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Latinos Are Growing In The MLB And These Players Are Dominating The Season

@thespic_ / Twitter

Baseball is one of the most diverse sports leagues and Latinos currently make up almost 29 percent of the league. So, it’s no surprise how many talented players are represented within the Latino players dominating America’s favorite pastime. Here are some of the Latino players making waves this season and making their names known across the major league.

1. Nolan Arenado

CREDIT: nolanbeingnolan / Instagram

Arenado is turning heads and making his case for best 3rd baseman in baseball. The 27-year-old star’s parents are of Cuban and Puerto Rican nationality and has quickly become one of baseballs biggest stars. His stats this year  prove his career is just taking off at the right time. 

2. Kenley Jansen

CREDIT: kenleyjansen74 / Instagram

Born in Curaçaoa, Kenley Jansen is one of the premier pitchers in baseball and has steadily improved every year since his major league debut in 2010. Jansen will be key for the Dodgers if they want to make a return to the World Series.

3. Wilson Contreras

CREDIT: thewolfofwrigley / Instagram

The Venezuelan catcher is a big reason the Chicago Cubs are leading their division. Contreras is playing in his second major league season and has shown he has a big career ahead of him. He struggled his first season putting up offensive numbers but this year he’s turned it around. 

4. J.D. Martinez

CREDIT: jdmartinez28 / Instagram

The big offseason acquisition for the Boston Red Sox has payed off quickly as J.D Martinez is having arguably the best season of his career. I think It’s safe to say Martinez is just getting started with his hot bat this season. 

5. Jean Segura

CREDIT: elmambodesegura / Instagram

Jean Segura had to wait five years to make another All-Star appearance but with his performance this season he has more than earned the honor. It wasn’t easy for Segura either, as the Puerto-Rican shortstop was part of the final-vote contest where fans voted in the last player on each All-Star team.

6. Nelson Cruz

CREDIT: ncboomstick23 / Instagram

Nelson Cruz is one of the most feared hitters in baseball because of his homerun power and this season is no different. The Dominican Republic outfielder has had an amazing season. 

7. Jose Altuve

CREDIT: josealtuve27 / Instagram

The star shortstop for the World Champion Houston Astros hasn’t missed a beat this year as he has put up another All-Star season. The inspiring Venezuelan was AL MVP last year might not be the tallest player but he surely has the biggest heart.

8. Jesus Aguilar

CREDIT: jaguilarmke / Instagram

The Venezuelan slugger is making his name known across the major leagues as he has put a stellar offensive season so far. Aguilar won the NL Final Vote to make his first All-Star team this year and is deserving of the honor. He slugged 24 homeruns and 70 RBI’s in the first half of the season and is poised to have an even stronger finish.

9. Javier Báez

CREDIT: javy23baez / Instagram

Javier Baez was a key member of the 2016 Chicago Cubs team that won a World Series and has since turned himself into one of the premier players in all of baseball. Baez, who was born in Puerto Rico, was the starting shortstop for the All-Star game for the second year in a row. 

10. Yadier Molina

CREDIT: yadier_marciano_molina / Instagram

Molina has been one of the best catchers in baseball for over a decade and this season has been no different. Molina has been an All-Star for nine seasons and is constantly regarded as one of the smartest players in the league. The Puerto Rican catcher has put up strong numbers this season again as he enters his 14th season in baseball.

11. Ozzie Albies

CREDIT: ozzie / Instagram

You’ve probably never heard of Ozzie Albies before and that’s due to him starting the season in the minor leagues. Fast forward a few months later and he has become on the fastest rising stars in all of baseball. The 21-year-old second baseman from Curaçaoa had 20 homeruns and 55 RBI’s in just 3 months in the major leagues.

12. Salvador Perez

CREDIT: salvadorp13 / Instagram

The Venezuelan native has commanded respect from across the major leagues for his strong bat and his voice in the locker room for over five seasons. This year is no different as Perez has put up another strong season as the starting catcher of the Kansas City Royals. 

13. Manny Machado

CREDIT: bushleaguesports / Instagram

The Baltimore Orioles third baseman has arguably had the best year of his career this season. He made his fourth All-Star game this year and did this amid rumors he would be traded to another team. 

14. Jose Ramirez

CREDIT: ramirez_jose11 / Instagram

Jose Ramirez is coming off a breakout season and it has carried over to 2018. The Dominican star made his second All-Star team and is set to hit career highs this season. Ramirez will be a key part of the Cleveland Indians success this season if they are to return to the playoffs once again. 

15. Francisco Lindor

CREDIT: lindor12bc / Instagram

Few players are as cool and clutch as Francisco Lindor yet the Cleveland Indians shortstop is just getting his career started. The 24-year-old shortstop is one of the brightest players in baseball due to his hustle and strong bat. The Puerto Rican native made his mark on the league and will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.

16. George Springer

CREDIT: houstonastrosfanclub / Instagram

He was a big contributor to the Houston Astros last season as they captured their first world title and has helped put his team in a good position to repeat. He won the World Series MVP and captured a Silver Slugger award for his great season last year and the Puerto Rican native has continued that success. He played in his second All-Star game this year due to his hot bat. 

17. Luis Severino

CREDIT: severino40 / Instagram

Hailing from the Dominican Republic, Luis Severino has lived up to the hype since his debut back in 2015. The starting pitcher is already being regarded as one of the best young talents in the game due to his fastball and good curveball. Keep your eyes on this young stud, there is no telling how good he can be this season. 

18. Aroldis Chapman

CREDIT: _thecubanmissile54 / Instagram

Aroldis Chapman, also nicknamed the Cuban Missle, is the last guy you want to face at the end of the game due to his fastball which constantly hits 100 MPH. Chapman has quickly become one of the best relievers in baseball and will be appearing in his fifth All-Star game this season. He is third in the American League with 26 saves and is putting up another great season. 

19. Eugenio Suarez

CREDIT: eugenio_suarez7 / Instagram

This has been a breakout season for the Cincinnati Reds shortstop as he made his first All-Star game this season. The Venezuelan star came out of nowhere this year for the Reds and has put up some of the best numbers on his team. 

20. Edwin Diaz

CREDIT: sugardiaz44 / Instagram

The closer for the Seattle Mariners has become a force to be reckoned with. Diaz, who is from Puerto Rico, might not be a household name but he has been a big reason why the Mariners are poised to make the playoffs for the first time since 2001.


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There Are Two Latinas In The Top 20 Of 'So You Think You Can Dance' And They Are Incredible

entertainment

There Are Two Latinas In The Top 20 Of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ And They Are Incredible

FOX

This year marks FOX Entertainment’s “So You Think You Can Dance” 15th season on air. Most of us have been watching this show for half our lifetimes and we all have opinions about it. This week we met this year’s Top 20 dancers, so your tias and mama’s are all about to commit to their favorite and vow to boycott the show when they’re voted off. But they’ll be back. We always come back, because usually, Latinos slay their way to the top, and give us someone to root for.

Just in case you’re not caught up, here’s a breakdown of what has happened in this year’s season so far.

Of the thousands of auditions, only ~75 made it to the Academy.

CREDIT: FOX

“The Academy” is based in Los Angeles in the Dolby Theatre. Those that make it to the academy then have to learn a 90 minute choreography in Hip Hop, Jazz, Contemporary and Ball Room, and try not to get cut.

During this week’s episode, the remaining 27 dancers performed in a group ensemble.

CREDIT: FOX

“La La Land” choreographer Mandy Moore (no, not that Mandy Moore) choreographs a massive group set to see how they all perform together. Why? Because the Top 20 typically go on to perform live shows around the country, earning them a top-paying dance gig for at least five more months after the show.

Two years ago, Gaby Diaz won the season and is now an All-Star on the show.

CREDIT: @itsgabydiaz / Instagram

One All-Star is typically paired with one of the Top 20 dancers for the best part of the competition. Last year, Gaby chose Lex Ishimoto as her partner and he won the whole show. It’s that Latin luck.

This year, meet Genessy Castillo.

CREDIT: FOX

She’s literally only 18 years old and is the contemporary dancer you can’t keep your eyes off of, with a smile that will melt your heart. We first saw her during the New York auditions and the judges were beaming after her performance, calling her “captivating.”

Just a couple months ago, she graduated high school.

CREDIT: @genessyc_ / Instagram

In the months after I graduated high school, I was still airbrushing Playboy bunnies to 12 year old boys at the local waterpark, so, liike, I’m rooting for you, Genessy. Girl knows how to bring softness and beauty to the most industrial places, including the stage.

During the Ball Room portion of the Academy competition, she shined.

CREDIT: FOX

Ball Room isn’t her area of expertise, but pretty much every Latino is an expert at dancing the merengue or bachata with their tias at holidays since we were infants. Needless to say, Genessy showed up.

The judges even told her that she “rose to their radar” after her performance.

CREDIT: FOX

The whole goal of SYTYCD is to find America’s favorite dancer who can dance every style. Genessy proved it to the judges, and now she has the chance to steal America’s heart in the Top 20! Congratulations, Genessy! 🏅

There’s also Gaevin Bernales, who came to SYTYCD as a beat boy.

CREDIT: FOX

Boy literally went into a flip and landed on his head and shoulder and just started spinning. It’s wild. The judges said they were concerned that he wouldn’t be able to keep up in other areas, like Ball Room. His response, “I can learn.” 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

And boy did he learn!

CREDIT: FOX

After learning the Ball Room routine for 90 minutes, they go out three pairs at a time to perform in front of the judges. Nigel, the creator of the show and one of the judges, actually said that he had the most personality on the stage. #D-duh.

Gaevin is also only 18 years old.

CREDIT: FOX

He’s been dancing since he was little and even has a LinkedIn account already as a “Professional Dancer.” I ship it.

Unfortunately, he didn’t make the cut to Top 20.

CREDIT: FOX

He made it through Hip Hop, Ballroom, Contemporary and Jazz, but when the judges asked the remaining 27 to perform a solo for them one last time, he just didn’t make the cut.

During this season, we’ve also met a baby Cardi B.

CREDIT: FOX

Melany Mercedez, from the Bronx, came in as a Ballroom dancer and blew us away. She would get flipped upside down and have her body swung around her partners and then immediately land in a 10 second spin and keep dancing. Girl has crazy moves.

We were so, so sad to see her let go, but overall loved her response.

CREDIT: FOX

When the judges were commenting on how incredible of a performer Mercedez is, she was like, psh, yeah or else she wore “all this sparkle for nothing.” Someone please bring her back.

Some people were pissed that they didn’t make it further in the show.

CREDIT: FOX

Esa was cut in the first day of the Academy after Hip Hop when she had trouble memorizing the routine in front of the judges. When asked if she’ll be coming back the following year to audition again, she actually said, “I want all the cameras to see this. I will not be coming back. You guys are the worst.” 😂 I love reality TV.

One dancer had to take herself out of the running.

CREDIT: FOX

She rolled her ankle during Hip Hop and gave a weak performance. The Judges gave her the benefit of the doubt but overnight, her ankle felt worse and she had to take herself out of the running to avoid injuring herself further.

Amongst everyone, Stephanie Sosa is one of the dreamiest to make it to the Top 20.

CREDIT: FOX

Stephanie’s genre is Latin Ballroom, but has been shining in every other genre. Look at those lines, and how strong that arm is. The 18 year olds are seriously stealing the show.

She and her brother both auditioned for the show.

CREDIT: FOX

In an interview, Sosa said that she was so happy to have her brother on the show because he would be honest with her about her performance. Unfortunately he got cut, so she’s repping the Sosa name all on her own. 💘

She’s all about the Paleo lifestyle and even has a separate Instagram account to record her paleo secrets.

CREDIT: @paleostephy / Instagram

Caption: “Ok guys so I’m going to be taking about the 2nd & one of the most important for weight loss food groups, HEALTHY FATS 😍🥑🥥 these bad boys not only speed up metabolism & turn on your Fat burning mode they help curve cravings and keep you fuller for longer💪🏽 ✨AVACADOES 🥑(I’m literally obsessed) I included at least 1/4 of an Avacado in every single one of my meals( breaky, lunch, Post workout , and dinner) so I have one whole avocado a day✨ Coconut Oil 🥥 I use this to cook my veggies in the oven or my eggs or anything I bake with including Paleo Pancakes & Brownies and such ✨ FRUIT & NUT MIX 🥜🍓 I use this as a snack such as cashews with berries on top my plain Greek yogurt, or nuts before a competition✨Flax Oil 💪🏽 I use on top of dressing or in my green teas ✨Flax Meal 💪🏽 I use for baking such as Paleo Panckaes or breads, or I’ll use in my protein shake if I have a long day of dance ahead of me ✨Natural Coconut Flakes 🥥😍I use as a topping on salads, yogurt, or anything I feel needs something a little sweet. ‼️‼️ITS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER WHEN SHOPPING FOR THESE ITEMS: Make sure there’s so added ANYTHING, just natural ingredients so no corn syrup or anything ‼️‼️”

Seeing two strong Latinas make it to the Top 20 is everything.

CREDIT: FOX

In the past, now that they’re in the Top 20, that would mean America gets to decide who goes forward, and we’d get to just send some texts in to push them through. Not this year.  😥

But there’s a plot twist: only the Top 10 will go on to the live shows.

CREDIT: FOX

Which means they can only support ten dancers with full-time jobs on SYTYCD for the rest of the year. With ratings dropping every single year, we have to wonder if this is just in response to a lack of funding. What we do know is that the next round of cuts are going to be emotional.

We’re rooting for you Genessy and Stephanie!! 😍 😘


READ: These Athletes From Latin America Are Changing The Game When It Comes To Skateboarding


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