Six Europeans who had never played above rookie ball are getting early season action in Single-A. Most notably, Ernesto Martinez, a Cuban who spent his teenage years in France, is off to a hot start with 8 extra base hits in his first 3 weeks of action. German pitcher Markus Solbach made his Triple-A debut with two scoreless innings.
This list includes anyone who spent all or part of their developmental years in European baseball. While European baseball can be proud of anyone who has represented their respective national teams or played club baseball here, this is intentionally a more select group. Please let us know if we’ve overlooked anyone.
Didi Gregorius, Philadelphia Phillies. Netherlands.
The Phillies shortstop has been on the injured list for the past two weeks as he deals with stiffness and swelling in his elbow. He’s hitting .229 for the year with 4 home runs while walking five times and striking out 26.
Max Kepler, Minnesota Twins. Germany.
Kepler has battled nagging injuries while playing right field and occasionally covering for his injured teammates in center. Luckily for Kepler and the Twins, in May he’s been able to stay in the lineup as the team rebounds from a very slow start. He is hitting .215 with five home runs, all this month.
Martin Cervenka, New York Mets. Czech Republic.
Syracuse Mets. Cervenka came out of the gate hot, hitting three homers in the first week of the Triple-A season. He had a double on the 26th for his first extra base hit since. This is mostly down to opportunity, as Cervenka had 24 at bats in the first 10 days of the season, with only five at bats since. He’s hitting .207 with a .586 slugging percentage.
Markus Solbach, Los Angeles Dodgers. Germany.
Oklahoma City Dodgers. The German righty made his 2021 debut on May 25, pitching two innings with one hit, one walk, and one strikeout.
Donny Breek, Minnesota Twins. Netherlands.
Fort Myers Mighty Mussels. The 21-year-old Dutch righty started 2021 with the Low-A Fort Myers team. He’s pitched four times, struggling mightily with his control, totaling 3.2 innings. He’s walked 12 and hit two batters, striking out two and allowing six hits.
Jiorgeny Casimiri, Toronto Blue Jays, Netherlands.
Dunedin Blue Jays. The 19-year-old Den Haag native has 10 innings across 7 games in his full-season debut. He’s struck out 12 while walking 7, giving up 13 hits.
Darryl Collins, Kansas City Royals. Netherlands.
Columbia Fireflies. The lefty-swinging outfielder is picking up right where he left off as he transitions from 2019 Arizona Summer League to 2021 full-season A-ball. Collins has 59 at bats with a double, triple, ten walks and seventeen strikeouts. He’s also stolen four bases in five attempts.
Omar Hernandez, Kansas City Royals. Spain.
Columbia Fireflies. The young Spanish catcher is playing Single-A in Columbia, with 48 at bats in the first three weeks of the season. He’s hitting .229 with three extra base hits, and one walk versus eleven strikeouts.
Ernesto Wilson Martinez, Milwaukee Brewers. France.
Carolina Mudcats. The left-handed outfielder spent a few years at the Toulouse Academy. He’s started his first year in A-ball with 5 homers and 6 stolen bases in 18 games. He’s hitting .268/.406/.607.
Sem Robberse, Toronto Blue Jays. Netherlands.
Dunedin Blue Jays. The 19-year-old righty from Zeist has three games in A-ball, two of them starts. He’s totaled 6.2 innings with five walks, 11 strikeouts, seven hits, and six earned runs.
Leonardo Seminati, Cincinnati Reds. Italy.
Daytona Tortugas. Seminati went 0-3 in the season opener for Daytona, then went on the concussion injured list the following day. He returned to game action earlier this week and had a base hit. Due to the injury time, the first baseman has only those two games and seven at bats so far this season.
Rookie League / not yet assigned
Yoan Antonac, Philadelphia Phillies. France.
FCL Phillies – East.
Marc Civit, Toronto Blue Jays. Spain.
FCL Blue Jays.
Darnel Collins, Kansas City Royals. Netherlands.
Arizona League Royals.
Daniele Di Monte, Detroit Tigers. Italy.
FCL Tigers – East.
Eduardo Dominguez, Los Angeles Dodgers. Spain.
Alessandro Ercolani, Pittsburgh Pirates. San Marino/Italy.
Arij Fransen, Cincinnati Reds. Netherlands.
Arizona League Reds.
Ettore Giulianelli, St Louis Cardinals. Italy.
Delson Guzman, Milwaukee Brewers. Spain.
Frank Hernandez, Chicago Cubs. Spain.
Anton Kuznetsov, Philadelphia Phillies. Russia.
FCL Phillies – East.
Niklas Rimmel, Minnesota Twins. Germany.
Viktor Vecerka, Kansas City Royals. Czechia.
 Formerly the Gulf Coast League.