Who Likes the Foreigners?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The ratio of Americans to foreigners at the major league level has risen from 3% in 1903 to 26% in 2008. International scouting is more important than ever as there is a high probability that one out of every 5 players on your team will have learned the game somewhere other than in the US.

Some teams and general managers have shied away from foreigners but others have embraced them; to a point where 50% of their players were born outside of the States or Canada. Omar Minaya and Ned Colletti are stocking their teams with imports more than any other General Managers in recent years. Omar Minaya made his presence felt immediately after being hired to lead the Montreal Expos in 2002. Though they already had a large % of foreigners on their team (40.4% in 2001), Minaya quickly boosted it up to 44% and after taking over the New York Mets in 2005, he raised their ratio of foreigners from 23% in 2004 to 47% in 2006. Does this translate to winning? Well, it didn't necessarily result in a World Championship for the Mets but how about for other teams?
Consider the % of foreigners on the last 10 World Series winning teams:

2008 PHI  15%
2007 BOS 33%
2006 STL 24%
2005 CHW 32%
2004 BOS 22%
2003 FLA 28%
2002 ANA 20%
2001 ARI 19%
2000 NYY 30%
1999 NYY 31%


It would be very difficult to correlate championships to the ratio of foreigners on a given team but in general, the % does not deviate much from teh average.

Its also important to note that for the purpose of this study, a foreigner is classified as a player whose birthplace is anywhere other than the United States or Canada. The study does not take into consideration the location of upbringing for a specific player and so players such as Bruce Bochy (France), Jeff Bronkey (Afhganistan) and Keith McDonald (Japan) are deemed foreigners.

The top 15 teams with the highest % of foreigners

2004 Los Angeles Dodgers 51.2%
2006 New York Mets 51.0%
2005 Los Angeles Dodgers 47.7%
2005 New York Mets 47.6%
2007 New York Mets 46.9%
2008 New York Mets 46.0%
2002 Montreal Expos 44.2%
2003 Montreal Expos 44.2%
2006 Los Angeles Dodgers 44.0%
1997 Toronto Blue Jays 43.2%
2003 New York Yankees 42.9%
2005 Baltimore Orioles 41.3%
2008 New York Yankees 41.2%
2001 Montreal Expos 40.4%
2004 Baltimore Orioles 40.4%
2005 Seattle Mariners 39.6%


By Franchise (Data since 1980):

Arizona Diamondbacks 25.7%
Florida Marlins 24.9%
Los Angeles Dodgers 24.2%
Pittsburgh Pirates 21.4%
Colorado Rockies 21.4%
Tampa Bay Rays 20.8%
Washington Nationals 20.5%
Toronto Blue Jays 20.1%
Cleveland Indians 18.7%
New York Yankees 18.4%
Baltimore Orioles 18.0%
Seattle Mariners 17.4%
New York Mets 17.3%
Atlanta Braves 16.9%
Texas Rangers 16.3%
Cincinnati Reds 16.3%
St. Louis Cardinals 15.9%
Chicago Cubs 15.8%
Chicago White Sox 15.6%
Milwaukee Brewers 15.5%
Houston Astros 15.4%
Los Angeles Angels 14.6%
Kansas City Royals 14.3%
Boston Red Sox 14.2%
Detroit Tigers 14.2%
San Diego Padres 13.9%
Minnesota Twins 13.6%
Oakland Athletics 13.6%
Philadelphia Phillies 13.4%
San Francisco Giants 12.8%

By Year:

1903 3.3%
1904 4.2%
1905 4.2%
1906 4.3%
1907 3.6%
1908 4.0%
1909 2.8%
1910 2.4%
1911 1.8%
1912 2.7%
1913 2.6%
1914 3.7%
1915 2.3%
1916 3.4%
1917 2.9%
1918 3.4%
1919 2.1%
1920 2.1%
1921 1.9%
1922 1.4%
1923 0.8%
1924 0.7%
1925 1.3%
1926 1.1%
1927 0.7%
1928 0.8%
1929 0.9%
1930 0.6%
1931 1.2%
1932 1.1%
1933 0.8%
1934 0.6%
1935 1.0%
1936 0.8%
1937 1.0%
1938 0.9%
1939 0.9%
1940 1.1%
1941 0.9%
1942 1.5%
1943 2.2%
1944 2.8%
1945 3.1%
1946 1.3%
1947 1.4%
1948 1.4%
1949 2.6%
1950 3.1%
1951 3.4%
1952 3.0%
1953 3.8%
1954 4.2%
1955 5.0%
1956 5.5%
1957 5.7%
1958 6.1%
1959 6.8%
1960 9.0%
1961 7.5%
1962 7.4%
1963 7.9%
1964 8.8%
1965 8.7%
1966 9.3%
1967 10.1%
1968 10.4%
1969 11.5%
1970 11.2%
1971 10.2%
1972 10.7%
1973 11.2%
1974 11.1%
1975 9.7%
1976 11.4%
1977 10.4%
1978 10.3%
1979 10.4%
1980 11.2%
1981 10.5%
1982 10.6%
1983 11.9%
1984 11.2%
1985 11.1%
1986 11.0%
1987 11.9%
1988 13.5%
1989 12.5%
1990 13.1%
1991 14.4%
1992 14.2%
1993 14.5%
1994 15.0%
1995 16.6%
1996 17.9%
1997 21.1%
1998 19.9%
1999 21.3%
2000 22.4%
2001 24.1%
2002 25.4%
2003 25.0%
2004 26.7%
2005 27.1%
2006 27.2%
2007 26.2%
2008 26.2%

Posted by Gary at 4:56 PM 2 comments  

The South Coast League

Thursday, November 6, 2008

+ Not sure why I didn't notice but the South Coast League did not play in 2008. I grabbed the 2007 stats and so there are duplicate stats for all players participating in this league.

I'll have that updated on the site soon.

Posted by Gary at 9:43 AM 1 comments  

2008 Independent Statistics

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

+ I have added stats for the following Independent Leagues.


American Association
Atlantic League
CanAm League
Continental League
Frontier League
Golden League
Northern League
South Coast League
United League

Two interesting names pop out.

+ My next project will be to work 100% on the new site design which will hopefully be ready sooner than later. Once that is done, I can go back to my data projects.

Posted by Gary at 12:48 PM 1 comments  

Minor League Fielding Statistics

Thursday, October 30, 2008

+ I'm not sure how much value people put on fielding statistics but in case you are interested, I have finally updated minor league fielding stats for all affiliated leagues between 2006 and 2008. The only exception is that I don't have pitchers fielding stats or DH appearances. As always, for minor leaguers, outfielders will simply appear as "OF" instead of the specific position.

+ At one time, The Baseball Cube was littered with ticket advertisements by competitive ticket companies trying to use link placement as a means of getting higher rankings in the search engines, i.e. Google. Over the last year, Google has made some adjustments to their search algorithm that now penalizes ticket companies and sites that show these ads with respect to search rankings. And so the trend on the Cube is that there are not only less ticket ads but there will likely soon be none.

That provides the opportunity for a site redesign since much of the current design is built around making room for these ticket ads. You can expect to see something new in the next couple of weeks or months. It will be a more vertical display that will require a lot of scroll down but all of the same information will still be there and there may even be a few new surprises.

Posted by Gary at 9:10 AM 1 comments  

Baseball Studies Online

Monday, October 6, 2008

+ I've started a section on Baseball Studies which thus far only includes the Organization Stability post that I made last week. I have more studies on the way and if you have any interesting "studies" that you'd like to see me complete, don't hesitate to contact me.



Posted by Gary at 8:24 PM 0 comments  

2008 Major League Stats

Sunday, October 5, 2008

+ We're up to date with Major League Stats for 2008. The data products will be completely updated by tomorrow.

Posted by Gary at 9:10 PM 0 comments  

Minor League Playoff Data

Thursday, October 2, 2008

+ I've updated the Minor League Team Pages to now include playoff results for 2008.

+ I should have Major League Stats online next week and by extension, all of the data products for 2008 should be available.

+ I have happened on a new band called Kings of Leon. Brilliant straight-ahead gutsy rock. "Arizona" is my new favorite song.

Posted by Gary at 8:33 PM 0 comments