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Who is the youngest player in Major League Baseball right now?

Who is the youngest player in Major League Baseball right now? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Most people remember how old they were when they got their first job or began their career. It's no different for baseball players.

Some even make it to the majors before their former classmates have graduated from college.

That was the case for St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Jordan Walker on Opening Day. The 20-year-old became the youngest player this season to make an Opening Day roster. Walker, the No. 21 pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, also became the first and only MLB player to have been born as late as the year 2002.

But ages and records – and pretty much everything else involving numbers – last only for a finite amount of time. Walker opened the season on a 12-game hitting streak but then began to struggle. He was optioned to Triple-A Memphis on April 26 after hitting .274 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 20 games, ending his near four-week stint as the youngest player in Major League Baseball.

That title shifted to Colorado Rockies shortstop Ezequiel Tovar, who is nine months and 21 days older than Walker, making him the second-youngest player on a 2023 Opening Day roster. Tovar was one of three 21-year-olds on a 2023 Opening Day roster, along with Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson (born June 29, 2001) and New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe (April 28, 2001). Ten players were aged 23 this year on Opening Day, per MLB.com

Tovar kept the youngest-player title for a shorter period than Walker … but for different reasons.

Who is the youngest player in Major League Baseball right now?

Top Miami Marlins prospect Eury Pérez made his major league debut on May 12. Just 27 days prior, he was still a teenager.  

The pitcher, who turned 20 on April 15, was called up from Double-A Pensacola to get the start against the Cincinnati Reds. He became the youngest pitcher in the club’s history, supplanting José Fernández, who made his 2013 debut at 20 years and 250 days old. 

Just as Walker was the first and only MLB player to have been born in 2002, Pérez became the first and only big leaguer born in 2003.

The 6-foot-8 pitcher struck out seven batters and allowed two runs over 4 2/3 innings during Miami's 7-4 loss to the Reds.    

Pérez became the youngest player in a major league game since former Toronto Blue Jays righty Elvis Luciano made his debut in 2019 at 19 years old, becoming the first player in MLB history born in the 2000s. 

Pérez is the youngest pitcher to start an MLB game since Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Julio Urías did so at 19 years, 289 days old in 2016.

Who is the youngest player in MLB history?

Joe Nuxhall pitched in 526 games over his 16 year career. When he made his first appearance in 1944, he was 15 years and 316 days old. 

He remains the youngest player to appear in an American League or National League game in Major League Baseball. 

Nuxhall joined the Cincinnati Reds during a player shortage amid World War II, inking a deal (well, his father signed on his behalf) for $175 a month plus a $500 signing bonus, per MLB.com. He was in uniform on April 19 for Opening Day, receiving permission from his principal to miss school. 

His debut came nearly two months later on June 10, when he was called on to pitch the ninth inning with the Reds trailing 13-0. 

Nuxhall retired the first batter he faced, walked the next and then recorded the second out of the inning. After walking another batter, Nuxhall faced the reigning MVP and eventual Hall of Famer Stan Musial. Musial singled to load the bases and Nuxhall followed with three consecutive walks. He then allowed a two-run single to Emil Verban. 

Nuxhall issued five walks and allowed two hits and five runs over 2/3 of an inning during the 18-0 loss.  

He didn't pitch in the major leagues again for another eight years. He was sent to the minor leagues after his debut and, outside of a break to finish high school, remained there until his next major league appearance on May 21, 1952.

He went on to become a two-time All-Star, going 135-117 with a 3.90 ERA in his career, which was spent mostly with the Reds.  

Who is the youngest MLB All-Star ever?

New York Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden was still a teenager when he made the MLB All-Star team. 

Gooden became the youngest All-Star in league history when he was selected as a rookie in 1984 at 19 years old. He took the mound in the top of the fifth inning with the National League leading 2-1 and struck out the side. He tossed another scoreless inning in the sixth, allowing just one hit in the first of his four All-Star appearances. 

Who is the youngest MLB MVP?

Check out these stats:

24-8, 1.82 ERA, 0.952 WHIP, 301 strikeouts, eight shutouts, Cy Young, MVP 

Not a bad season for a 21-year-old!

That was the first full MLB season for the late Vida Blue, who started the 1971 season at 21 years old (he turned 22 on July 28) for the Oakland Athletics. He went on to become the youngest MVP winner in MLB history – and remains so, just ahead of fellow 22-year-old MVPs Johnny Bench and Musial.