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The Best Baseball Players From Curaçao

Curaçao and baseball go hand-in-hand. It seems that every year, the nation’s Little League team makes a terrific representation of itself in Williamsport. Those young men grow up, and a lot of them have found success at the big league level. All in all, 17 players from Curaçao have suited up for a Major League squad. Some have become household names. Others are somewhat interesting footnotes in history. But, they are all bound by their love of the game and an excellent method of showing it. So, here are Curaçao’s best baseball players, in order of WAR.

Curaçao’s Best Baseball Players

Jonathan Schoop

WAR: 19.7

 For Jonathan Schoop, a lot of things have gone right. After all, he’s a member of Curaçao’s best baseball players. He’s posted the fifth-highest WAR in country history and ranks in the top three in homers (174), RBI (544), and hits (1,095). His six years with the Baltimore Orioles were his most productive, as he had three straight seasons of 20+ homers. He also made the 2017 All-Star Team. Unfortunately, his production has severely declined lately. In fact, he has not hit a home run since September of 2022. But, his early career vaults him here and he deserves to kick off this list.

Ozzie Albies

WAR: 20.2

Ozzie Albies is only seven years into his career, and yet he’s already one of Curaçao’s best baseball players. He’s made three All-Star teams and won two Silver Sluggers. Two of his last three campaigns have ended with 30+ homers and triple-digit RBI totals. In 2019, he led the league in hits (189) and at-bats (640). Sadly, injuries have taken their toll, especially in recent years. However, that has not stopped the Atlanta Braves infielder from becoming one of the best second basemen in the game. When healthy, Albies can stand toe-to-toe with the upper echelon of modern baseball and more than hold his own.

Kenley Jansen

WAR: 20.5

 A list covering Curaçao’s best baseball players would not be complete without this dynamic closer. For much of the 2010s, Kenley Jansen was among the game’s most elite relievers. He’s made four All-Star teams, led the league in saves twice, and is currently seventh on the all-time save list with 420. His tenure with the Los Angeles Dodgers was legendary. In 12 seasons, he saved 350 games with a sparkling 2.37 ERA, the first of which is a franchise record. He also holds franchise records for adjusted ERA+ (164) and K/BB (5.01). From 2016 through 2018, he saved 126 games with a 2.07 ERA and 295 strikeouts in only 208 2/3 innings pitched.

Andrelton Simmons

WAR: 37.1

Andrelton Simmons’ calling card was an incredible sense of defensive wizardry. His glove work was so good that his often anemic offense could, for the most part, be overlooked. He led the league in dWAR three times, won four Gold Gloves, and the ever elusive Platinum Glove. Simmons only committed 101 errors in over 5,200 chances throughout his 11-year career. So, while his glove lands him on this list, it was his ability to read opposing offenses that cemented his legacy. On the offensive side of things, he hit a respectable .263 in his career with 1,169 hits, 201 doubles, and 501 runs scored.

Andruw Jones

WAR: 62.7

 Unsurprisingly, Andruw Jones tops this list of Curaçao’s best baseball players. The five-time All-Star spent 17 seasons in the big leagues, racking up over 400 homers and 1,200 RBI. However, much as with Simmons, Jones’s defense was his true source of drawing power. He won 10 Gold Gloves, all consecutively, and all with the Braves. One of the big questions recently is whether or not Jones is worthy of inclusion in Cooperstown. In spite of his offense going downhill at the end of his career, this writer heartily believes that Jones is deserving of a spot. Through the late 1990s and early 2000s, one would have been hard pressed to find a better defensive outfielder. Add that to his power and you easily have Curaçao’s very best.

Photo Credit: © Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports


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