25 Most Famous Baseball Players From the Dominican Republic

25 Most Famous Baseball Players From the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is known for producing some of the greatest baseball players ever, but the most famous baseball players from the Dominican Republic will forever be remembered for representing the country well. If it weren’t for them, who knows where the sport would be today.

Ever since 1956, hundreds of famous baseball players from the Dominican Republic have made a name for themselves in Major League Baseball (MLB). It all started with Ozzie Virgil Sr., who was the first of many Dominican-born players to make their way onto an official MLB roster. 

Today, the league features 98 Dominican-born players, which is 34 more than any other country outside the United States — Venezuela is the next closest at 64 players. While there are only three Dominican-born players in the Baseball Hall of Fame, that number will continue to climb.

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Who Are the Most Famous Baseball Players From the Dominican Republic?

25 Most Famous Baseball Players From the Dominican Republic
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The Dominican Republic has produced the most MLB players of any country outside the United States for the past 25+ years — every year since the MLB started releasing that data in 1995. Baseball is their favorite sport and it shows because no one develops players better than them.

Of all the famous baseball players from the Dominican Republic, there are several that stand out more than others. They’re the ones that helped pave the way for Dominican-born players today and are the ones that helped their country earn such a high reputation in the MLB community.

With so many players to choose from, let’s start with some of our honorable mentions that could easily be listed below in our top 25 most famous baseball players from the Dominican Republic — both past and present. It’s quite the star-studded lineup of MLB greats, so prepare yourself! 

Honorable Mentions: Rico Carty, Hanley Ramirez, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, Pedro Guerrero, Jose Valverde, Starling Marte, Luis Castillo, Guilermo Mota, Christian Guzman, Moises Alou, Octavio Dotel, Stan Javier, Francisco Liriano

25. SP Julio Franco

Birthplace: Hato Mayor del Rey, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 1982-2007 (23 seasons)

Teams: Philadelphia, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Atlanta Braves, New York Mets

Career Stats: 2,527 games, 2,586 hits, .298 batting average, 173 home runs, 1,194 runs batted in, 1,285 runs, 281 stolen bases

Julio Franco was born in Hato Mayor del Rey and attended Divine Providence High School. He made his MLB debut on April 23, 1982 and went on to play 23 seasons in the major leagues. His best season came in 1994 when he hit 20 home runs and 98 RBIs — both were career-highs. 

24. Johnny Cueto 

Birthplace: San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 2008-present (14 seasons)

Teams: Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Royals, San Francisco Giants

Career Stats: 330 games, 2,034.1 innings pitched, 135-97 W-L record, 17 complete games, 8 shutouts, 3.45 ERA, 1,710 strikeouts

Johnny Cueto was born in San Pedro de Macoris and made his MLB debut on April 3, 2008 — allowing just one run and striking out 10 batters in 7.0 innings. It was his first of many wins. He has been named an All Star twice and was in the running for the Cy Young award three times.

23. DH/1B Carlos Santana

Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 2010-present (12 seasons)

Teams: Cleveland Indians, Philadelphia Phillies, Kansas City Royals

Career Stats: 1,653 games, 1,446 hits, .245 batting average, 259 home runs, 865 runs batted in, 865 runs, 48 stolen bases

Carlos Santana was born in Santo Domingo and made his MLB debut on April 8, 1986. He currently plays for the Kansas City Royals, hitting 19 home runs and 69 runs batted in with the team in 2021. His best season came in 2019 when he hit 34 home runs and had 93 RBIs. 

22. SS/3B Jhonny Peralta

Birthplace: Santiago, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 2003-2017 (15 seasons)

Teams: Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals

Career Stats: 1,798 games, 1,761 hits, .267 batting average, 202 home runs, 873 runs batted in, 841 runs, 17 stolen bases

Jhonny Peralta was born in Santiago and played high school ball at Collejo Pedagojico. He made his MLB debut on June 12, 2003 and went on to play 15 seasons in the league. He hit more than 20 home runs in five of those seasons and a career-high 89 RBIs in 2008. 

21. LF/2B Alfonso Soriano

Birthplace: San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 1999-2014 (16 seasons)

Teams: New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs

Career Stats: 1,975 games, 2,095 hits, .270 batting average, 412 home runs, 1,159 runs batted in, 1,152 runs, 289 stolen bases

Alfonso Soriano attended San Pedro de Macoris High School and made his MLB debut on September 14, 1999. He was named an All Star in seven straight seasons from 2002-2008 and came in third in MVP voting in 2002. He hit a career-high 46 home runs in 2006. 

20. DH/1B Edwin Encarnacion

Birthplace: La Romana, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 2005-2020 (16 seasons)

Teams: Cincinnati Reds, Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox

Career Stats: 1,960 games, 1,832 hits, .260 batting average, 424 home runs, 1,261 runs batted in, 1,099 runs, 61 stolen bases

Edwin Encarnacion was born in La Romana and attended Manuela Toro High School. He made his debut on June 24, 2005 and has hit 424 home runs since then. From 2012-2019, he hit more than 30 home runs each year, including a career-high 42 home runs in 2012 and 2016. 

19. SP Ervin Santana

Birthplace: La Romana, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 2005-present (16 seasons)

Teams: Los Angeles Angels, Kansas City Royals, Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox

Career Stats: 425 games, 2,486.2 innings pitched, 151-129 W-L record, 4.11 ERA, 21 complete games, 11 shutouts, 1,978 strikeouts

Ervin Santana was born in La Romana and played high school baseball at Colego Cristiano El Alfarero. He made his MLB debut on May 17, 2005 and has tallied 151 wins since then. He recorded more than 16 wins in four different seasons, including a career-high 17 wins in 2010. 

18. DH/RF Nelson Cruz

Birthplace: Las Matas de Santa Cruz, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 2005-present (17 seasons)

Teams: Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays

Career Stats: 1,882 games, 1,913 hits, .277 batting average, 449 home runs, 1,238 runs batted in, 1,031 runs, 79 stolen bases

Nelson Cruz was born in Las Matas de Santa Cruz and attended Monte Cristi High School. He made his MLB debut on September 17, 2005 and currently plays for the Tampa Bay Rays. He hit 32 home runs in 2021, his eighth season with more than 30 home runs. His career-high was 44 in 2015. 

17. RP Francisco Cordero

Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 1999-2012 (14 seasons)

Teams: Texas Rangers, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Astros, Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays

Career Stats: 800 games, 824.2 innings pitched, 47-53 W-L record, 3.38 ERA, 329 saves, 796 strikeouts

Francisco Cordero was born in Santo Domingo and played high school baseball at Colegio Luz de Arroyo Hondo. He made his debut on August 2, 1999, pitching 1.0 inning and recording two strikeouts. He had more than 34 saves in five straight seasons and 49 saves in 2004. 

16. SP Bartolo Colon

Birthplace: Altamira, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 1997-2018 (21 seasons)

Teams: Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets, Oakland Athletics, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Montreal Expos, New York Yankees

Career Stats: 565 games, 3,461.2 innings pitched, 247-188 W-L record, 4.12 ERA, 38 complete games, 13 shutouts, 2,535 strikeouts

Bartolo Colon was born in Altamira and attended Puerto Plata High School. He made his MLB debut on April 4, 1997 and played 21 seasons in the league. He had more than 14 wins every year from 1998-2005, including 20 in 2002 and 21 in 2005. He finished his career with 247 wins. 

15. OF/1B Felipe Alou

Birthplace: Bajos de Haina, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 1958-1974 (17 seasons)

Teams: San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Montreal Expos, Milwaukee Bucks

Career Stats: 2,082 games, 2,101 hits, .286 batting average, 206 home runs, 852 runs batted in, 985 runs scored, 107 stolen bases

Felipa Alou was born in Bajos de Haina and attended Santo Domingo High School. He made his MLB debut on June 8, 1958 and played 17 seasons in the league. He had more than 210 hits in two different seasons (1966 and 1968) and had a career-high 31 home runs in 1966. 

14. SS/3B Miguel Tejada

Birthplace: Bani, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 1997-2013 (16 seasons)

Teams: Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants

Career Stats: 2,171 games, 2,407 hits, .285 batting average, 307 home runs, 1,302 runs batted in, 1,230 runs scored, 85 stolen bases

Miguel Tejada attended Bani High School and made his MLB debut on August 27, 1997. He played a full 162-game season in six straight years from 2001-2006. He also hit more than 20 home runs in eight different seasons from 1999-2006 — including a career-high 34 in 2002 and 2004. 

13. C Tony Peña

Birthplace: Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 1980-1997 (18 seasons)

Teams: Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, Chicago White Sox

Career Stats: 1,988 games, 1,687 hits, .260 batting average, 107 home runs, 708 runs batted in, 667 runs scored, 80 stolen bases

Tony Peña was born in Monte Cristi and made his MLB debut on September 1 1980. Although he never hit more than 15 home runs in a single season, he was named an All Star five times in his career and earned four Gold Gloves as catcher — including three-straight from 1983-1985. 

12. 3B/C/OF Ozzie Virgil Sr.

Birthplace: Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 1956-1969 (9 seasons)

Teams: New York Giants, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants

Career Stats: 324 games, 174 hits, .231 batting average, 14 home runs, 73 runs batted in, 75 runs scored, 6 stolen bases

Ozzie Virgil Sr. was born in Monte Cristi, though he attended DeWitt Clinton High School in Bronx, New York. He made his MLB debut on September 23, 1956, becoming the first Dominican-born player in the league. He paved the way for Dominican players today. 

11. SS/3B/2B Jose Reyes

Birthplace: Santiago, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 2003-2018 (16 seasons)

Teams: New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays, Miami Marlins, Colorado Rockies

Career Stats: 1,877 games, 2,138 hits, .283 batting average, 145 home runs, 719 runs batted in, 1,180 runs scored, 517 stolen bases

Jose Reyes was born in Santiago and attended Liceo Delia Reyes High School. He made his debut on June 10, 2003 — one day before his 20th birthday. From 2005-2008, he stole 258 bases, including a career-high 78 stolen bases in 2007. He finished his career with 517 stolen bases. 

10. 3B Adrian Beltre

Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 1998-2018 (21 seasons)

Teams: Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox

Career Stats: 2,933 games, 3,166 hits, .286 batting average, 477 home runs, 1,707 runs batted in, 1,524 runs scored, 121 stolen bases

Adrian Beltre was born in Santo Domingo and played high school ball at Liceo Maximo Gomez. He made his MLB debut on June 24, 1998, recording two hits and an RBI in four plate appearances. He hit double-digit home runs in 19 of his 21 seasons in the major leagues. 

9. SP Juan Marichal

Birthplace: Laguna Verde, Dominican Republic 

Seasons: 1960-1975 (16 seasons)

Teams: San Francisco Giants, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Dodgers

Career Stats: 471 games, 3,507.0 innings pitched, 243-142 W-L record, 2.89 ERA, 244 complete games, 52 shutouts, 2,303 strikeouts

Juan Marichal was born in Laguna Verde and made his MLB debut on July 19, 1960. He was the first Dominican-born player to be elected to the Hall of Fame and is only one of three to achieve that feat all-time. He finished his career with a .631 winning percentage and 2.89 ERA.

8. RF Vladimir Guerrero

Birthplace: Nizao, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 1996-2011 (16 seasons)

Teams: Montreal Expos, Los Angeles Angels, Anaheim Angels, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles

Career Stats: 2,147 games, 2,590 hits, .318 batting average, 449 home runs, 1,496 runs batted in, 1,328 runs scored, 181 stolen bases

Vladimir Guerrero attended Nizao High School and made his MLB debut on September 19, 1966. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2018, becoming the third Dominican-born player to achieve that milestone. He hit more than 25 home runs in eleven straight seasons (1998-2008). 

7. RF/3B Jose Bautista

Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 2004-2018 (15 seasons)

Teams: Toronto Blue Jays, Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Ravens

Career Stats: 1,798 games, 1,496 hits, .247 batting average, 344 home runs, 975 runs batted in, 1,022 runs scored, 70 stolen bases

Jose Bautista was born in Santo Domingo and played high school ball at De La Salle. He made his MLB debut on April 4, 2004, but didn’t see regular at-bats until 2006. He led the league in home runs two years in a row, hitting a career-high 54 home runs in 2010 and 43 more in 2011. 

6. 2B Robinson Cano

Birthplace: San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 2005-2020 (16 seasons) 

Teams: New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners, New York Mets

Career Stats: 2,234 games, 2,624 hits, .303 batting average, 334 home runs, 1,302 runs batted in, 1,257 runs scored, 51 stolen bases

Robinson Cano played high school ball at San Pedro de Macoris High School and made his MLB debut on May 3, 2005. He made an immediate impact, hitting 14 home runs his rookie year. He hit more than 10 home runs every year since then, including a career-high 39 home runs in 2016. 

5. 1B Albert Pujols

Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 2001-present (21 seasons)

Teams: St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels

Career Stats: 2,971 games, 3,301 hits, .297 batting average, 679 home runs, 2,150 runs batted in, 1,872 runs scored, 116 stolen bases

Albert Pujols will go down as one of the greatest to ever play, if he ever decides to retire. He was born in Santo Domingo, though he attended Fort Osage High School in Missouri. He was Rookie of the Year in 2001 and went on to win the MVP award three times (2005, 2008, 2009). 

His 679 career home runs ranks fifth in MLB history, behind Alex Rodriguez, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Barry Bonds. 

4. SP Pedro Martinez

Birthplace: Manoguayabo, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 1992-2009 (18 seasons)

Teams: Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, Montreal Expos, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies

Career Stats: 476 games, 2,827.1 innings pitched, 219-100 W-L record, 46 complete games, 17 shutouts, 3,154 strikeouts

Pedro Martinez made his MLB debut on September 24, 1992 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015, becoming the second Dominican-born player to do so. He recorded 10 or more wins in 12 of 13 straight seasons from 1993-2005, including 23 wins in 1999 and 20 in 2002.

3. DH/1B David Ortiz

Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 1997-2016 (20 seasons)

Teams: Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins

Career Stats: 2,408 games, 2,472 hits, .286 batting average, 541 home runs, 1,768 runs batted in, 1,419 runs scored, 17 stolen bases

David Ortiz, better known as ‘Big Papi,’ made his MLB debut on September 2, 1997 and played his last game at the age of 40 years old. He led the league with 54 home runs in 2006 and hit more than 30 home runs in 10 different seasons, including the four years leading up to his retirement.

2. RF Sammy Sosa

Birthplace: San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 1989-2007 (18 seasons)

Teams: Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles

Career Stats: 2,354 games, 2,408 hits, .273 batting average, 609 home runs, 1,667 runs batted in, 1,475 runs scored, 234 stolen bases

Sammy Sosa is one of just nine players to ever hit more than 600 career home runs. From 1998-2003, he hit a total of 332 home runs, including a career-high 66 home runs in 1998. He went on to hit more than 63 home runs in three different seasons and was the MVP in 1998. 

1. OF Manny Ramirez

Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Seasons: 1993-2011 (19 seasons)

Teams: Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Chicago White Sox

Career Stats: 2,302 games, 2,574 hits, .312 batting average, 555 home runs, 1,831 runs batted in, 1,544 runs scored, 38 stolen bases

Manny Ramirez hit more than 20 home runs in 14 straight seasons, including hitting more than 30 in 12 of those seasons and more than 40 in five of them. His career-high was 45, which he achieved in 1998 and 2005. His 165 RBIs in 1999 ranks 14th all-time in a single season. 

Dominican Baseball Players in the League Today

With 98 Dominican-born players in the MLB today, the country continues to dominate and make its mark on the league. In fact, there are 18 Dominican-born players in MLB Network’s Top 100 Players for the 2021 season — including two phenomenal players that landed in the top six. 

The 18 players include Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, Jose Ramirez, Marcell Ozuna, Nelson Cruz, Ketel Mars, Eloy Jimenez, Rafael Devers, Dinelson Lamet, and Luis Castillo. These are currently the most famous baseball players from the Dominican Republic.

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One thing we can count on is that the Dominican Republic won’t stop producing high-quality players that find tremendous success at the MLB level. We’ll be on the lookout for more Dominican-born players to make their way to the Baseball Hall of Fame, which is inevitable.

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