While the majority of Major League Baseball players come from the United States, there is a large influx of players from the Caribbean and South America. Of all the countries in South America, Venezuela has the richest baseball history by far with more than 100 active MLB players hailing from the country. Venezuela was a threat at the 2023 World Baseball Classic, winning their pool before losing to the United States in the quarterfinals.
We’ll take a look at the current best Venezuelan baseball players and all-time greats. Read on!
Current Best Venezuelan Baseball Players
Ronald Acuna Jr
Acuna is coming off a career year in 2023. He led the league in runs, hits, stolen bases, on-base percentage, and OPS while becoming the first player in league history to surpass 40 home runs and 70 stolen bases in a season.
His efforts earned him NL MVP honors. At only 25 years old, Acuna already has made four All-Star appearances, Rookie of the Year, and has 161 career home runs.
Acuna struggled in the 2023 playoffs, going just 2-for-14 in the Braves loss to the Phillies.
Altuve has been a standout offensively since beginning his MLB career in 2011.
He has won three AL batting titles, led the league in hits four times, hit at least 20 home runs in a season five times, and scored at least 100 runs in a season four times.
Altuve won the AL MVP in 2017 after hitting .346. He has been clutch in the postseason, hitting .273 with 27 home runs in 103 games.
Altuve has two World Series championships under his belt and despite missing nearly half of 2023 with injuries, has plenty left in the tank at age 33.
Altuve enters 2024 with 2047 career hits, 209 home runs, and 293 stolen bases.
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Arraez began his MLB career with the Minnesota Twins in 2019 as a 22-year-old. He hit .336 in 92 games as a rookie and followed with a .321 average in the limited 2020 schedule.
Arraez made his first All-Star appearance in 2022 and led the league with a .316 batting average.
He continued to thrive at the plate in 2023 in his first season with the Miami Marlins, leading the league with a .354 average and earning another All-Star appearance.
Arraez is a very versatile player, having seen time at every infield position except pitcher and catcher, as well as in the outfield.
Arraez struggled in the playoffs this past season, getting just one hit in eight at-bats against the Phillies.
Also read: Best Dominican Baseball Players
Alvarado began his MLB career with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2017. He posted an ERA of 2.39 with 80 strikeouts in 64 innings in 2018.
He was acquired by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2021 and has become one of the best left-handed relievers in the league.
In 2023, Alvarado posted a 1.74 ERA during the regular season with 64 strikeouts in 41 ⅓ innings.
He carried that over to the playoffs, allowing only a run in eight innings.
Arcia played his first five-plus seasons for the Milwaukee Brewers. He hit only .219 as a rookie in 2016 before increasing his average to .277 with 15 home runs the following year.
Arcia made his first All-Star appearance in 2023 and set career highs in hits, doubles, home runs, and RBI.
He had only two hits in 13 at-bats against the Phillies in the 2023 NLDS.
Arcia turned 29 years old in August of 2023 and will enter the 2024 season with a career batting average of .247 with 70 home runs.
Also read: Best Puerto Rican Baseball Players
Contreras has been one of the better-hitting catchers in the National League since beginning his career with the Cubs in 2016.
He’s hit at least 20 home runs in a season five times and has a career OPS of .811. Contreras won a World Series with the Cubs as a rookie and has made three NL All-Star teams.
He hit .264 with 20 home runs and 67 RBI in 2023 in his first season with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Escobar has enjoyed a steady MLB career since beginning his career in 2011. He’s spent time with six different teams, most recently playing for the Los Angeles Angels in 2023.
Escobar has had five seasons with at least 20 home runs. His career season was in 2019 when he led the league in triples with 10 and added 35 home runs and 118 RBI.
He made his lone All-Star team in 2021. Currently a free agent, Escobar has 1185 career hits and 164 home runs.
Lopez has had a moderate amount of success as left-handed starting pitcher over a six-year MLB career.
He spent his first five seasons with the Miami Marlins. Lopez won 10 games for the Marlins in 2022 with 174 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.75.
Lopez enjoyed his best season with the Minnesota Twins in 2023 when he made his first All-Star team and posted a record of 11-8 with a 3.66 ERA and 234 strikeouts.
He was excellent in the 2023 playoffs, going 2-0 with an ERA of 0.71 in 12 ⅔ innings.
Perez began his MLB career with the Kansas City Royals in 2011. He’s been one of the top catchers in the game, both offensively and defensively.
Perez has been named AL All-Star eight times and won the Gold Glove Award five times. He’s hit at least 20 home runs in a season seven times and led the league with 48 home runs and 121 RBI in 2021.
Perez hit .364 in the 2015 World Series, earning MVP honors. He has 246 home runs and 812 RBI in 1394 career games.
Suarez has spent seven of his ten MLB seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, earning his only All-Star appearance in 2018. He’s hit at least 30 home runs in a season four times with a career-high 49 in 2019.
Suarez has played the last two seasons with the Mariners and has led the league in strikeouts both seasons, while also hitting 53 home runs.
Primarily a third baseman, Suarez can also play shortstop and has been used as a designated hitter.
Suarez has 246 career home runs and 1442 strikeouts in 4661 at-bats.