Layberger: Building a baseball team: Assimilating Latin, Asian players a team effort

From Tim Layberger at Global Sport Matters on June 11, 2018:

A major league clubhouse can be a modern day Tower of Babel – multiple languages spoken and with them multiple inside jokes, strategy discussions as well as important discussions on where and when to get a haircut.

With nearly a third of active players born in Latin American countries and about two percent from Asian countries, the American Pastime is a global game. Assimilating those players into the North American way of life can be a lot of work.

Major League Baseball is experiencing considerable growth among foreign-born players. The percentage of active players born in Latin American countries is approaching one-third, and the percentage of players from Asian countries hovers around 2 percent.

With respect to Latin American players, MLB organizations typically sign them as teenagers in the hope they can work their way up the minor league development ladder and ultimately enjoy a career in the big leagues. In the case of Asian players, most come to North America with at least some professional experience in their respective country’s major league. In either case, the assimilation process has become a major component of a team’s organizational structure.

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Originally published: June 12, 2018. Last Updated: June 12, 2018.