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South Dakota and Santo Domingo: baseball hotbeds

May 19, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

95 percent pie chart

Andrew Powell-Morse of the Best Tickets blog shot me a link to his Unofficial 2014 MLB Players Census which is exactly what it sounds like: baseball’s population broken down and analyzed. By age, race, national origin, salary, handedness, everything. If you can measure a demographic attribute of a ballplayer and put it on a graph, they got it.

My favorite nugget in there: South Dakota has the highest per capita representation of all of the states in Major League Baseball. It has three major leaguers and very few people so, duh. California is third per capita, which is pretty impressive actually.

This is a good one to stump friends with: which city has produced the most current major leaguers? The answer is Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Which makes total sense given a second of thought. But because people tend to think in somewhat self-centered terms most people would probably go through U.S. cities first, I presume. For what it’s worth, Houston is second.

Anyway, lots of data. Lots of fun.

  1. Jason @ IIATMS - May 19, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Bring back geographically-based drafting

    -Houston Astros Baseball Club

    • stex52 - May 20, 2014 at 10:45 AM

      This ^^^^^^^^^. But I’m actually not too surprised. Little League and college baseball are very big down here. A lot of people assume it is all football.

  2. stlouis1baseball - May 19, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    You are being too rough on South Dakota CC. What did South Dakota ever do to you? Take it easy on those fine folks. What are you? A barbarian?

  3. Detroit Michael - May 19, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    Very fun stuff.

    A couple of nitpicks:
    (1) Puerto Rico is not a non-U.S. country.
    (2) The data file at the end links to NFL data, so one can’t look at the detail data.

    Also, the first chart indicates that the database covers 752 players, or just a couple guys more than 25 per team, so it’s basically at snapshot of who was on the active roster on one particular day. Hence, when the data gets sliced pretty thin, this might affect one’s conclusions.

    For example, I was wondering why the Detroit Tigers (my hometown team) have only 3 guys from outside of the U.S. and might be ignoring that avenue of talent too much. The answer is that they have more than 3 players. Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Al Alburquerque must have been the active three when the snapshot was taken, Anibal Sanchez, Jose Iglesias and Bruce Rondon were on the DL, and Jose Ortega pitched briefly for the MLB club in 2014 but is back in the minors. I might have overlooked others, but my point is that the thin slices of data will vary quite a bit if one were to broaden the definition of who is a major leaguer.

    • gloccamorra - May 19, 2014 at 5:24 PM

      Very good point. You can prove almost anything with small sample sizes. They might have done better if they used everyone with major league service time in the 2013-2014 seasons.

      BTW, what are the chances the race breakdown gets the most press and comments?

  4. Robert - May 20, 2014 at 1:12 AM

    Dakota A’s

    Santo Domingo Rays.

    No more embarrassing attendance figures, sell outs galore if these two franchises move to these areas.

  5. cktai - May 20, 2014 at 7:50 AM

    Curacao has 4 MLB players (excluding the injured Profar) with a population of only 150,000 which gives a per capita rate more than 7 times higher than South Dakota. They truly have a golden generation going.

  6. thehawg - May 20, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    Four current Major League first baseman played high school ball in Broward County Florida.

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