The Top 10 MLB Players From the Dominican Republic

There may be no greater cradle of talent in Major League Baseball than the Dominican Republic. The country's history with baseball dates to the late 1800s. The first Dominican player, Ozzie Virgil, made it to the majors in 1956. 

Out of more than 400 players to make the big leagues, here are the 10 best in MLB history to come out of the Dominican Republic. 

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Pedro Martinez

Pedro Martinez
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Starting pitcher Pedro Martinez played for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1992-93), the Montreal Expos (1994-97), the Boston Red Sox (1998-2004), the New York Mets (2005-08), and the Philadelphia Phillies (2009). 

A three-time Cy Young Award winner, Martinez was one of the most dominant pitchers of all-time with the highest winning percentage of any 200-game winner in the modern era. A native of Manoguayabo, Martinez threw hard and had an arsenal of pitches that was unrivaled in his era. He made eight All-Star teams — he was the All-Star Game MVP in 1999 — and he led the AL in ERAs four times and in strikeouts three times. He also won a World Series with the 2004 Red Sox. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2015. The Red Sox also retired his number in 2015. 

Stats: 18 years, 219-110, 2.93 ERA, 2827.1 IP, 2221 H, 3154 Ks, 1.054 WHIP

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Vladimir Guerrero

Vladimir Guerrero
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Vladimir Guerrero played in right field for the Montreal Expos (1996-2003), the Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels (2003-09), the Texas Rangers (2010) and the Baltimore Orioles (2011).

Another player on a Cooperstown track later this decade, Guerrero was a five-tool wonder early in his career and he was still a feared power hitter later. A native of Don Gergorio, Guerrero was the 2004 AL MVP and a nine-time All-Star and eight-time Silver Slugger winner. With 2,590 career hits, no player from the Dominican Republic had more until 2014. He batted better than .300 in every season from 1997 to 2008.

Stats: 16 years, .318, 449 HR, 1,496 RBI, 181 SB, .931 OPS

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Juan Marichal

Juan Marichal
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Juan Marichal was a starting pitcher with San Francisco Giants (1960-73), the Boston Red Sox (1974) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (1975)

One of the most intimidating pitchers of all-time, he was the first Dominican player to be voted into the Hall of Fame. A native of Laguna Verde, Marichal won more games – 161 – than any other player in the 1960s. The longtime Giants star was the winning pitcher in one of the greatest games ever pitched when he and fellow Hall-of-Famer Warren Spahn were locked in a scoreless duel for 15 innings in 1963. Marichal was a 10-time All-Star.

Stats: 16 years, 243-142, 2.89 ERA, 3507 IP, 3153 H, 2303 Ks, 1.101 WHIP

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Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano
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A second baseman, Robbie Cano played with the New York Yankees from 2005 until 2014 when he moved to the Seattle Mariners, where he's still active as of 2017. 

Cano is already a five-time All-Star and a two-time Gold Glove winner. A native of San Pedro de Macoris, he helped lead the Yankees to a World Series championship in 2009 and the Dominican Republic to the World Baseball Classic title in 2013. He was named captain of the Dominican Republic team in 2017. 

Stats through May 12, 2017: .306, 286 HR, 1,114 RBI, .853 OPS

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Manny Ramirez

Manny Ramirez photo
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Manny Ramirez played in the outfield for the Cleveland Indians (1993-2000), the Boston Red Sox (2001-08), the Los Angeles Dodgers (2008-10), the Chicago White Sox (2010) and the Tampa Bay Rays (2011). 

Ramirez was born in Santo Domingo and grew up in New York before he became one of the greatest hitters of his generation. He went to 12 All-Star Games and won a batting title, a home run title, an RBI title and a World Series title in 2004 when he was a teammate with Martinez in Boston. He hit 21 grand slams and 29 postseason home runs. He also reportedly tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 and 2009, and he was suspended twice by Major League Baseball. 

Stats: 19 years, .312, 555 HR, 1,831 RBI, .996 OPS

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David Ortiz

David Ortiz photo
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A designated hitter/first baseman with the Minnesota Twins (1997-2002) and the Boston Red Sox (2003-2016), "Big Papi" is perhaps the greatest designated hitter of all time. He was a key member of the Boston Red Sox for more than a decade. A nine-time All-Star, he had a knack for the big hit and he ended his career in 2016 with 2,472 hits. A native of Santo Domingo, he played a key role on two World Series winning teams and hit 54 home runs in 2006. But he was also on the list of players who tested positive for PEDs in 2003, a charge he denied. He said an over-the-counter supplement must have triggered the positive test. He's never been suspended.

Stats: 20 years, .286, 541 HR, 1,768 RBI, .931 OPS

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Sammy Sosa

Sammy Sosa
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Sammy Sosa played in the outfield with the Texas Rangers (1989, 2007), the Chicago White Sox (1989-91), the Chicago Cubs (1992-2004) and the Baltimore Orioles (2005). 

Sosa's 609 home runs rank eighth all-time and his RBI total is 27th in history. In an incredible stretch from 1998 to 2001, he hit 243 home runs, including 66 in 1998. But he was also reportedly one of several big-league stars to test positive for PEDs in 2003, although he said he was clean when he testified before Congress in 2005. 

Stats: 18 years, .273, 609 HR, 1,667 RBI, 234 SB, .878 OPS

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Adrian Beltre

Adrian Beltre
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A third baseman with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1998-2004), the Seattle Mariners (2005-09) and the Boston Red Sox (2010), Beltre has been with the Texas Rangers since 2011. He's a three-time All-Star and a four-time Gold Glove winner at third base. A native of Santo Domingo, he led the National League in home runs in 2004 with 48.

Stats through 2016: .286, 445 HR, 1,571 RBI, .818 OPS

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Julio Franco

Julio Franco photo
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Julio Franco played shortstop with eight teams: The Philadelphia Phillies (1982), the Cleveland Indians (1983-88, 1996-97), the Texas Rangers (1989-93), the Chicago White Sox (1994), the Milwaukee Brewers (1997), the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (1999), the Atlanta Braves (2001-05, 2007) and the New York Mets (2006-07)​

An ageless wonder, he hit line drives everywhere. He played in the Majors at age 49 in 2007 and had 2,586 hits in the major leagues. A three-time All-Star, the native of Hato Mayor led the AL in hitting in 1991 (.341).

Stats: 23 years, .298, 173 HR, 1,194 RBI, 281 SB, .782 OPS

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Pedro Guerrero

Pedro Guerror was an oufielder and first baseman with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1978-88) and the St. Louis Cardinals (1988-92)

From San Pedro de Macoris, the same town as several other big-league stars, Guerrero was one of the top hitters of the 1980s. A career .300 hitter, he shared World Series MVP honors in 1981 and was a five-time All-Star.

Stats: 15 years, .300, 215 HR, 898 RBI, .850 OPS

The Next Best Five Dominican Players

1) Moises Alou (OF, 17 years, .303, 332 HR, 1,287 RBI, .885 OPS, born in Atlanta, raised in D.R.); 2) Cesar Cedeno (OF, 17 years, .285, 199 HR, 976 RBI, 550 SB, .790 OPS); 3) Tony Fernandez (SS, 17 years, .288, 94 HR, 844 RBI, 246 SB, .746 OPS); 4) Alfonso Soriano (active, OF-2B, .272, 391 HR, 1,093 RBI, 281 SB, .823 OPS); 5) SS Miguel Tejada (active, .285, 307 HR, 1,301 RBI, .791 OPS)