As of opening day on March 29, the following Jewish players were on a major league roster:
Richard Bleier, 30, Baltimore, relief pitcher. He appeared in 23 games with the Yankees in 2016 and pitched well but was in the minors last year.
Ryan Braun, 34, Milwaukee, outfielder/first base. This six-time All-Star and National League MVP (2011) had a decent 2017 season, during which he hit his 300th home run.
Alex Bregman, 24, Houston, shortstop. Bregman had a very good 2017 season, hitting especially well in the second half. He turned in a stellar performance in the World Series, which the Astros won.
Ian Kinsler, 35, Los Angeles Angels, second base. Kinsler, a four-time All-Star, had a weak bat in 2017 and was traded from Detroit to the Angels in the off-season.
Joc Pederson, 25, Los Angeles Dodgers, outfielder. Always a streak hitter, Pederson saved his major league career with a great performance in the playoffs and World Series.
Kevin Pillar, 29, outfielder, Toronto. Pillar had a very good hitting season in 2017, with a career high 16 home runs.
Danny Valencia, 33, Baltimore, first base/outfield. The much-traveled Valencia had an OK 2017 season with Seattle. A free agent, he was signed by Baltimore and earned a spot with the club in spring training.
Zach Weiss, 25, Cincinnati, relief pitcher. This rookie came back from surgery on his elbow late in 2016.
All these players have at least one Jewish parent and identify as Jewish or secular. At least four of them had a bar mitzvah: Bregman, Pillar, Valencia and Weiss. Pederson, a Palo Alto native, played for Israel in the 2012 World Baseball Classic. One source says the Northern California native has blown the Rosh Hashanah shofar at his family’s synagogue — since age 8!