Percentage of foreign players rises
NEW YORK -- The percentage of Major League Baseball players born outside the United States rose to its third-highest level.
The commissioner's office said Thursday that among the 856 players on opening day rosters, 243 were born outside the 50 states. The 28.4 percentage is up from 27.7 last year and trails only 2005 (29.2) and 2007 (29.0).
The Dominican Republic led with 95 players, four shy of its high in 2007. Venezuela set its high with 66, four more than last year.
Canada (15) was next, followed by Japan (13), Cuba and Puerto Rico (11 each), Mexico (nine), Panama (seven), Curacao and Australia (four apiece), Nicaragua (three), Taiwan (two), and Colombia, Italy and South Korea (one each).
Puerto Rico's total was its fewest since MLB started tracking the data in 1995 and is down from 28 in 2009.
Kansas City has the most players born outside the 50 states with 13, trailed by Colorado and the New York Yankees (12 each).
Figures include active rosters, 103 players on the disabled list and four on the restricted list.
Of 7,278 players with minor league contracts, 3,382 were born outside the 50 states. The 46.47 percent figure was down from 47.41 at the start of last season. The minor league figure includes players with big league deals who have been optioned.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press