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MLB Power Rankings: The 50 Best Foreign-Born Stars in MLB History

Josh SchochAnalyst IIIJanuary 11, 2017

MLB Power Rankings: The 50 Best Foreign-Born Stars in MLB History

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Major League Baseball is the American pastime, but foreign-born players have played a big role in the sport’s history.

    Foreign-born players now make up 29 percent of 2011 MLB Opening Day rosters.

    International stars used to be restricted in baseball, but now they are becoming more prominent, and they are becoming even better.  There are only 10 foreign-born stars in the Hall of Fame right now, and I’m sure you can come up with 10 more who will be in there soon off the top of your head.

    The players on this list have combined for more awards than I care to list, and they have all proven their worth as the best foreign-born stars in US baseball history.

50. Harry Wright 1871-77

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    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/wrighha01.shtml

    Born: Sheffield, England.

    Harry Wright is mostly known as a pioneer/executive, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame because of it.

    Most people do not know it, but Wright was a player, too, playing both pitcher and center field.  Wright hit .276 for his career, and he averaged four home runs per 162 games (which was good for the 1800s) and over 100 RBI.

    Wright played from the age of 36 until he was 42, and he was the second-oldest player in the league his first year, and the oldest for the next six.  I felt Wright deserved to be on this list because he played, he was pretty good and he is in the Hall of Fame.

49. Robinson Cano 2005-Present

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Born: San Pedro de Macoris, San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.

    Cano is a great hitter and one of the best second basemen in the game today.  Cano has been in two All-Star games, he has won two Sliver Sluggers and a Gold Glove, and he came in third in MVP voting in 2010.

    Even though Cano is in only his seventh season, he has a career average of .309.  He also averages over 20 home runs and 90 RBI per 162 games.  Cano is entering his prime now, and he has been steadily rising since coming into the league.  If he keeps it up, he should break 30 home runs for the first time this season and he should also hit over 100 RBI for the second time.

    Sure, Cano is not quite up to par yet with his 120 home runs and 514 RBI, but he will be much closer to the top by the end of his career.  For now, however, Cano must settle for No. 49.

48. Bert Campaneris 1964-83

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    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/a/aloufe01.shtml

    Born: Pueblo Nuevo, Cuba

    The six-time All-Star had incredible speed and he could get on base.  Campaneris led the league in steals six times, including four times in a row from 1965 to 1968.  Campaneris finished his career with 649 steals and 646 RBI.  Having more steals than RBI is insane, and Campy did it.

    His season-highs include 22 home runs in 1970 and a .290 batting average in 1974.  Campaneris’ closest grasp at an MVP award was No. 10, but he finished in the top-30 eight times.  Speed is an element that is undervalued in the game today because “chicks dig the long ball,” but Campy had some crazy speed.

47. Bobby Avila 1949-59

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    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/a/avilabo01.shtml

    Born: Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico.

    The three-time All-Star came as close to the MVP as third in 1954, when he hit .341 and jacked 15 home runs.  Avila could hit for contact and average—or slightly higher—power.

    Avila hit .299-plus four times in his somewhat short career, and it is too bad that he did not play longer.  Avila led the league in triples (11) in 1952, utilizing his speed.  Avila hit for contact and found himself on base quite a bit, but he also led the league in sacrifice bunts two times.  Avila had speed and he also did what was needed for the team.

46. Felipe Alou 1958-74

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    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/a/aloufe01.shtml

    Born: Haina, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic.

    The three-time All-Star never won his own MVP trophy, but he did finish in the top five.  Alou played 17 seasons with six teams, and he had some pretty good numbers, not to mention the fact that his son was also a major leaguer.

    Alou topped out at a .327 batting average and 31 home runs in 1966 and 98 RBI in 1962.  Alou had a career average of .286, and he reached over 200 home runs and 850 RBI.  Alou played in almost 2,100 games in his career, and he was a solid player, despite his decline at the end of his long career due to age.

45. Omar Vizquel 1989-Present

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Born: Caracas, Distrito Federal, Venezuela.

    Omar Vizquel is an 11-time Gold Glover and he won nine in a row from 1993 to 2001.  Vizquel has played in three All-Star games, and he has graced five teams: the Mariners, the Indians, the Giants, the Rangers and the White Sox.

    Vizquel’s defense is superb, but he is not a one-dimensional player.  Vizquel is hitting a solid .273 for his career, and has racked up nearly 1,000 RBI.  Vizquel is a contact hitter and he can put the ball in play a lot.  He has played 22 complete seasons, and is currently in his 23rd.  Vizquel’s defense, longevity (which is never valued highly enough), and decent numbers give him this spot.

44. Rico Carty 1963-79

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    Born: San Pedro de Macoris, San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic

    In his 14 full seasons, Carty hit over .300 eight times, including a ridiculous .366 in 1970, when he also posted a .454 OBP.  In 1970, he also had 25 homers and 101 RBI.

    When busting into the league in 1963, he had 22 home runs and hit .330.  He finished second in Rookie of the Year voting.  Unfortunately, Carty was never given enough credit and he only made it to one All-Star Game, but he has his moment now.

43. Bert Blyleven 1970-92

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    Born: Zeist, Netherlands

    Blyleven came into the league at age 19 and didn’t leave until he was 41 (despite missing the 1991 season).  Blyleven finished his career with a 3.31 ERA and 287 wins.  During Blyleven’s 22 seasons, he finished with an ERA under 3.00 nine times.

    Somehow Blyleven was only elected to two All-Star Games, despite finishing in the top seven for the Cy Young four times.  Blyleven pitched often and deep into games, including 24 times in 37 starts in 1985 (both league highs), and pitched complete games 242 times.  Blyleven is another player who did not get his full recognition, but he is on this list.

42. Tony Mullane 1881-94

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    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/mullato01.shtml

    Born: Cork, Ireland

    In 13 seasons, Mullane finished with 284 wins and a 3.05 ERA.  During the 1800s, the game was very different, however, so his 468 complete games in 564 starts must be taken with a grain of salt.

    In 1884, Mullane reached 567 innings pitched, which was high, even for the 1800s.  Mullane was a great pitcher for sure, and even though he did not win any major awards because they were not invented yet, he deserves this spot.

41. Bernie Williams 1991-2006

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Born: San Juan, Puerto Rico.

    Williams was elected to five All-Star Games in a row from 1997-2001.  He also won four Gold Gloves and one Silver Slugger.  Williams had a career average of .297, and he hit 287 home runs, knocking in 1,257 RBI.

    Bernie never won his own MVP trophy, but he was in the conversation six times.  Williams maxed out at .342 average, 30 homers and 121 RBI.  Williams led the AL in batting average in 1998, at .339.  Williams was the complete player for the Yankees, both batting and fielding, and he is something of an icon for Yankee fans.

40. Dolf Luque 1914-35

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    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/l/luquedo01.shtml

    Born: Havana, Cuba.

    Luque is known as the Pride of Cuba.  This should say something about him.  Luque had a career ERA of 3.34, and he recorded 194 wins.  Luque’s best season was 1923, when he went 27-8 with a 1.93 ERA, and six shutouts.  Luque led the league in wins and ERA that year, and that was one of many seasons when he dazzled.

    Luque’s 20 seasons were impressive, and he missed 1916 and 1917 seasons.  He also led the league in ERA in 1925 with 2.63.  Luque also threw 206 complete games in 367 starts.  Luque was more dominant than his stats may show at times, but his inconsistency led him to this spot at No. 40.

39. David Ortiz 1997-Present

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    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Born: Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic.

    Ortiz has been elected to six All-Star Games, and he has finished in the top five for MVP voting five times.  Ortiz is known as a power hitter, maxing out at 54 home runs and 148 RBI, but he has posted a career batting average of .281 and has hit as high as .332 in 2007.

    Ortiz won four straight Silver Sluggers from 2004 to 2007, and he has shown prowess as a hitter.  What takes away from Ortiz is the fact that he is a DH and does not have to worry about his fielding.  Because he is a one-dimensional player, and he has not won an MVP, he will remain relatively low on this list.

38. Andruw Jones 1996-Present

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    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Born: Willemstad, Curacao.

    Jones won 10 straight Gold Gloves from 1998-2007.  He also received a Sliver Slugger in 2005 when he hit 51 home runs and 128 RBI and finished second in MVP voting.

    Jones has never been known for his contact, hitting over ,300 only once in 15 full seasons, but he has racked up over 400 home runs during his time, and he is averaging 33 home runs per 162 games.  Jones is a decorated, bona fide star.

37. Adrian Beltre 1998-Present

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Born: Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic.

    Beltre has become popular in the MLB, but for some reason he is not given the right recognition.  Beltre has only been elected to one All-Star Game, and it was not in the year that he finished second in MVP voting. It was last year.  Beltre has won two Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers in his time in the MLB, but has won them over four seasons and was only in the All-Star Game in one of the seasons.

    Beltre has a good batting average at .275 despite having some very poor years early in his career, and averages 25 home runs and 90 RBI per 162 games.  Beltre is another player who has not been given proper recognition, but deserves to be on this list.

36. Jack Doyle 1889-1905

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    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/doyleja01.shtml

    Born: Killorgin, Ireland.

    Doyle posted a .299 batting average in his time in the MLB, and he averaged three home runs and 100 RBI per 162 games.  While the three home runs may sound like nothing, during the 1800s home runs were rare.

    Doyle hit well in a time when pitchers ruled and hitters were being overmatched, and he played for 10 different teams in his 17 seasons.

35. Justin Morneau 2003-Present

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    Born: New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada

    Morneau is a four-time All-Star, and he has won two Silver Sluggers and an MVP in 2006.  He also finished second in MVP voting in 2008, and he has had a lot of success in his eight full seasons.  Morneau has averaged 30 home runs and 115 RBI per 162 games thus far in his career, while hitting .284.

    Morneau is one of the most consistent players in the MLB, too, with his highs being 34 home runs and 130 RBI.  Morneau only got to play 81 games in 2010, due to a concussion in June, sidelining him for the rest of the season.  If Morneau can pick up where he left off (which I expect he will), then he will deserve this spot if not higher.

34. Tip O’Neill 1883-92

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    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/o/o'neiti01.shtml

    Born: Springfield, Ontario, Canada

    Tip O’Neill could have been one of the best players on this list, but his career lasted only 10 seasons.  O’Neill was a great hitter, both for contact and for power.  Even when home runs were very rare, O’Neill averaged eight per 162 games and blasted 14 in one season.  O’Neill also had a .326 batting average in his career.

    O’Neill’s best season was easily 1887, when he led the league in 11 categories.  He recorded 225 hits, 52 doubles, 19 triples, 14 home runs, 167 runs and 123 RBI.  He also posted a .435 batting average, a .490 OBP, a .691 slugging, a 1.180 OPS and a 211 OPS+.  All 11 of these were league leaders.  O’Neill was a great player, but because he did not play more than 10 seasons, he can go no higher.

33. Alfonso Soriano 1999-Present

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Born: San Pedro de Macoris, San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.

    Soriano’s rookie year is considered 2001, when he came into the league and hit 18 home runs with 73 RBI and 43 stolen bases, and his numbers got better from there.  Soriano led the league in hits (209) and stolen bases (41) in his second season, to go along with 39 home runs and 102 RBI.  Soriano was an All-Star this year, and he finished third in MVP voting.

    The 2002 season was the first of seven straight All-Star seasons for Soriano, and during that stretch he won four Silver Sluggers.  Soriano averages 35 home runs, 93 RBI and 29 stolen bases per 162 games.  Soriano’s speed is leaving him, he is still a threat, but he was crazy good.  Soriano's combination of speed and power have led him to this spot.

32. Francisco Rodriguez 2002-Present

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    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Born: Caracas, Distrito Federal, Venezuela.

    K-Rod is a four-time All-Star and he has finished in the top four for Cy Young voting three times, and the top six in MVP voting once.  K-Rod has posted a 2.50 ERA in his career and has recorded 270 saves, averaging about 30 per season.

    K-Rod had league highs in saves in 2005, 2006 and 2007, recording 45, 47 and 62 respectively.  K-Rod is still one of the best closers in the game, even if his production has slumped a bit with the Mets.

31. Jorge Posada 1995-Present

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    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Born: Santurce, Puerto Rico.

    The five-time All-Star has also won five Silver Sluggers in his time with the Yankees.  Posada has been a great catcher in his career.

    Posada has averaged a .275 batting average in his career, and he has hit near 300 home runs and over 1,000 RBI.  Posada has come as close as third in MVP voting, but he has never taken home the hardware.  He is still a great player, though, and deserves to be recognized as such.

30. Carlos Delgado 1993-2009

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Born: Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

    Delgado was only in two All-Star Games in his career, but he has posted some nice numbers.  Surprisingly, Delgado has won more Silver Sluggers (three) than he has All-Star appearances.

    Delgado is a power hitter and he maxed out at 44 home runs and 145 RBI.  In his career, Delgado recorded 473 home runs and 1,512 RBI.  Delgado has been in the MVP conversation seven times, and he is one of a few guys on here who have not gotten their fair share of respect from some.

29. Tony Oliva 1962-76

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    Born: Pinar del Rio, Cuba.

    Oliva won the Rookie of the Year award in his first full season, 1964, and that year was the first of eight in a row when he went to the All-Star Game.  Oliva was in the MVP conversation all of those years, too, but he only won one Gold Glove.

    Oliva was a great contact hitter, hitting .304 for his career.  Oliva also finished his career with 220 home runs and 974 RBI.  Overall, he was a great player on both sides.

28. Rafael Palmeiro 1986-2005

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    Born: Havana, Cuba.

    Palmeiro was a four-time All-Star and he was in the MVP conversation 10 times.  Palmeiro could hit for both average and power when necessary, and he could also field.

    Palmeiro won two Sliver Sluggers and three Gold Gloves in his career.  He also finished with 569 home runs and a .288 average.  He maxed out at 47 homers and 142 RBI.  Palmeiro was a great hitter, like many others, but his defense did not suffer, and that is why he is higher than, say, David Ortiz.

27. Minnie Minoso 1949-80

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    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/minosmi01.shtml

    Born: Havana, Cuba.

    Minoso’s rookie year was 1951, and he finished second in Rookie of the Year voting.  Minoso also appeared in his first of seven All-Star Games that year, and he finished fourth in MVP voting, too.  Minoso finished his career with four Gold Gloves and was in the MVP conversation eight times.

    Minoso was a good contact hitter, batting .298 for his career.  Minoso also finished with around 200 home runs and over 1,000 RBI.  He was a great hitter and he also had enough speed on the base paths, averaging about 20 steals per season.

26. Johan Santana 2000-Present

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Born: Tovar, Merida, Venezuela.

    Santana is currently on the DL until June, but he has been great in his career.  Santana is a four-time All-Star and he has won the AL Cy Young twice with the Twins.  Santana has a career 3.10 ERA and a 133-69 record.

    Santana has led the league in strikeouts three times, innings pitched twice and he has even won a Gold Glove.  Santana has pitched in 11 seasons, and has an average win-loss of 15-8 per 162 games.  He is a great pitcher, and for the sake of the game, I hope he recovers well.

25. Ivan Rodriguez 1991-Present

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Born: Manati, Puerto Rico.

    Rodriguez came into the league when he was 19, and he finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting.  He has become a 14-time All-Star and he has won 13 Gold Gloves and seven Silver Sluggers.  Rodriguez was the MVP in 1999, and he also won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger that season.

    Rodriguez has maxed out at 35 home runs, 113 RBI and a .347 batting average.  His career totals are now 310 home runs, 1,320 RBI and a .297 batting average.  Rodriguez is a decorated hero, and he has deserved every single award he has gotten.

24. Miguel Tejada 1997-Present

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Born: Bani, Peravia, Dominican Republic.

    Tejada has been to six All-Star Games, and he has won an MVP in 2002.  He has also won two Silver Sluggers and has been in the MVP conversation eight times.

    Tejada has racked up 301 homers, 1,262 RBI and a .287 batting average in his time in the MLB.  Tejada is currently in his 15th season, with the San Francisco Giants.  Tejada has maxed out at 34 homers, 150 RBI and a .330 batting average.  Tejada used to be a force, and despite losing his swing in recent years, he is well-deserving of this spot.

23. Miguel Cabrera 2003-Present

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Born: Maracay, Aragua, Venezuela.

    Cabrera entered the league and finished fifth in Rookie of the Year voting and was in the MVP conversation.  These were signs of things to come.  Cabrera has now been to five All-Star Games, won three Silver Sluggers, and has been in the MVP conversation all eight years he’s played.

    Cabrera showed us why he’s one of the best in 2010, when he finished behind Joe Mauer for MVP with 38 homers, 128 RBI and hit .328.  Cabrera has been consistently impressive, and he is going to finish as one of the best players on this list, he just needs to keep doing what he’s doing.

22. Jose Canseco 1985-2001

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Born: Havana, Cuba.

    Canseco won Rookie of the Year with 33 home runs and 117 RBI in 1986, and he won the MVP in 1988, with 42 dingers and 124 RBI.  Canseco went to six All-Star Games, and he won four Silver Sluggers.  Canseco was a great player and he was in the MVP conversation six times.

    Canseco finished his career averaging 40 home runs and 121 RBI per 162 games, and he finished with a total of 462 homers and 1,407 RBI.  Canseco’s .266 batting average is somewhat decent, but it is definitely made up for with his power.

21. Roberto Alomar 1988-2004

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    Born: Ponce, Puerto Rico.

    Alomar was a well-balanced player who could hit for contact, who had good-but-not-great power, and who was a good fielder.  Alomar went to a dozen All-Star Games in a row, starting in 1990 and ending in 2001.  He also won 10 Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers during that stretch.

    In his career, Alomar had a .300 batting average, 210 home runs and 1,134 RBI.  Most players have about 30 seconds of fame, but Alomar had 12 years’ worth as a decorated hitter and second baseman.

20. Larry Walker 1989-2005

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    Born: Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada.

    Walker was an MVP winner in 1997 and he was a five-time All-Star.  He won seven Gold Gloves and three Silver Sluggers during his stint in the MLB.  Walker had it all: power to hit 49 home runs like he did in 1997, contact to hit .379 like he did in 1999, and defense to win all those Gold Gloves.

    For his career, Walker averaged 31 home runs, 107 RBI and 19 stolen bases per 162 games, to go along with his .313 career batting average.  He finished his 17 seasons with 383 home runs and 1,311 RBI.  Walker could do it all: hit for contact, hit for power, field, steal.  He could and would do whatever was necessary, and he is definitely in the top 20 for this list.

19. Juan Gonzalez 1989-2005

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    Born: Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

    Gonzalez was a two-time MVP, winning one in 1996 and one 1998. The three-time All-Star won six Silver Sluggers, and was in the MVP conversation a total of seven times. Gonzalez hit for both power and contact, but his 17 seasons were relatively short due to injuries.

    Gonzalez did not play 140-plus games often, but his 162 games averages were as follows: .295 average, 42 home runs, 135 RBI, .561 slugging percentage.  Gonzalez was a hitter all right, and a darn good one at that.  Gonzalez‘s bat was exceptional when he played, and if he were healthy for the whole 17 seasons, he would have been much higher on this list.

18. Vladimir Guerrero 1996-Present

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    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Born: Nizao, Peravia, Dominican Republic.

    Vlad the Impaler won his only MVP trophy in 2004 with the Angels.  Vlad is a nine-time All-Star, and he has won eight Sliver Sluggers during his time and finished in the MVP conversation a dozen times.  Vlad can hit for both contact and power, and his bat is what defines him these days.

    Guerrero has racked up 437 home runs and 1,437 RBI.  He also boasts a .319 batting average in over 2,000 games played.  His 162-game averages include 35 home runs and 115 RBI, and obviously a .319 batting average.  Guerrero found his swing again in 2010 with the Rangers, and he looks to continue that with the Orioles in 2011.

17. Manny Ramirez 1993-2011

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    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Born: Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic.

    Man-Ram retired earlier this year, but not before establishing himself as a great hitter.  Ramirez was a 12-time All-Star, and he also won nine Silver Sluggers.  His first full season was in 1994, when he finished second in Rookie of the Year voting, and this appears to be a theme throughout his career.  Ramirez just could not win the big awards, never winning an MVP trophy despite being in the conversation 11 times.

    Manny’s 162-game averages are impressive, with his .312 career batting average, 39 home runs and 129 RBI.  Ramirez’s best numbers for any given season are a .349 batting average, 45 home runs and 165 RBI.  Manny is debatable for the Hall of Fame now that he has retired, but most people are on the fence with him.  Only time will tell, but he will stay at No. 17 on this list unless he has a comeback.

16. Jim McCormick 1878-87

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    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/mccorji01.shtml

    Born: Glasgow, Scotland.

    McCormick was a great pitcher, even for the 1800s when pitchers ruled.  McCormick had a career ERA of 2.43, and he won 265 games in only 10 seasons.  McCormick’s 466 complete games in 485 starts are good for any time period in the game.

    In his career, McCormick’s ERA was over 2.85 only once, in his very last season.  Even for his time period, his stats are jaw-dropping.  McCormick was a dominant pitcher, and he is well-deserving of his No. 16 spot, and he should have been in the Hall of Fame.

15. Tony Perez 1964-86

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    Born: Camaguey,Cuba.

    Perez was a seven-time All-Star, and he was also in the MVP conversation seven times, yet he never won one. Perez was a good hitter, hitting 379 home runs and knocking in 1,652 RBI with a .279 ERA.

    His stats might not jump off the paper at you, but he was elected into the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA as a player in 2000 (385/499 ballots).  Perez is already enshrined in Cooperstown, and that needs to be taken into account.  Perez’s numbers are good, and in 1970 he had the highest offensive WAR of any player, leading to his enshrinement on his ninth try.

14. Pedro Martinez 1992-2009

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    Born: Manoguayabo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic.

    Pedro Martinez was one of the best pitchers of all-time, and for good reason.  Martinez won three Cy Young awards, and he finished in the top four seven times.  Pedro posted a career ERA of 2.93, and a 219-100 record.  Pedro also finished second in MVP voting in 1999, when he went 27-4 with a 2.07 ERA.

    Pedro’s lowest ERA for a season was 1.74, while his best record was 27-4.  Pedro led the league in ERA five times, strikeouts three times, WHIP six times and a plethora of more specific categories.  Pedro will be in the Hall soon enough, as will everyone ahead of him.

13. Luis Aparicio 1956-73

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    Born: Maracaibo, Zulia, Venezuela.

    Aparicio came into the league in 1956 and won the Rookie of the Year award.  Aparicio finished his career as a 10-time All-Star, and he won a ton of other awards, including nine Gold Gloves, and he was in the MVP conversation 10 times, too.

    Aparicio was not known for being a great hitter, although he was decent with a .262 average.  Aparicio was known for his defense and speed.  He averaged 32 steals per 162 games, and he reached 56 in 1959.  He won himself enough Gold Gloves to fill a mantel with, and that landed him in the Hall of Fame and in the top 15 for this list.

12. Ferguson Jenkins 1965-83

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    Born: Chatham, Ontario, Canada

    Jenkins won a Cy Young award in 1972, and he finished in the top six a total of six times.  Jenkins was a three-time All-Star, and he was in the MVP conversation six times.  Jenkins managed to reach a 284-226 record in his 19 seasons, and he pitched over 4,500 innings in his career.

    Jenkins led the league in complete games four times, starts three times, wins twice and innings pitched once.  Jenkins also racked up well over 3,000 strikeouts, and he is now in the Hall of Fame, elected on his third ballot.

11. Ichiro 2001-Present

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Born: Kasugai, Japan.

    Ichiro came into the league in 2001 and was an instant success, winning both the Rookie of the Year and the MVP.  In his 10 seasons in the MLB, Ichiro has been in the MVP conversation nine times, he’s won 10 Gold Gloves and three Silver Sluggers, he has a .330 batting average and he has had over 200 hits in every season he’s played.

    Ichiro has only missed 32 games in the past decade, and he has already racked up 2,261 hits.  Ichiro came into the league at age 27, but he is still a definite Hall of Famer, and he will probably get in on the first ballot or two.

10. Jose Mendez 1908-26

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    Born: Cárdenas, Matanzas, Cuba.

    Mendez was arguably the best pitcher of his day, although he also played shortstop, second base, third base and outfield.  Mendez was not allowed to play in the major leagues because of his dark skin, but he often beat the greatest pitchers of the MLB in exhibition games in Cuba.

    Mendez was known for his blazing fastball and sharp curve.   He was the first internationally known Cuban star, and he was raved about by great players, such as Tug McGraw. Mendez was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2006.

9. Cristobal Torriente 1913-34

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    Born: Cienfuegos, Cuba

    Torriente was one of the best players the Negro Leagues had to offer.  He was a great fielder who could play anywhere, he was a good pitcher with a 15-5 record, and he was an amazing hitter.  Torriente had great power, easily clearing fences 400 feet away, and he was a line-drive hitter.

    Torriente was a great player and he even smacked a two-run double off of the great Babe Ruth, who then struck out the next three batters.  Torriente is in the Hall of Fame now.  The best way to describe him is in a quote from the Negro League Baseball Players Association: “Torrienti earned a .339 average against black pitching, .311 against white major leaguers, and the respect of everyone who watched him play.”

8. Martin Dihigo 1923-47

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    Born: Matanzas, Cuba.

    Dihigo was arguably the most versatile player to ever play the game, with his strong arm and speed.  Dihigo played his ball all over the Americas, and he worked his way into the Mexican, Cuban and American Halls of Fame.

    Dihigo hit over .300 six times in 12 full seasons, and he hit .325 in 1926 with a league-leading 11 home runs in 40 games, not to mention his .333 average in 1935, with a league-leading nine home runs in 42 games.  Dihigo was definitely versatile and incredibly good, which lands him the No. 8 spot.

7. Mariano Rivera 1995-Present

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Born: Panama City, Panama.

    Mo has been elected to 11 All-Star Games in 16 full seasons and has racked up 566 total saves.  He has a career ERA of 2.21 and a record of 75-55.  His career WHIP is 1.00, and did I mention he does it with only one pitch?

    Rivera has been arguably the best closer of all-time, and he has been in the top five for Cy Young voting five times. He has been in the MVP conversation nine times.  Rivera averages about 40 saves per 162 games, and he is going to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.  Enough said.

6. Orlando Cepeda 1958-74

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    Born: Ponce, Puerto Rico.

    This seven-time All-Star was a Rookie of the Year winner in 1958 and he also won the MVP in 1967.  Cepeda was in the MVP conversation a total of seven times in his career.  In his 17 seasons, Cepeda proved that he could hit for both contact and power, and people took notice. Cepeda is now in the Hall of Fame.

    Cepeda consistently hit around .300, and he averaged 29 home runs and 104 RBI per 162 games.  Cepeda’s highs for home runs and RBI in a season both came in 1961, when he had 46 homers and 142 RBI.  Orlando made it into Cooperstown and onto this list without a problem.

5. Juan Marichal 1960-75

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    Born: Laguna Verde, Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic

    Marichal finished his career with a 2.89 ERA, and a record of 243-142.  Marichal was elected to the All-Star Game nine times in his career.  Marichal is now in Cooperstown, elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA in 1983.

    Marichal led the league in wins twice, win/loss ratio once, ERA once, WHIP twice and complete games twice.  Marichal is widely held as one of the best pitchers in history, and many experts put him in the top 20.  Marichal pitched a complete game more than every other time he started a game, and he finished with 244 complete games.  Marichal pitched over 3,500 innings and he racked up well over 2,000 Ks.  Marichal easily deserves his spot, both in Cooperstown and on this list.

4. Sammy Sosa 1989-2007

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Born: San Pedro de Macoris, San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.

    Sosa was a seven-time All-Star and he won plenty of Silver Sluggers...six to be exact.  Sosa was in the MVP conversation nine times, and he won it in 1998.  Slammin’ Sammy hit a total of 609 home runs, the most of any foreign-born player ever.

    Sosa also had 1,667 RBI, and a career .273 batting average.  His 162-game averages include 42 home runs and 115 RBI.  No matter if he played for Chicago, Baltimore or Texas, Sosa had some serious run-production, and he should make the Hall of Fame.

3. Rod Carew 1967-85

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    Born: Gatun, Panama Canal Zone

    Rod Carew was a Rookie of the Year and MVP winner in his time in the majors.  Carew was part of 18 straight All-Star Games, and he continuously dominated during his time in the MLB.  As I said, Carew won an MVP (1977), but he was also in the MVP conversation nine times.  Carew was elected in the Hall of Fame on his first ballot, in 1991, with 90.5-percent voting from the BBWAA.

    Carew finished his career with a .328 batting average, and 1,015 RBI to go along with 353 stolen bases.  Carew was not much of a power hitter, not even reaching 100 home runs, but he was a great contact hitter, hitting .388 at his best point.  Carew hit over .300 15 times in 19 seasons, and he was easily one of the best players in his time, and ever.

2. Albert Pujols 2001-Present

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    Born: Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic.

    Pujols is unbelievably talented, and when looking at his stats, you see why he earned the nickname of “The Machine.”  Pujols came into the league and won the Rookie of the Year in 2001, hitting 37 home runs with 130 RBI and a .329 batting average.  Pujols has also won three MVPs, in 2006, 2008 and 2009.  Pujols has never finished outside the top 10 for MVP voting, and he was outside the top five only once.

    In his 10 full seasons, he has been in nine All-Star Games, won six Silver Sluggers and two Gold Gloves.  Pujols has a career batting average of .330, and he already has 412 home runs and 1,240 RBI.  Pujols still has quite a few good years left in him, and if he continues his success, he will move up to No. 1. But for now he is No. 2.

1. Roberto Clemente 1955-72

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    Born: Carolina, Puerto Rico

    Clemente went to a dozen All-Star Games in his career, and he also won 12 Gold Gloves. Clemente was in the MVP conversation 12 times, and he won one in 1966.  Roberto also got the most coveted award in baseball, the World Series MVP.  Clemente dazzled us in the postseason, even more so than the regular season.  Clemente was a great fielder and he could also hit very well.  Clemente is currently in the Hall of Fame, elected by special election in 1973.

    Clemente finished his career with a .317 batting average, 240 home runs and 1,305 RBI. Clemente’s season-highs were .357 average, 29 home runs and 119 RBI.  Clemente was a great player, and we now have the Roberto Clemente Award, given to the player that best demonstrates Clemente’s value of helping others.  Clemente was a great player, a great person and the best foreign-born player in history...so far.

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