Percentage down slightly from last year
NEW YORK -- The percentage of Major League Baseball players born outside the 50 states dipped slightly from last year.
It was 27.7 percent at the start of this season, down from 28 percent on Opening Day in 2009.
The commissioner's office said Tuesday that of the 833 players on rosters at the end of Monday, 231 were born outside the 50 states. That was down from a high of 29.2 percent in 2005.
The Dominican Republic leads with 86 players in the majors. That's five more than last year but two fewer than in 2008 and down 12 from 2007. Venezuela was next with 58, an increase of six from last year.
Puerto Rico was third with 21, a decrease of seven, followed by Japan (14), Canada (13), Mexico (12), Cuba (seven), Panama (five), Australia (four), Taiwan (three) and Colombia, Curacao, South Korea and Nicaragua (two each).
The New York Mets had the most foreign-born players for the fourth time in five years and had a record high of 18, including natives of Canada, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
There were 3,370 of 7,026 minor leaguers born outside the 50 states, with the percentage increasing to 48.0 from 47.8 last year.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press