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Percentage of foreign-born players in Major League Baseball drops slightly

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NEW YORK — The percentage of Major League Baseball players born outside the United States declined slightly for the second straight season.

The commissioner's office said Tuesday that 223 players among the 853 on opening-day rosters and inactive lists were born outside the 50 states. At 26.1 percent, the share is down from 28.2 percent last year and 28.4 percent in 2012.

Players come from 16 countries and territories, the most since 2008.

The Dominican Republic has topped the list each year since MLB began tracking the numbers in 2005. But its 82 players are down from a high of 99 in 2007.

Venezuela was next with 59, followed by Cuba, which set a high with 19 — four more than its previous mark set last year.

Puerto Rico had 11, followed by Canada (10), Japan and Mexico (nine), Curacao (five), Colombia and Panama (four), Nicaragua (three) and Australia and South Korea (two).

Boston's Xander Bogaerts became the first player from Aruba on an opening-day roster since St. Louis' Sidney Ponson in 2007. Cleveland's Yan Gomes is the first Brazilian on an opening-day roster.

Texas has the most players born outside the 50 states with 15, trailed by San Francisco (13), Seattle (11) and the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee (10 each).

Figures include active rosters, 101 players on the disabled list and two on the restricted list.

The percentage of foreign-born minor leaguers was 47.8, up from 47.3 last year.

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