The Dominican Republic produces a ton of baseball talent, including a number of big league catchers over the years.
This article zooms in and looks at these catchers.
It identifies all Dominican catchers in Major League Baseball (MLB) based on the 2022 season.
¡Sigue leyendo para aprender más sobre catchers dominicanos en los grandes ligas béisbol!
Dominican Catchers as a Percentage of the MLB Total
As we describe in our article on MLB catchers during the 2022 season, 120 different catchers caught at least one big league game that year.
Approximately two thirds of those catchers were from the United States.
The remaining one third were split among a variety of different Latin American countries.
Venezuela claims the second-most catchers in the MLB, with 19.
After Venezuela is Puerto Rico, with eight MLB catchers during the 2022 season.
Catchers from the Dominican Republic are next, with five. This comes out to about 4% of the nationality of all big league catchers during the 2022 season.
Dominican players across all positions represent about 10% of total MLB players, so the 4% for catchers is lower than the average for other positions.
Dominican Catchers in 2022
As mentioned in the previous section, in 2022 there were five Dominican catchers that played in the MLB.
Those five are listed below along with some of their key stats from the 2022 season.
- Francisco Mejía
- Yainer Diaz
- Yermín Mercedes
- Pedro Severino
- Gary Sanchez
Francisco Mejía, Tampa Bay Rays
2022 Stats: 0.7 bWAR, .242/.264/.381, 70 hits, 6 home runs, 31 RBIs, .997 fielding percentage, 23% caught stealing percentage.
Yainer Diaz, Houston Astros
2022 Stats: -0.1 bWAR, 1 hit in 8 at bats, 1 RBI, no errors in two innings caught.
Yermín Mercedes, San Francisco Giants
2022 Stats: -0.1 bWAR, .233/.325/.342, 17 hits, 1 home run, 8 RBIs, no errors in 1 inning caught
Pedro Severino, Milwaukee Brewers
2022 Stats: 0.0 bWAR, 4 hits in 18 at bats, 1 RBI, no errors in 33.1 innings caught.
Gary Sanchez, Minnesota Twins
2022 Stats: 0.9 bWAR, .205/.282/.377, 86 hits, 16 home runs, 61 RBIs, .994 fielding percentage, 28% caught stealing percentage.
Cities Where Dominican Catchers Are From
The five Dominican catchers during the 2022 MLB season all come from different cities. These cities are generally located in the southern part of the Dominican Republic.
Gary Sanchez is from the capital city, Santo Domingo. Francisco Mejia is from Bani, while Pedro Severino is from Bonao.
Yainer Diaz hails from Azua while Yermin Mercedes comes from La Romana, a coastal city not far from the resort town Punta Cana.
This map shows the location of each hometown of catchers from the Dominican Republic.
Best Dominican Catcher in Baseball History
The best Dominican catcher of all time is Tony Peña, who's from Monte Cristi, DR.
Peña broke into the big leagues in 1980 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and went on to spend seven years with the team. He also spent time with the Boston Red Sox, the Cleveland Indians, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Houston Astros and the Chicago White Sox.
Over the course of his 18 years in the big leagues, Peña slashed .260/.309/.364 with 1,687 hits, 107 home runs, 708 RBIs and a 24.7 bWAR.
Behind the plate he had a .991 fielding percentage as a catcher and a 35% caught stealing percentage, which was three points better than the league average over this time.
Peña was a five time MLB all star and he won four gold glove awards.
After his career he coached in the minor leagues and in the big leagues. He also managed the Kansas City Royals for parts of four seasons.
Peña is a member of the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame (Salón de la Fama del Béisbol Latino) and the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame.
That’s A Wrap!
Thanks for checking out this article on big league catchers from the Dominican Republic. We hope you enjoyed it.
Please get in touch with us if you have any questions or comments.