The current MLB player who is the youngest in the American League is Rick Porcello for the Detroit Tigers. Overall, the youngest current MLB player is Clayton Kershaw from the National League Dodgers. Neither of them, and most likely no one in the future, will reach the status of the youngest player to ever play in the Major League.
Rick Porcello is a young MLB player for the Detroit Tigers who just turned 21. He is a right-handed pitching prospect whom the Tigers hope will become an ace as he joins their rotation this year. After they drafted him 27th in the Major League Baseball Draft in 2007, he became the highest paid high schooler ever. For Porcello, unlike most MLB players college was not an option when he felt he would be in the top 5 of the draft. Many speculate that since he has chosen notable firebrand Scott Boras as his agent that he fell into the lap of the Tigers so low in the draft. Last season he spent the season playing for the Tiger’s class A affiliate club, the Lakeland Flying Tigers. In his first two games of the season, he has split decisions with a 3.75 ERA and 7 strikeouts.
Clayton Kershaw, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, remains the young MLB player in the National League for the second season in a row. Now age 21, after his birthday in mid-March, Kershaw was drafted in the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft as the 7th pick. The left-handed sensation had been voted the “High School Baseball Player of the Year” by USA Today after pitching his senior year in Texas. Kershaw, despite strong interest from many schools, eschewed the normal path for MLB players college was not for him. He spend the 2007 season in the minor league, beginning with the Gulf Coast League Dodgers before being bumped up into the Jacksonville Suns, a AA affiliate club. The Dodgers bought out his contract and brought him up to the big leagues in the summer of 2008. In two no-decision starts in the young 2009 season, Kershaw has already struck out 19 batters with his wicked fastball.
Both Kershaw and Porcello join a steady procession of pitchers as the youngest current MLB player in the respective years. Recently, CC Sabithia was the youngest in the league when he made his debut at age 21 in 2001. The next year, ace Francisco Rodriguez appeared for the Angels at the age of 20.
The youngest player of all time joined the league at the very young age of 15. Left-handed pitcher Joe Nuxhall was called into the game in 1944 to pitch against for the Cincinnati Reds against the St. Louis Cardinals. The war-depleted rosters on both sides lent to the extraordinary circumstances that brought a 15-year-old to pitch in a professional game. In his 16-year career, almost exclusively with the Reds, the “‘Ol Left Hander” complied 135-117 win-loss record with an ERA of 3.90.
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