Dominican ball players lead, on opening day, this season there were 102 Dominican players, the first time a nation outside the U.S. reached this digit. Venezuela followed with 84, followed by Venezuela with 74 players, Cuba with 19, Puerto Rico (18); Mexico with 9, Japan with 8, Canada and South Korea with 6 each, Colombia and Curacao with 5 each, and Australia, Brazil, Nicaragua and Panama have about 3 players each. Aruba, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, South Africa and Taiwan had 1 player each.
The Minnesota Twins and the Pittsburgh Pirates have the most international-born players with 14 apiece, followed by the Chicago White Sox with 13 and Miami and Tampa Bay with 11 apiece.
Foreign-born professional athletes, including baseball players, typically work on a P-1 visa. The spouse of a P-1 athlete is entitled to a P-4 visa. The players union is required to weigh in on each visa application to ensure that the athlete has a valid contract offer from a professional team. To gain permanent residence (a green card) the sports team would normally sponsor the athlete through the rigorous EB-1 (extraordinary ability) or EB-2 (exceptional ability) processes.