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MLB Players, Latino Squad

MLB Players: Building the Ultimate Latino Squad

  • Manuel Gómez - East Coast Contributor & Podcast Director Manuel Gómez, East Coast Contributor & Podcast Director
  • March 10, 2021

If we could create a 25-man roster made up entirely of Latino MLB players, how would they fare against other big league teams?

When I had the idea of building the ultimate squad of Latino MLB players, there were a few players that were absolutely going to make the list. Juan Soto, Ronald Acuña Jr., and Fernando Tatis Jr. come to mind.

However, the rest of the group remained blurred by a number of questions.

  1. Are Latin Americans born in the continental United States included?
  2. How will you rank the players?
  3. Can we use 2020 as a real measure of player performance?

To keep things consistent, we eliminated Latin Americans from the continental U.S. from the list. Then, in terms of rankings, we used a player’s performance in 2019 and 2020. Then we looked at that players’ projections for 2021 using Steamer.

Utilizing this “system,” here is a list of the MLB players in Our Esquina’s 25-man roster of Latino players.

MLB Players
Our Esquina‘s 25-Man Roster

How This Team Fares?

In the age of analytics, there are several tools we can use to determine how well this Latino Squad would do against other MLB teams. The easiest way would be to use Steamer projections to determine each player’s WAR and then compare that to every MLB team’s projected WAR for 2021.

Latino Squad 52.9 22.8 75.7
Dodgers 29.9 21.2 51.1
Yankees 27.7 22.4 50.0
Padres 23.1 21.8 44.9
Twins 25.3 14.8 40.1
White Sox 21.8 18.1 39.8
Braves 23.3 16.2 39.5
Rays 18.9 14.8 33.7
Blue Jays 25.1 15.7 40.8
Astros 28.7 12.7 41.4
Athletics 21.0 12.7 33.6
Mets 21.5 21.7 43.1
Indians 17.0 14.2 31.2
Cubs 18.4 10.7 29.0
Angels 22.7 13.9 36.6
Cardinals 17.6 14.1 31.7
Phillies 18.2 15.7 34.0
Nationals 17.7 18.0 35.7
Brewers 14.7 16.6 31.3
Red Sox 20.0 13.9 33.9
Reds 10.3 15.7 26.0
Giants 12.5 12.6 25.1
Marlins 11.0 11.9 22.9
Royals 14.9 11.8 26.7
Mariners 11.8 13.0 24.9
Diamondbacks 12.6 12.4 25.0
Tigers 10.4 10.7 21.1
Orioles 9.9 8.1 18.0
Rockies 4.7 11.6 16.3
Rangers 3.8 14.3 18.2
Pirates 6.6 8.6 15.2
Data Collected from FanGraphs

Offensively, the Latino Squad would absolutely dominate the game, leading the MLB-best Los Angeles Dodgers by 30 WAR. Pitching-wise, this team still leads the league, but barely as they lead the New York Yankees by just 0.4 WAR.

The Manager & The Lineup

To lead this group of young Latinos, you’ll need a young up-and-comer with plenty of managerial experience. This person will know how to manage the egos of young stars while also being able to do what is necessary to win games.

This person would have to be none other than Tampa Bay Rays 3B coach Rodney Linares. The son of a Dominican legend Julio Linares, this young man advocated for players like J.D. Martinez and José Altuve when they were minor leaguers.

What’s more, he won plenty of games and is widely considered a top managerial candidate for any team.

Since winning will be this manager’s top priority, his lineup card would look like so:

Order Player Pos.
1 Fernando Tatís Jr. SS
2 Ronald Acuña Jr. CF
3 Juan Soto RF
4 José Ramirez 3B
5 José Altuve 2B
6 Marcell Ozuna DH
7 Eloy Jiménez LF
8 José Abreu 1B
9 Yasmani Grandal C

By far, the hardest decision Linares will have to make is whether to start Francisco Lindor or Tatís. As it currently stands, Lindor is better defensively and has the veteran presence, but Tatís has boundless potential.

You really can’t go wrong with either shortstop.

Are we missing any modern-day Latino MLB players in this piece? Tell us who you would replace by via Twitter @OurEsquina.

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