MLB Players: Building the Ultimate Latino Squad
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.
- Are Latin Americans born in the continental United States included?
- How will you rank the players?
- 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.
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.
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:
|1||Fernando Tatís Jr.||SS|
|2||Ronald Acuña Jr.||CF|
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.
Stay in the Loop
Get the Our Esquina Email Newsletter
By submitting your email, you are agreeing to receive additional communications and exclusive content from Our Esquina. You can unsubscribe at any time.