When you take a closer look at any Major League Baseball (MLB) roster in both the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), you'll discover an impressive history of Puerto Rican talent. In fact, the Island is the birthplace of legends, delivering a dazzling parade of Hall of Famers and present-day MLB players who inspire people around the world with their prowess. According to Baseball American, there were 19 current MLB players from Puerto Rico on Opening Day Rosters in 2021.  

Explore the rich history of Puerto Rican baseball players who have graced the diamond, from the greatest players of all time to the current MLB stars hailing from the heart and soul of the Caribbean. Learn about Puerto Rico’s national baseball team, fondly known as Team Rubio, by their fans, who passionately rally behind them in their signature red, white, and blue attire and blonde dyed hair.

Roberto Clemente paying baseball.

Roberto Clemente was the first Boricua and Latin American player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. (Luis Ramos | Historic Archive El Nuevo Día.)

Best MLB Players from Puerto Rico

To see where we are, you’ve got to look where we’ve been. We boast some of the best baseball players to grace the ballfield. From right fielders to second basemen and catchers to outfielders, these Puerto Rican baseball players have excelled in America’s favorite pastime.

Roberto Clemente

Legendary Puerto Rican baseball player Roberto Clemente was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico. In 1954, he played a year in the minors for the Brooklyn Dodgers before the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted him in 1955. Throughout his 18-season career, Clemente was known for his throwing and running abilities, winning four NL batting titles, the 1966 NL MVP, and 12 consecutive Gold Glove Awards. He led the Pirates to a World Series victory in 1960, hitting .310, and he achieved his 3,000th career hit in 1972. Tragically, on December 31, 1972, while en route to Nicaragua for earthquake relief, his plane crashed. In 1973, he was posthumously elected to the Hall of Fame.

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Ivan Rodriguez baseball player.

Elected to the Hall of Fame in 2017, Iván Rodríguez's baseball legacy remains unparalleled. (Photo from Getty Images.)

Roberto Alomar

Among the best MLB players from Puerto Rico is Roberto Alomar from Ponce, Puerto Rico. Known for his versatility at second base, Alomar earned 12 consecutive All-Star selections and 10 Gold Glove Awards. His offensive skills shone with the Toronto Blue Jays, contributing to back-to-back World Series titles in 1992-93. Alomar's impact extended to the Cleveland Indians, where he had standout seasons, finishing third in AL MVP voting in 1999. His 17-season career culminated in 2,724 hits, 210 home runs, and a .300 batting average. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 2011, Alomar's legacy endures as one of baseball's finest.

Iván Rodríguez 

Puerto Rican-born Iván "Pudge" Rodríguez hails from the northern municipality of Manatí and is one of baseball's greatest catchers. With a record-setting 14 All-Star Game selections and 13 Gold Glove Awards, Rodríguez's defensive prowess was unmatched. His offensive contributions were equally impressive, culminating in winning the AL MVP in 1999 with a .332 average, 35 home runs, 113 RBIs, 116 scoring runs, and 25 stolen bases. Over his illustrious career, Pudge amassed 2,844 hits, the most for a catcher playing at least 50% of his games behind the plate. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 2017, Rodríguez's legacy remains unparalleled.

Carlos Beltrán

Another sensational Puerto Rican baseball player born in Manatí is Carlos Beltrán. The Kansas City Royals drafted this sensational outfielder in 1995, where he was awarded AL Rookie of the Year in 1999. Over his 20-season career with teams, including the Astros, Mets, and Yankees, Beltrán earned nine All-Star nods, three Gold Gloves, and two Silver Slugger Awards. Known for his well-rounded skills, he amassed over 2,700 hits, 400 home runs, and 300 steals — the highest success rate in stealing bases. During Beltrán's postseason, he contributed to the 2017 Astros' World Series victory. While he barely missed out on the Hall of Fame in 2023, he is back on the ballot for 2024.

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Yadier Molina in the field.

Yadier Benjamín Molina had a distinguished 19-season baseball career, earning numerous accolades, before retiring in 2022. (Photo from Getty Images.)

Yadier Molina

Yadier Benjamín Molina, known as "Yadi," grew up in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. This defensive maestro had a remarkable 19-season career solely with the St. Louis Cardinals, contributing to four NL pennants and two World Series titles. His postseason legacy includes 104 games, ranking sixth all-time and second among catchers. He led the NL in caught stealing and fielding percentages four times and assists three times. Yadi retired in 2022 with a career batting average of .277 with 2,168 hits and 408 doubles. His accolades include ten All-Star selections, four Platinum Gloves (his win in 2011 was the first-ever NL Rawlings Platinum Glove Award), nine Gold Gloves, a Silver Slugger Award, and six Fielding Bible Awards, and he is eligible for Hall of Fame induction in 2028.

Orlando Cepeda

Ponce produced yet another one of the best MLB players from Puerto Rico — Orlando Cepeda. He overcame a knee injury in 1965 to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to the 1967 World Series title. Named the NL MVP unanimously, Cepeda's .325 average, 25 home runs, and 111 RBIs showcased his talent. As Rookie of the Year in 1958, he led the league in home runs with 46 and RBIs with 142 in 1961. He ended his career with the Cardinals, retiring in 1974 with 379 home runs and 11 All-Star selections. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1999, he remains a respected figure in baseball history.

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Current MLB Players from Puerto Rico

Today’s Puerto Rican-born baseball players continue the legacy of excellence, with a Boricua in just about every position, from pitchers to shortstop. Their storied careers continue to inspire would-be players as they reach for greatness. Explore some of Puerto Rico’s best current players and marvel at their abilities on the field.


Francisco Lindor in the field.

Caguas native Francisco Lindor made history as the first Puerto Rican shortstop to win the Golden Glove Award in 2016, a triumph he repeated in 2019. (Photo from Getty Images.)

Francisco Lindor, New York Mets

Hailing from Caguas, Puerto Rico, Francisco Lindor started his career with the Cleveland Indians as their first-round selection and eighth overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft. He was traded to the New York Mets in 2021, where he plays today. He became the first Puerto Rican shortstop to win the Golden Glove Award in 2016 — an accolade he won again in 2019. Lindor batted over .300 in his first two major league seasons and earned four consecutive All-Star selections. In 2017, he won his first Silver Slugger Award and was selected to the All-WBC Team. Despite a challenging 2023 season for the Mets, Lindor's stellar performance secured his spot on the All-MLB Second Team for the second consecutive year.

Christian Vázquez, Minnesota Twins

Bayamón native Christian “Colo” Rafael Vázquez started his MLB career in 2014 as a catcher for the Boston Red Sox, being part of their 2018 World Series championship team. During his first year, he achieved a slash line of .275/.331/.715 in his first 62 games for the Triple-A Pawtucket, earning a spot on the International League All-Star team. He was traded in 2022 to the Houston Astros, helping them win the 2022 World Series, becoming his second World Series win. Vázquez achieved the first combined no-hitter in World Series history and the second no-hitter overall since 1956. After becoming a free agent post-World Series, Vázquez signed a $30 million contract three-year contract with the Minnesota Twins. 

Carlos Correa on the field.

Ponce native Carlos Correa is considered one of the best Puerto Rican baseball players of modern-day. (Photo from Getty Images.)

Carlos Correa, Minnesota Twins

One of the best Puerto Rican baseball players of modern-day Ponce native Carlos Correa. In 2012, he entered MLB as the first overall draft pick by the Houston Astros in round one. He made a splash with his debut in 2015, winning the AL Rookie of the Year Award. In 2017, he appeared in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, was an All-Star selection, and won the World Series. In 2021, Correa earned his second All-Star nod, along with Gold Glove and Platinum Glove Awards. After seven seasons with the Astros, he found himself with the Minnesota Twins, who won the American League Central division title in 2023. During the postseason, Correa drove in the go-ahead run during Game 2 of the Wild Card series against the Toronto Blue Jays. Eventually, the Twins fell to the Astros in the 2023 ALDS. 

Alexis Díaz, Cincinnati Reds

Born in Humacao, Alexis Díaz is an MLB pitcher with a minor league career spanning seven years, starting in 2015 when the Cincinnati Reds drafted him in the 12th round. After missing the 2016 season due to injury, Díaz returned to the team in 2017, pitching 13 appearances with a 4.94 ERA and 40 strikeouts. He continued his journey through the minors, playing for the Greeneville Reds in 2018 and splitting the 2019 season between the AZL Reds and the Single-A Dayton Dragons. In 2021, Díaz joined the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts, boasting a 3.83 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 35 contests. The Reds added him to the 40-man roster in November 2021, and he made his MLB debut on April 8, 2022, securing his first save on May 17, 2022. Diaz's impressive performance earned him a 2023 MLB All-Star Game spot.

Edwin Díaz, New York Mets

Alexis Díaz's brother, Edwin Díaz, is also a famous Puerto Rican baseball player born in Naguabo. The second pitcher on the list takes the mound for the New York Mets. He broke into MLB in the third round of the draft with the Seattle Mariners. Within two months of his MLB debut in 2016, he set the Mariners' record for consecutive strikeouts and became the team's closer. In 2017, he finished fifth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting after saving 19 games. In 2018, he led the AL with 57 recorded saves, earned an All-Star selection, and was named AL Reliever of the Year. The Mariners traded him to the Mets after the 2018 season, where he earned his second All-Star honor in 2022. His remarkable contributions to the Mets earned him a historic 5-year, $102 million contract, making it the most valuable contract ever signed by a relief pitcher. He was named the 2022 NL Reliever of the Year and made the All-MLB First Team.

Javier Baez in the field.

Bayamón-born baseball player Javier Báez has had a remarkable 13-season career with multiple accolades and significant impact. (Photo by Getty Images.)

Kike Hernández, Los Angeles Dodgers

Enrique José Hernández González, known as "Kike," is a versatile Puerto Rican professional baseball player from San Juan. Drafted by the Houston Astros in 2009, Hernández showcased his flexibility, playing every position except catcher. He became a free agent after playing for the Astros, Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Boston Red Sox. His impactful career includes winning a World Series with the Dodgers in 2020 and receiving Fielding Bible Awards in 2020 and 2021. In 2021, he joined the Red Sox, contributing to their playoff run. Despite challenges, he played a crucial role and secured a contract extension for the 2023 season. However, a mid-season trade in 2023 brought Hernández back to the Dodgers, where he made a significant impact in 54 games before becoming a free agent.

Javier Báez, Detroit Tigers

One of the best Puerto Rican professional baseball players today is Javier Báez from Bayamón. Drafted ninth overall by the Chicago Cubs in 2011, he has become a formidable force in MLB. The two-time NL All-Star’s remarkable career, spanning 13 professional seasons, includes stints with the Detroit Tigers. In 2018, Báez made MLB history by starting at second base and shortstop in consecutive seasons, earning him recognition in the Home Run Derby. He earned the Rawlings Gold Glove Award as a shortstop in 2020. Notably, he clinched the National League Silver Slugger Award for second basemen in 2018 and secured co-MVP honors in the 2016 NLCS. Báez has excelled in postseason play, participating in 36 games throughout his career. His achievements extend beyond the field, representing Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic and making a significant impact during his tenure with the Cubs, Tigers, and beyond.

Team Rubio celebrating in the field.

During the 2017 World Baseball Classic, the players dyed their hair blonde to create unity among the team. (Ramón "Tonito" Zayas | El Nuevo Día.)

Puerto Rico’s National Baseball Team: Team Rubio

Some of the best MLB players from Puerto Rico started on the Puerto Rico national baseball team, also recently known as Team Rubio. This formidable force in international baseball, currently ranked 13th globally, got its start in 1940 in what was then known as the Baseball World Cup. The team clinched its first medal in 1947, finishing second, and became the world baseball champion in 1951. Over the years, the team produced some of the best Puerto Rican baseball players that caught the eyes of MLB scouts, who recruited the likes of retired superstars Roberto Clemente, Iván Rodríguez, Carlos Beltrán, and Orlando Cepeda, as well as Edwin Diaz and Francisco Lindor, current MLB players from Puerto Rico.

Puerto Ricans dying their hair blonde.

In the 2023 WBC, Team Rubio sparked a Guinness World Record-breaking event with 192 fans dyeing their locks blonde in a public event. (David Villafañe | El Nuevo Día.)

Throughout the years, Team Rubio has built a passionate fan base through its success, such as being runner-up in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Ahead of the 2017 World Baseball Classic, as a joke, the players all dyed their hair blonde (as a pun on the word “rubio,” which means blond in Spanish). The fans joined in the craze, buying up all the hair dye on the Island. Fast-forward to 2023, and the now-ritual reached a fever pitch. This time, the players, and fans broke the Guinness World record for the most hair dyed, with 192 men going blond in 8 hours on March 10, 2023, to support Team Rubio ahead of their World Baseball Classic appearance in Miami, Florida. Their championship hopes ended in Pool D as Runner-Up — there’s always next year, fellas!

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