Percentage of foreign-born MLB players drops from 29.0 to 28.0

NEW YORK -- The percentage of major league baseball players born outside the 50 states dropped slightly this year.

Of the 855 players on rosters at the start of the season, 239 were born outside the 50 states, the commissioner's office said Tuesday. The percentage dropped to 28.0 from 29.0 last year, when it was just off the record of 29.2 set in 2005.

The Dominican Republic had the most with 88 -- a decrease of 10. It was followed by Venezuela (52), Puerto Rico (29), Japan (16), Canada (14), Mexico (11), Cuba (eight), Panama (five), Australia (four), Taiwan (three), Colombia, Curacao and South Korea (two apiece), and the Netherlands, Nicaragua and the U.S. Virgin Islands (one apiece).

The New York Mets (15) had the most foreign-born players for the third straight year and were followed by Seattle (14), and the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland, Detroit and the New York Yankees (11 each).

There were 3,356 of 7,021 minor leaguers born outside the 50 states, with the percentage rising to 47.8 percent, up from 46.2 last year and 45.1 in 2005.

The pool included players on Opening Day rosters and disabled lists, and suspended Milwaukee outfielder Mike Cameron.