The Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks will square off in Game 1 of the World Series on Friday, October 27 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas with more games to follow in the upcoming week. The Rangers and Diamondbacks were second-place teams who were written off for failure in 2023, but as baseball proves every year — it is unpredictable and beautiful.
Before watching the World Series, it’s important to highlight those from our communities who will be stepping out on the field to bring it home for their teams. From José Leclerc to Gabriel Moreno and Leody Taveras, here are seven Latino players from our communities to watch out for during the 2023 World Series!
P.S. To learn more about the 2023 World Series schedule, click here.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. — Arizona Diamondbacks
Cuban-born Lourdes Gurriel Jr. made his first All-Star team in 2023. He set his career-high in home runs with 24 in his first season in Arizona. Despite being snubbed in the Gold Glove nominations (he led all right fielders in defensive runs saved in 2023) Gurriel brings the combination of his incredible defense in the field and power at the plate. Look for Gurriel to make his mark in the 2023 World Series.
Leody Taveras — Texas Rangers
A native of the Dominican Republic, Leody Taveras spent a few seasons between the Minor Leagues and the Rangers but played a full season in 2023, hitting 14 home runs in 143 games and playing elite defense in center field. He has put his mark on the 2023 playoffs with clutch hitting and truly one of the greatest plays of the playoffs, a home run robbery of Yordan Álvarez in Game 3 of the American League Championship series.
Ketel Marte — Arizona Diamondbacks
For MLB fans, Ketel Marte’s name is well-known. He has been a staple of the Arizona Diamondbacks lineup for almost nine seasons and has been an MVP candidate almost every year since 2019. The NLCS MVP against the Philadelphia Phillies, Marte is the total package. He has blazing speed, plays solid defense at second base, and as a switch-hitter—he is a pitching matchup nightmare. Look for the Dominican-born Marte to lead the Diamondbacks again in the World Series.
José Leclerc — Texas Rangers
José Leclerc’s story should teach us all not to give up. He made his MLB debut back in 2016 and was known for his lack of command. After being named the 2018 Rangers’ Pitcher of the Year in 2018, Leclerc missed the 2021 season and half of 2022 after having Tommy John surgery. Born in Esperanza in the Dominican Republic, Leclerc appeared in 57 games in 2023 and set an MLB record by becoming the first pitcher to close his team’s first seven games of the postseason.
Gabriel Moreno — Arizona Diamondbacks
Born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Gabriel Moreno was traded to the Diamondbacks at the end of 2022 for Daulton Varsho, who was a fan-favorite and lauded by many to be the future of the Diamondbacks at the catching position. Moreno quietly had a terrific season behind the plate as the leader of the pitching staff and as a hitter. The way the Diamondbacks pitching staff has overachieved in the 2023 playoffs has a lot to do with Moreno’s game-calling and leadership. He hit .296 in the NLCS which included some clutch hitting and there will be no surprises now when Moreno comes up big in the World Series.
Adolis García — Texas Rangers
Everyone’s favorite story in the MLB postseason this year, Adolis Garciá has mashed and slugged his way to superstardom with his performance in this year’s playoffs. “El Bombi” defected from Cuba and was designed for assignment by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2019 and was traded to the Texas Rangers for mere “cash considerations.” Talk about a steal for the Rangers, as Garciá has averaged over 32 home runs over the past three seasons and has made two All-Star teams in that period. In the ALCS against the Houston Astros, Garciá hit .357 with five home runs, taking home the MVP award. He has been a bolt of lightning for the Rangers and his name shines the brightest for their team right now.
Alek Thomas — Arizona Diamondbacks
After playing for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic and honoring his roots, Alek Thomas played his sophomore season in Arizona mostly in center field, covering a ton of ground in Chase Field’s notoriously large outfield. Thomas hit two home runs in the NLCS against the Phillies, including a game-tying home run in the eighth inning of Game 4 against Craig Kimbrel. Thomas is one of those gritty players fans love in the postseason who always tends to come up clutch.