Written by Compose.ly Staff
It’s the most thrilling time of the year for baseball fans as the World Series draws near. This year, 11 MLB postseason players hail from Canada. As the biggest game of the season gets closer, here’s a look at five of the top Canadian players in the major leagues.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has baseball in his blood, since he’s the son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero Sr., who played for the Montreal Expos. Guerrero Jr., a Canadian-Dominican from Montreal, signed with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015 as a 16-year-old international free agent and has stuck with the organization ever since.
In 2021, he was the starting first baseman for the American League’s All-Star Game, setting a few records throughout the game. He hit the All-Star Game's 200th home run, was part of the third father-son duo to hit homers in the All-Star Game and became the youngest All-Star MVP at 22. This made him the first Blue Jay and Canadian citizen to take home the title.
The first baseman is known for being a power hitter. On Sept. 14, 2022, he hit his 100th career home run, becoming the youngest Blue Jay to reach this landmark.
A Toronto native, Joey Votto was selected by the Cincinnati Reds right out of high school in 2002. He played in the minor leagues for a few years and started with the Reds in 2007, being the team’s first baseman since then.
On Aug. 14, 2022, Votto played his 1,989th game, surpassing Hall of Famer Larry Walker as the Canadian who has played the most games in the majors. Votto is arguably one of the best players to come from Canada based on his other stats. He’s played in the All-Star Game six times, was the National League MVP in 2010, and a National League Gold Glove Award winner in 2011.
Currently with the Blue Jays, Jordan Romano has earned a place as a reliable closing pitcher. In 2022, he had an ERA of 2.11 with 36 saves and 73 strikeouts over 64 innings. On April 11, 2022, he set a Blue Jays record by earning his 26th consecutive converted save.
A right-hander, Romano has a mix of pitches in his arsenal and can throw at speeds in the triple digits. He was selected to play on the American League’s All-Star team in 2022, making his debut at the Midsummer Classic.
Josh Naylor plays both the outfield and first base for the Cleveland Guardians. In the 2022 season, Naylor had 20 home runs and 79 RBIs, solidifying him as one of the team’s best hitters. On May 9, 2022, he became the first MLB player to hit two three-run home runs or grand slams in the ninth inning or later in the same game. Naylor is also the first MLB player to gain at least eight RBIs in the eighth inning or after.
In 2020, Naylor was the first MLB player to get five hits in his first five at-bats in the postseason.
O’Neill is the starting left fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, but injuries limited his production in 2022, as he had 14 home runs with a .700 OPS after slugging 34 homers with a .912 OPS last season. He won Gold Glove Awards in 2020 and 2021 and set a record with four of his teammates in 2021 for having five Gold Glove Award winners on the same team.
O’Neill represented Canada in the 2015 Pan American games, bringing home a gold medal.
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