Most people know that Venezuela is the fourth-largest supplier of oil to the U.S. But you may not be aware that it has also become the second-largest supplier of baseball talent.
In a year when foreign-born players in Major League Baseball declined overall, Venezuela was the only country to send a more heavy hitters than ever to the U.S.
An L.A. Times blog fills us in: Venezuelan participants in the MLB rose from 50 players to 52 players in 2008. The Detroit Tigers have claimed the, er, lion’s share of the Venezuelan sluggers: pitcher Armando Galarraga, infielders Miguel Cabrera and Carlos Guillén, and star outfielder Magglio Ordóñez.
Keep an eye on those Tigers, and don’t forget Venezuela’s Johan Santana of the New York Mets, currently the highest-paid pitcher in the major leagues.