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Friday, April 16, 2010

#41: 18 year old players in ML Baseball

It used to be somewhat common for there to be an 18 year old player in ML baseball, or even younger than 18.  There were 7 players who got a plate appearance at the age of 16 (Coonie Blank, Carl Scheib, Rogers McKee, Putsy Caballero, Tommy Brown, Alex George, Jim Derrington) although none since Derrington in 1956.  McKee, Scheib and Derrington were the only players to pitch an inning at the age of 16 or younger in  too. 

Take it up to age 17 for pitchers, and there were 20 more, but none since (future Astros manager) Larry Dierker in 1964.  The last year with an 18 year old pitcher in the league was 1978, with 2 pitchers from the Oakland A's: Mike Morgan (who ended up playing with 12 different teams before retiring in 2002) and Tim Conroy (who pitched his final game in 1987).

It is very uncommon for this to happen in today though.  Since 1979, there has only been one player to get a plate appearance in the ML, and it's someone you've heard of: Alex Rodriguez in 1994.  He made his ML debut on July 8, 1994 and turned 19 on July 27th.  In the meantime, he hit .204 with 0 HR over 59 plate appearances.

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