Miguel Cabrera

10 best Venezuelan baseball players of all-time

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For decades, Venezuelan baseball players have made their mark in the majors. Without question, some of the greatest Venezuelan sportspeople are pro baseball players, and it seems like that with every new generation, the best Venezuelan MLB players seem to get better and better, to the point that we had to come up with a list of the best Venezuelan baseball players.

Venezuelan baseball players

The funny thing is that most fans probably don’t realize that the most famous Venezuelan baseball players are actually from Venezuela.

But let’s not forget that Venezuela finished third at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

This is a country that loves baseball and has produced some great players. In fact, it wasn’t easy leaving a few players off of our ranking of the 10 best Venezuelan MLB players of all time.

10. Francisco Rodríguez

While there was a lot of competition for the top-10, K-Rod rounds out our list of the best Venezuelan MLB players. When he burst onto the scene with the Angels during the 2002 playoffs, he was something special.


He would go on to collect 437 career saves, becoming one of just six pitchers to amass more than 400 saves.

Of course, he helped the Halos win the World Series just over a month after his big-league debut thanks to his wicked breaking ball. Francisco Rodriguez also found his way onto six All-Star teams during his career, pitching 16 seasons and finishing his career with a 2.86 ERA.

9. Bobby Abreu

They just don’t make disciplined, professional hitters like Bobby Abreu anymore. As a .291 career hitter, Abreu was one of the best pure hitters of his generation.

People also forget that he was an incredible athlete who won a Gold Glove and stole 400 bases over his nearly 20-season career. Surprisingly, Abreu was only an all-star twice. However, he is one of just 13 players to join the 30-30 club multiple times. 


8. Andres Galarraga

Nicknamed the Big Cat, Andres Galarraga was one of the best first basemen of his generation and among the best Venezuelan baseball players to reach the majors.

He could hit for average and power, winning a batting title in 1993 and leading the National League in home runs in 1996, albeit while playing for the Rockies.

Galarraga was also a five-time all-star and an underrated defensive player, taking home two Gold Gloves early in his career. He also battled cancer twice during his career but returned to the field each time, making him an inspirational figure and one of the greatest Venezuelan sportspeople in recent memory.

7. Magglio Ordonez

Magglio Ordonez is one of the great but somewhat forgotten hitters of his generation, playing his entire career in the AL Central with the Tigers and White Sox.

He retired as a .309 career hitter while coming up just a little shy of 300 career home runs. Ordonez was a six-time all-star and a three-time Silver Slugger winner. He even won a batting title in 2007.

6. Felix Hernandez

They call him King Felix because he is surely one of the best Venezuelan baseball players of all time. He spent his entire career with the Mariners from 2005 to 2019, setting countless franchise records.

During his distinguished career, Felix Hernandez was named an all-star six times thanks to his ability to strike out batters and induce a lot of ground balls, rarely allowing hitters to get the ball in the air in an era where that’s all batters want to do. During the prime of his career, Hernandez threw a perfect game in 2012, two years after winning the 2010 Cy Young.

5. Johan Santana

Among pitchers, Johan Santana is arguably the best that Venezuela has ever produced. Injuries got in his way late in his career, but not before he pitched the first no-hitter in Mets’ history in 2012 during what would be his final season in the majors.

Santana was a four-time all-star and a two-time Cy Young winner, including the 2006 season when he won the pitching version of the Triple Crown.

Considering he was an undersized pitcher who was actually a Rule 5 pick, it’s safe to say that Santana exceeded all expectations.

His changeup was a thing of beauty and one of the best in baseball history. That pitch helped him to lead the American League in strikeouts for three straight years and lead the league in ERA three times. For his career, Santana won 139 games and posted a 3.20 ERA while also winning a Gold Glove for good measure.

4. Omar Vizquel

Defensively, shortstops don’t get much better than Omar Vizquel. He is the MLB all-time leader in games played at shortstop and double plays turned.

Vizquel’s fielding percentage at shortstop is also tied for the best in MLB history. While he wasn’t a standout hitter with a .272 career average, Vizquel collected 2,877 hits over his 24 seasons. Despite only making three All-Star teams, Vizquel won 11 Gold Gloves, including a stretch of nine in a row that spanned most of the 1990s, clearly making him the best defensive shortstop of his generation.

3. David Concepcion

Since he played in the 1970s and 80s and spent his entire career with the Reds, David Concepcion isn’t always remembered by all baseball fans as one of the great Venezuelan MLB players. But he deserves to be up there with some of the best. After all, he was a nine-time all-star, including a string of eight straight seasons.

Along the way, the shortstop won five Gold Gloves and two Silver Slugger Awards while also contributing to Cincinnati’s back-to-back World Series titles in 1975 and 1976.

Back in the day, he and Joe Morgan were an amazing middle infield tandem. While he never hit for much power, Concepcion collected over 2,300 career hits and probably deserved more Hall of Fame consideration than he received. 

2. Miguel Cabrera

There’s an argument to be made that Miguel Cabrera is the best all-around hitter of the modern era.

He made his big-league debut just a couple of months after his 20th birthday and looked like a polished hitter almost right away. He has already surpassed 500 career home runs and began the 2022 season 13 hits shy of 3,000 while batting .310 in his career.

Cabrera won MVP honors twice, including the 2012 season when he won the Triple Crown. He’s also a four-time batting champion, including a run of three in a row from 2011-2013 during Cabrera’s prime years when there was no better hitter in baseball.

On top of that, he’s led the American League in RBIs twice and been the leader in home runs twice while also being an 11-time all-star, leaving no doubt that he’s one of the best Venezuelan MLB players of all time.

1. Luis Aparicio

In addition to being the first Venezuelan player inducted into the Hall of Fame, Luis Aparicio is arguably the best in the country’s history. His career spanned nearly two decades from 1956 to 1973 and included 13 all-star selections.

While he was only a career .262 hitter, “Little Louie” racked up 2,677 career hits, albeit with just 83 home runs.

Aparicio was better known as one of the great defensive shortstops in baseball history, winning nine Gold Gloves, as well as his speed, as he led the American League in stolen bases in nine straight seasons from 1956 to 1964, collecting 506 stolen bases over his Hall of Fame career. 

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