played in MLB from 1942 to the present day.

A–E

Name Debut team Years active Reference
Juan Agosto Chicago White Sox
1981–1993
[15]
Luis Aguayo Philadelphia Phillies
1980–1989
[16]
Jonathan Albaladejo Washington Nationals
2007–present
[17]
Jose Alberro Texas Rangers
1995–1997
[18]
Luis Alcaraz Los Angeles Dodgers
1967–1970
[19]
Luis Alicea St. Louis Cardinals
1988–2002
[20]
Sandy Alomar, Jr. San Diego Padres
1988–2007
[21]
Sandy Alomar, Sr. Milwaukee Braves
1964–1978
[22]
Roberto Alomar San Diego Padres
1988–2004
[23]
Luis Alvarado Boston Red Sox
1968–1977
[24]
Orlando Alvarez Los Angeles Dodgers
1973–1976
[25]
Luis Aquino Toronto Blue Jays
1986–1995
[26]
Luis Arroyo St. Louis Cardinals
1955–1963
[27]
Luis Atilano Washington Nationals
2010–present
[28]
Ramón Avilés Boston Red Sox
1977–1981
[29]
Benny Ayala New York Mets
1974–1985
[30]
Carlos Baerga Cleveland Indians
1990–2005
[31]
Carlos Beltrán Kansas City Royals
1998–present
[32]
Juan Beníquez Boston Red Sox
1971–1987
[33]
Yamil Benitez Montreal Expos
1995–1998
[34]
Tony Bernazard Montreal Expos
1979–1991
[35]
Carlos Bernier Pittsburgh Pirates
1953
[36]
Hiram Bithorn Chicago Cubs
1942–1947
[1]
Hiram Bocachica Los Angeles Dodgers
2000–2007
[37]
Ricky Bones San Diego Padres
1991–2001
[38]
Juan Bonilla San Diego Padres
1981–1987
[39]
Fernando Cabrera Cleveland Indians
2004–present
[40]
Ivan Calderón Seattle Mariners
1984–1993
[41]
Kiko Calero St. Louis Cardinals
2003–present
[42]
Robinson Cancel Milwaukee Brewers
1999–present
[43]
Javier Cardona Detroit Tigers
2000–2002
[44]
Rafael Carmona Seattle Mariners
1995–1999
[45]
Raúl Casanova Detroit Tigers
1996–present
[46]
Ramón Castro Florida Marlins
1999–present
[47]
Orlando Cepeda San Francisco Giants
1958–1974
[48]
Alex Cintrón Arizona Diamondbacks
2001–present
[49]
Edgard Clemente Colorado Rockies
1998–2005
[50]
Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Pirates
1955–1972
[51]
Jaime Cocanower Milwaukee Brewers
1983–1986
[52]
Willie Collazo New York Mets
2007–present
[53]
Onix Concepción Kansas City Royals
1980–1987
[54]
Ramón Conde Chicago White Sox
1962
[55]
Alex Cora Los Angeles Dodgers
1998–present
[56]
Joey Cora San Diego Padres
1987–1998
[57]
Wil Cordero Montreal Expos
1992–2007
[58]
Edwin Correa Chicago White Sox
1985–1987
[59]
César Crespo San Diego Padres
2001–present
[60]
Felipe Crespo Toronto Blue Jays
1996–2001
[61]
Héctor Cruz St. Louis Cardinals
1973–1982
[62]
Iván Cruz New York Yankees
1997–2002
[63]
José Cruz St. Louis Cardinals
1970–1988
[64]
José Cruz, Jr. Seattle Mariners
1997–present
[65]
Cirilo "Tommy" Cruz St. Louis Cardinals
1973–1977
[66]
Iván DeJesús Los Angeles Dodgers
1974–1988
[67]
Luis De León St. Louis Cardinals
1981–1989
[68]
Carlos Delgado Toronto Blue Jays
1993–present
[69]
Puchy Delgado Seattle Mariners
1977
[70]
Alex Diaz Milwaukee Brewers
1992–1999
[71]
Edgar Díaz Milwaukee Brewers
1986–1990
[72]
Edwin Díaz Arizona Diamondbacks
1998–1999
[73]
Mario Díaz Seattle Mariners
1987–1995
[74]
Nino Escalera Cincinnati Redlegs
1954
[75]

F–L


Name Debut team Years active Reference
Irving Falu Kansas City Royals
2012–present
Jesús Feliciano New York Mets
2010–present
[76]
Pedro Feliciano New York Mets
2002–present
[77]
Sergio Ferrer Minnesota Twins
1974–1979
[78]
Ed Figueroa California Angels
1974–1981
[79]
Luis Figueroa Pittsburgh Pirates
2001–present
[80]
Gil Flores California Angels
1977–1979
[81]
Miguel Fuentes Seattle Pilots
1969
[82]
Pedro García Milwaukee Brewers
1973–1977
[83]
Leo Gómez Baltimore Orioles
1990–1996
[84]
Rubén Gómez New York Giants
1953–1962
[85]
Andy González Chicago White Sox
2007–present
[86]
Dicky González New York Mets
2001–2004
[87]
Fernando González Pittsburgh Pirates
1972–1979
[88]
Juan González Texas Rangers
1989–2005
[89]
Julio González Houston Astros
1977–1983
[90]
Raúl González Chicago Cubs
2000–2004
[91]
Julio Gotay St. Luis Cardinals
1960–1969
[92]
Rubén Gotay Kansas City Royals
2004–present
[93]
Edwards Guzmán San Francisco Giants
1999–2003
[94]
José Guzmán Texas Rangers
1985–1994
[95]
Jesús Hernaiz Philadelphia Phillies
1974
[96]
Alex Hernández Pittsburgh Pirates
2000–2001
[97]
José Hernández Texas Rangers
1991–2006
[98]
Ramón Hernández Atlanta Braves
1967–1977
[99]
Roberto Hernández Chicago White Sox
1991–2007
[100]
Willie Hernández Chicago Cubs
1977–1989
[101]
Orlando Isales Philadelphia Phillies
1980
[102]
Coco Laboy Montreal Expos
1969–1973
[103]
Ricky Ledée New York Yankees
1998–2007
[104]
José León Baltimore Orioles
2002–2004
[105]
Carlos Lezcano Chicago Cubs
1980–1981
[106]
Sixto Lezcano Milwaukee Brewers
1974–1985
[107]
Frankie Libran San Diego Padres
1969
[108]
José Lind Pittsburgh Pirates
1987–1995
[109]
Art López New York Yankees
1965
[110]
Felipe López Toronto Blue Jays
2001–present
[111]
Javier López Colorado Rockies
2003–present
[112]
Javy López Atlanta Braves
1992–2006
[113]
Luis López San Diego Padres
1993–2005
[114]
Mike Lowell Boston Redsox
1998–present
[115]

M–Q


Name Debut team Years active Reference
Candy Maldonado Los Angeles Dodgers
1981–1991
[116]
Angel Mangual Pittsburgh Pirates
1969–1976
[117]
Pepe Mangual Montreal Expos
1972–1977
[118]
Félix Mantilla Lamela Milwaukee Braves
1956–1966
[119]
Luis Márquez Boston Braves
1951–1954
[120]
Oreste Marrero Montreal Expos
1993–1996
[121]
Carmelo Martínez Chicago Cubs
1983–1991
[122]
Edgar Martínez Seattle Mariners
1987–2004
[123]
Javier Martínez Pittsburgh Pirates
1998
[124]
Damon Mashore Oakland Athletics
1996–1998
[125]
Luis Matos Baltimore Orioles
2000–2007
[126]
Edwin Maysonet Houston Astros
2008–present
[127]
Francisco Meléndez Philadelphia Phillies
1984–1989
[128]
José Meléndez Seattle Mariners
1990–1994
[129]
Luis Meléndez St. Louis Cardinals
1970–1976
[130]
Héctor Mercado Cincinnati Reds
2000–2003
[131]
Orlando Mercado Seattle Mariners
1982–1990
[132]
Orlando Merced Pittsburgh Pirates
1990–2003
[133]
Félix Millán Atlanta Braves
1966–1977
[134]
Angel Miranda Milwaukee Brewers
1993–1997
[135]
Bengie Molina Anaheim Angels
1998–present
[136]
José Molina Chicago Cubs
1999–present
[137]
Yadier Molina St. Louis Cardinals
2004–present
[138]
Rafael Montalvo Houston Astros
1986
[139]
Lou Montañez Baltimore Orioles
2008–present
[140]
Willie Montañez California Angels
1966–1982
[141]
Charlie Montoyo Montreal Expos
1993
[142]
Jerry Morales San Diego Padres
1969–1983
[143]
José Morales Minnesota Twins
2007–present
[144]
Roger Moret Boston Red Sox
1970–1978
[145]
Manny Muñiz Philadelphia Phillies
1971
[146]
Bobby Muñoz New York Yankees
1993–2001
[147]
Pedro Muñoz Minnesota Twins
1990–1996
[148]
Jaime Navarro Milwaukee Brewers
1989–2000
[149]
Julio Navarro Los Angeles Angels
1962–1970
[150]
Tito Navarro New York Mets
1993
[151]
Juan Nieves Milwaukee Brewers
1986–1988
[152]
Melvin Nieves Atlanta Braves
1992–1998
[153]
Wil Nieves San Diego Padres
2002–present
[154]
Edwin Núñez Seattle Mariners
1982–1994
[155]
Ed Olivares St. Louis Cardinals
1960–1961
[156]
Omar Olivares St. Louis Cardinals
1990–2001
[157]
Francisco Oliveras Minnesota Twins
1989–1992
[158]
Luis Rodríguez Olmo Brooklyn Dodgers
1943–1951
[159]
José Oquendo New York Mets
1983–1995
[160]
Héctor Ortiz Kansas City Royals
1998–2002
[161]
José Ortiz Chicago White Sox
1969–1971
[162]
Junior Ortíz Pittsburgh Pirates
1982–1994
[163]
Willis Otañez Baltimore Orioles
1998–1999
[164]
Ricky Otero New York Mets
1995–1997
[165]
Jorge Padilla Washington Nationals
2009–present
Juan Padilla New York Yankees
2004–2005
[166]
Ángel Pagán Chicago Cubs
2006–present
[167]
José Pagán San Francisco Giants
1959–1973
[168]
Sam Parrilla Philadelphia Phillies
1970
[169]
Victor Pellot Philadelphia Athletics
1954–1965
[170]
Bert Peña Houston Astros
1981–1987
[171]
Luis Peraza Philadelphia Phillies
1969
[172]
Mike Pérez St. Louis Cardinals
1990–1997
[173]
Joel Piñeiro Seattle Mariners
2000–present
[174]
Juan Pizarro Milwaukee Braves
1957–1974
[175]
Carlos Ponce Milwaukee Brewers
1985
[176]
Jorge Posada New York Yankees
1995–2011
[177]
Luis Quiñones Oakland Athletics
1983–1992
[178]
Rey Quiñones Boston Red Sox
1986–1989
[179]
Luis Quintana California Angels
1974–1975
[180]

R–W


Name Debut team Years active Reference
Mario Ramírez New York Mets
1980–1985
[181]
Milt Ramírez St. Louis Cardinals
1970–1979
[182]
Alex Ríos Toronto Blue Jays
2004–present
[183]
Armando Ríos San Francisco Giants
1998–2003
[184]
Juan Ríos Kansas City Royals
1969
[185]
Bombo Rivera Montreal Expos
1975–1982
[186]
Carlos Rivera Pittsburgh Pirates
2003–2004
[187]
Germán Rivera Los Angeles Dodgers
1983–1985
[188]
Luis Rivera Montreal Expos
1986–1998
[189]
Mike Rivera Detroit Tigers
2001–present
[190]
René Rivera Seattle Mariners
2002–present
[191]
Roberto Rivera Chicago Cubs
1995–1999
[192]
Saúl Rivera Washington Nationals
2006–present
[193]
Eduardo Rodríguez Milwaukee Brewers
1973–1979
[194]
Edwin Rodríguez New York Yankees
1982–1985
[195]
Ellie Rodríguez New York Yankees
1968–1976
[196]
Iván Rodríguez Texas Rangers
1991–2010
[197]
José Rodríguez St. Louis Cardinals
2000–2002
[198]
Tony Rodríguez Boston Red Sox
1996
[199]
Ed Romero Milwaukee Brewers
1977–1989
[200]
J. C. Romero Minnesota Twins
1999–present
[201]
Jorge Roque St. Louis Cardinals
1970–1973
[202]
Luis Rosado New York Mets
1977–1980
[203]
Jimmy Rosario San Francisco Giants
1971–1976
[204]
Santiago Rosario Kansas City Athletics
1965
[205]
Dave Rosello Chicago Cubs
1972–1981
[206]
Rico Rossy Atlanta Braves
1991–1998
[207]
Chico Ruiz Atlanta Braves
1978–1980
[208]
Ángel Sánchez Kansas City Royals
2006–present
[209]
Jonathan Sánchez San Francisco Giants
2006–present
[210]
Orlando Sánchez St. Louis Cardenals
1981–1984
[211]
Rey Sánchez Chicago Cubs
1991–2005
[212]
Benito Santiago San Diego Padres
1986–2005
[213]
José Santiago Cleveland Indians
1954–1956
[214]
José "Palillo" Santiago Kansas City Athletics
1963–1970
[215]
José Santiago Kansas City Royals
1997–present
[216]
Rafael Santo Domingo Cincinnati Reds
1979
[217]
Angel Santos Boston Red Sox
2001–2003
[218]
Omir Santos Baltimore Orioles
2008–present
[219]
Candy Sierra San Diego Padres
1988
[220]
Rubén Sierra Texas Rangers
1986–2006
[221]
Geovany Soto Chicago Cubs
2005–present
[222]
Danny Tartabull Seattle Mariners
1984–1997
[223]
Valmy Thomas New York Giants
1957–1961
[224]
Dickie Thon California Angels
1979–1993
[225]
Andrés Torres Detroit Tigers
2002–present
[226]
Félix Torres Los Angeles Angels
1962–1964
[227]
Rusty Torres New York Yankees
1971–1981
[228]
Pedro Valdés Chicago Cubs
1996–2000
[229]
Javier Valentín Minnesota Twins
1997–present
[230]
José Valentín Milwaukee Brewers
1992–2007
[231]
Julio Valera New York Mets
1990–1996
[232]
Héctor Valle Los Angeles Dodgers
1965
[233]
Eddie Vargas Pittsburgh Pirates
1982–1984
[234]
Roberto Vargas Milwaukee Braves
1955
[235]
Javier Vázquez Montreal Expos
1998–present
[236]
Ramón Vázquez Seattle Mariners
2001–present
[237]
Jesús Vega Minnesota Twins
1979–1982
[238]
Carlos Velázquez Milwaukee Brewers
1973
[239]
Otto Vélez New York Yankees
1973–1983
[240]
José Vidro Montreal Expos
1997–present
[241]
Héctor Villanueva Chicago Cubs
1990–1993
[242]
Ismael Villegas Atlanta Braves
2000
[243]
Ozzie Virgil, Jr. Philadelphia Phillies
1980–1990
[244]
Bernie Williams New York Yankees
1991–2006
[245]

See also

Puerto Rico portal
Baseball portal

References

External links