One heritage and culture with a historic backing around MLB is Venezuela, with many great Venezuelan baseball players playing the game and plenty more following in those footsteps.
As more Venezuelan baseball players enter Major League Baseball, we list the best in no exact order.
One Venezuelan baseball player that stands out is current Detroit Tigers All-Star and future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera has been one of the top players in all Major League Baseball for the last 10-plus years, building a resume that is Hall of Fame worthy.
Another top star who’s dominated the diamond over the past 5-10 years is Houston Astros’ second baseman Jose Altuve.
Current Venezuelan MLB stars include Ronald Acuna Jr of the Atlanta Braves, Willson Contreras of the Chicago Cubs, and Gleyber Torres of the New York Yankees.
Here is a look at the 15 best Venezuelan Baseball Players.
Best Venezuelan Baseball Players
15. Gleyber Torres – New York Yankees
Landing at number 15 as one of the best current Venezuelan baseball players is the New York Yankees All-Star infielder Gleyber Torres.
Despite Torres being 25 years old, the Yankees star has racked up 527 hits over his first five seasons while also hitting 92 home runs.
After making his Major League debut on April 22nd, 2018, Torres would put together a solid rookie season en route to his first of two All-Star appearances while finishing 3rd among votes for the AL Rookie of the Year award.
14. Andres Galarraga – Anaheim Angels
One of the great baseball players from Venezuela is Andres Galarraga, AKA “The Big Cat.”
Galarraga, who played 19 MLB seasons, bounced around over his career, putting together some of his best seasons for the Colorado Rockies, Montreal Expos, and the Atlanta Braves.
Over his 19-year MLB career, the Big Cat racked up 2,333 hits with 444 doubles, 399 home runs, and 1,425 runs batted in.
His performance at the plate earned him five All-Star selections, two Gold Glove awards, and two Silver Slugger awards.
Former teams: Montreal Expos, St. Louis Cardinals, Colorado Rockies, Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers
13. Willson Contreras – Chicago Cubs
Another star of Major League Baseball from Venezuela is the Chicago Cubs All-Star catcher Willson Contreras.
Contreras, who is from Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, is coming off his third NL All-Star game while being one of the faces of the Cubs organization.
Contreras, who made his debut during the 2016 MLB season, racked up 116 home runs over his first 728 games while maintaining a .257 batting average.
In four of his first seven seasons in the majors, Contreras has hit at least 21 home runs, including during the 2022 MLB schedule.
12. Ronald Acuna Jr – Atlanta Braves
Just 24 years old, the Atlanta Braves All-Star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr is one of baseball’s top young players.
Acuna Jr, from La Guairá, Venezuela, is just starting to write his resume after making his MLB debut during the 2018 MLB season at just 20 years old.
Since his arrival, the Braves outfielder has won the NL Rookie of the Year award, made three NL All-Star teams, won two Silver Slugger awards, led the NL in stolen bases, and is a member of the 30 home run, 30 steal club.
Acuna Jr has the making and talent to rise among the list of great Venezuelan Baseball Players rankings.
11. Francisco Rodriguez – Detroit Tigers
One of the most dominant closers over a four stretch that Major League Baseball has ever seen while being a critical factor in the Los Angeles Angels winning a World Series.
During his rookie season, the Angels would go on to win the World Series while Rodriguez picked up five wins over that stretch.
In 16 MLB seasons, K-Rod racked up a 52-53 overall record, 437 career saves, and a 2.86 earned run average.
Overall, Rodriguez made six All-Star teams, won the AL Rolaids Relief Man award twice, set the single-season save record with 62 saves, and led AL in saves in three different seasons.
Former teams: Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers, Baltimore Orioles
10. Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals
One anchor among the Kansas City Royals roster and batting lineup has been All-Star catcher Salvador Perez who has been as good as any catcher in baseball.
Perez, who has made seven All-Star teams, posted his bets overall season during the 2021 MLB season.
The Royals catcher led Major League Baseball with 48 home runs and 121 total runs batted in 620 at-bats during the 2021 MLB schedule.
Perez has racked up 1,246 hits over his 11-year career, 219 home runs, and 720 runs batted in all for the Royals.
9. Bobby Abreu – New York Mets
Another great MLB player to land among the best baseball players from Venezuela is Bobby Abreu.
Abreu, who bounced around his MLB career, was a critical member of the Philadelphia Phillies organization, including being inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame.
Over his career, Abreu picked up 2,470 career hits to go along with 288 home runs and 1,363 runs batted in.
In addition, Abreu was a terrific base runner who picked up 400 stolen bases while being one of only 13 MLB players to have at least two seasons with 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases.
Former teams: Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers
8. Jose Altuve – Houston Astros
Still building on his career MLB resume, Jose Altuve continues to be one of the best second basemen in all of baseball while helping the Houston Astros contend in the American League.
Altuve, from Maracay, Venezuela, is in his 12 MLB season after making his MLB debut during the 2011 MLB season.
Over that stretch, Altuve has led baseball in four seasons in hits, three seasons in batting average, and twice in stolen bases.
In addition to those numbers, Altuve has picked up 1,906 career hits over 6,221 career at-bats.
The Astros second baseman is an eight-time MLB All-Star, AL MVP, five-time Silver Slugger, and a World Series Champion. He is also known for being one of the shortest MLB players.
7. Magglio Ordonez – Detroit Tigers
The former Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers right fielder put together a strong MLB career for 15 seasons.
Ordonez would finish his career with a .309 batting average, with 294 home runs, 426 doubles, 2,156 career hits, and 1,236 runs batted in.
His performance at the plate earned him six AL All-Star appearances and three Silver Slugger awards while also leading the American League in batting average in 2007 with a .363 mark.
Former teams: Chicago White Sox
6. Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
At the top of his pitching game, the long-time Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez was one of the game’s top starters, if not the best pitcher in Major League Baseball.
Often referred to as ‘King Felix’, he was a six-time AL All-Star while composing a career record of 169-136, all with the Mariners franchise.
Over his career, Hernandez racked up 2,524 strikeouts, and a 3.42 earned run average.
In addition to making six All-Star teams, Hernandez threw one perfect game, led the AL in earned run average in two different MLB seasons, and took home the 2010 AL Cy Young Award.
5. David Concepcion – Cincinnati Reds
Over 19 MLB seasons, David Concepcion completed a solid resume while cementing himself among the greatest Venezuelan baseball players All-Time.
Despite falling down the list over the years, Concepcion finished his career among the best. Over his career, Concepcion played for just one organization, the Cincinnati Reds.
However, in those 19 MLB seasons, the Reds All-Star made nine NL All-Star teams, won five Gold Glove awards, won two World Series Championships, and had his number 13 retired by the Reds organization.
4. Johan Santana – New York Mets
Much like his fellow Venezuelan, Johan Santana is one of the pitchers of his generation and all coming during the steroid era of baseball.
Santa, who pitched his entire career with the Minnesota Twins and New York Mets, racked up a career 139-78 record while striking out 1,988 batters and posting a 3.20 earned run average mark.
To go along with those numbers, Santana made four MLB All-Star teams, won two AL Cy Young awards, finished with the pitchers Triple Crown in 2006, and led the AL in strikeouts and earned run average in three different seasons.
Former teams: Minnesota Twins
3. Omar Vizquel – Toronto Blue Jays
Possibly the slickest fielding shortstop to ever play the game, Omar Vizquel was as solid of an infielder that has ever played the game of baseball.
Over his 24 MLB career, Vizquel took home 11 Gold Glove awards, including nine straight from 1993 to 2001.
In addition to the Gold Glove awards, the long-time Indians infielder made three MLB All-Star teams, posted a career .272 batting average, and racked up 2,877 career hits.
Former teams: Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox
2. Luis Aparicio – Boston Red Sox
For a long time, Luis Aparicio could arguably be considered the greatest Venezuelan baseball player of All-Time, and one of the only Venezuelan baseball players in hall of fame, although that’s bound to change drastically in the next few years, with all the stars on this list.
While Miguel Cabrera has recently surpassed him, it is still hard to look past Aparicio’s career. Aparicio scored 2,677 career hits, stole 506 bases, made 13 All-Star teams, and won one World Series Championship.
In addition, Aparicio took home the 1956 AL Rookie of the Year award, won nine Gold Glove awards, and led the AL in stolen bases in nine straight seasons.
Former teams: Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles
1. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers – Best Venezuelan Baseball Player of All Time
It isn’t hard to see why Miguel Cabrera is considered the best and most famous Venezuelan baseball players of all time. The 20-year MLB veteran picked up his 3,000th career hit and 500th career home run during the 2022 MLB schedule.
As his number continues to climb, Cabrera currently has 3,079 hits and 506 home runs.
A long-time member of the Detroit Tigers, Cabrera has made 12 MLB All-Star teams, won one World Series title, carried home two AL MVP awards, and is one of the few players to claim an MLB Triple Crown award.
Former teams: Florida Marlins