Latinos now represent nearly a quarter of the players in Major League Baseball (MLB). And their numbers are growing. About 23 percent of the 883 players in the Major League were born in Latin America. (The Dominican Republic has more players in MLB than any other country outside the United States, with 85 players. Venezuela is in second place with 58 players.)
But you wouldn't know it by looking at the Oakland A's, which only has three Latino players, writes Jessica Kwong for El Mensajero. The A's now have one player from Latin America, with the July 19 signing of Henry Rodriguez, 23, a Venezuelan. The other two Latinos are Mexican American Adam Rosales, 27, and Cuban American Gio Gonzalez, 24.
The team, however, could be adding more. It is looking at a roster of players from Latin America. Among the names they could be considering are Dominicans Pedro Figueroa and Michael Ynoa, and Venezuelans Renato Núñez and Wilfredo Solano.
Soccer may still be the preferred sport of Latinos, but baseball is becoming increasingly popular. José Juárez, a Mexican American who lives in Watsonville, Calif., told El Mensajero that he drives two hours a couple times a month to see his favorite team, the Oakland A's. "Most of my friends are Latino, and we all like baseball. I always go with them," said Juárez, 29. "I would say there's a huge fan base among Latinos."