(Redirected from 21st century)
The beginning of the 2000s has been marked by an increased international focus on baseball with the start of new leagues such as the China Baseball League. An increasingly higher percentage of Major League Baseball players were coming from outside the USA - and not just from traditional sources in Latin America, but from Australia, Europe and Asia. The World Baseball Classic was founded with baseball being removed from the Olympics after 2008, to keep international competition going in years when neither the Baseball World Cup or Intercontinental Cup is played.
Another big issue in the 21st Century was the beginning of steroid testing in many leagues, including those in Organized Baseball as well as Nippon Pro Baseball. These tests began after past MLB stars such as Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti admitted to steroid use and claimed many other players were also using those substances to get an added edge. After more than a decade of unprecedented offensive numbers, the edge began to shift again towards pitchers in the first years of the 2010s.
The first major league player born in the 21st century - using the common standard of January 1, 2000 as its beginning - was pitcher Elvis Luciano who made his debut with the Toronto Blue Jays on March 31, 2019. He had just turned 19 less than two months earlier and had never pitched above Rookie-class before his debut.