Who Are the 10 Youngest Players in MLB Right Now?

The young talent in MLB is off the charts. We take a look at the 10 youngest players that are on the cusp of taking the game over.

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 17: Jackson Merrill #3 of the San Diego Padres meets Jackson Chourio #11 of the Milwaukee Brewers before the game at American Family Field on April 17, 2024 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)

The youth movement can be seen across Major League Baseball right now with countless top prospects making an impact on rosters throughout the league in 2024 so far. We witnessed Evan Carter take MLB by storm and become a postseason hero just a month into his professional career and that’s just one prime example of a young player doing damage.

With the recent promotion of the top prospect in baseball, Jackson Holliday, it feels like the appropriate time to look into the youngest players around the league.

Unsurprisingly, most of these young players are or were highly-regarded prospects and forced their way to the league with dominant stints in the minors. Early success is hard to come by though as the level of talent in MLB is far beyond anything these players have faced in their career.

Some may take more time to find their groove than others, but these 10 players are the youngest ones around MLB with all of them checking in at or younger than 22-years old.

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Additionally, someway somehow, the three youngest players in the league share the same name! Let’s get into this list with some projection of the potential that each player possesses.

10 Youngest MLB Players Right Now

Jackson Chourio (20-years old, 3/11/2004)

After agreeing to a eight-year extension this offseason, Jackson Chourio is set to be a focal point of Milwaukee’s outfield for the next decade. He opened the season as the youngest player in baseball and could remain as such for most, if not all, of this season.

He hasn’t been incredible to start the year, but has shown elements of his game that made him our 4th-ranked prospect in baseball entering this season. Chourio’s athleticism and range instantly makes him a plus defender anywhere in the outfield and a stolen base threat at the MLB level.

He currently has the second-highest NL Rookie of the Year odds and that makes sense given that he’s essentially guaranteed an everyday role in Milwaukee this season. With plenty of potential left to tap into, Chourio is bound to be a star in this league and will cotinue to improve this summer.

Jackson Holliday (20-years old, 12/4/2023)

The consensus top prospect in baseball just moved into the second spot on this list after debuting a week ago. Everyone knows what Jackson Holliday is capable of moving forward as one of the most well-rounded prospects we have seen in years at just 20 years old.

The pressure and attention on him was higher this past week than I can remember it being for any prospect in the past few years. Simply the Holliday name is a lot to live up to in addition to being the clear cut best prospect in the game heading into this season. It hasn’t been pretty for him so far as he has started his career by going 1-for-27 at the plate with 15 strikeouts.

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With that established, there is no reason to have significant concern about his outlook yet. Let’s give it at least a month or two before we even start to reconsider the upside of a 20-year-old with all the potential in the world. He was incredible in Spring Training and in the early games of the Triple-A season prior to his promotion. I’m not worrying yet and neither should you.

Jackson Merrill (21-years old, 4/19/2003)

Tasked with learning an entirely new position in the course of one offseason, Merrill not only made the Padres’ Opening Day roster, but has excelled. He looks comfortable in center field, at the plate, and within the dugout in San Diego.

He did have near the pedigree of many of these other players had but was a first round pick coming out of high school in 2021. He took a massive step forward in 2022 prior to entering top prospect status heading into last season. With the plethora of infielders in San Diego, the team tasked Merrill with becoming a center fielder and he has done just that.

WIth an already advanced feel to hit, Merrill’s athleticism has shined in the outfield and on the base paths this spring. He has room to add additional power, but his contact skills and speed already makes him a big part of the Padres’ lineup.

A lot of players on this list still have question marks surrounding them at this current time, but Jackson Merrill just turned 21-years old yesterday and appears to be the center fielder in San Diego for a long time to come.

Evan Carter (21-years old, 8/29/2002)

This name doesn’t need much depth as he shined on the brightest stage as a 21-year-old rookie with just a month of MLB experience to his name. Evan Carter posted a .917 OPS during the Rangers’ run to a World Series Championship and while he has gotten off to a relatively slow start to the season this year, his talent is apparent.

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Carter’s plate discipline is well beyond his years and he is poised to be a key figure in the Texas outfield alongside Wyatt Langford and Adolis Garcia for a long time.

His blend of power, speed, and approach makes him a high floor asset who can continue to add more impact at the plate as he ages. Carter entered the season as our 5th-ranked prospect with at least average or above-average tools across the board.

One area of slight concern is Carter’s splits against left-handed pitching as he was generally sheltered from facing southpaws in his brief 2023 campaign. It’s not a major concern just yet, but he has yet to record a hit in 10 at-bats this year against left-handers and is still generally being platooned.

Carter is a premier talent and is one of many superstar young rookies on this list. He’s got one of the safer profiles listed here and early struggles should not concern anyone.

Jordan Walker (21-years old, 5/22/2002)

Sometimes a reset can do wonders for a young hitter trying to make an impact during a rookie campaign. Walker, at just 20-years old, struggled out of the gate last year before spending over a month back in Triple-A. When he returned to MLB action in June, he went on to post a .976 OPS that month.

His performance still fluctuated frequently as a rookie with his production dipping drastically in July before evening out down the stretch. Walker has also gotten off to a cold start this season, but it’s worth realizing how young he remains at this stage in his career. He’s the youngest player on this list that did not enter this year as a rookie.

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The power upside is off the charts when it comes to Walker and he has settled in as a right fielder after having trouble out there at times last year. His strikeout rate is higher than ideal, but he still features an advanced offense feel for the game.

Walker is clearly a focal point of the future in St. Louis and will look to get his sophomore campaign back on track in the near future.

Masyn Winn (22-years old, 3/21/2002)

Known more for his absurd arm strength than other tools, Masyn Winn has seemingly found something at the plate after a rough start to his career at the plate last year.

Winn had just a .468 OPS last season once called up, but was instantly an elite defensive shortstop for the Cardinals. This season, his OPS is over .800 as he’s reaching base all the time with a balanced approach and minimal whiff.

He has more impact to gain with the bat as he yet to barrel many baseballs, but he’s not chasing much at all and has been a valuable asset for the Cardinals. Having just turned 22 years old during spring training, Winn’s defensive ability at his age is well ahead of pace.

Another high floor player, Winn will impact the game in many ways consistently but it appears he’s just starting to scratch the surface of what he could become offensively. If he trends this direction, there’s a chance he ends up being more valuable of an asset than his aforementioned teammate, Jordan Walker.

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Nolan Schanuel (22-years old, 2/14/2002)

The only player drafted last year to crack this list was rushed more than anybody to the MLB level. Nolan Schanuel, drafted 11th overall in 2023, essentially skipped the minor leagues as he played just 22 games between three levels before being elevated to the Angels roster in their desperate effort to retain Shohei Ohtani.

While Schanuel’s discipline at the plate enabled him to walk more than he struck out as a rookie last year, he has just five career extra-base hits in his first 45 games played. It feels like a bit of a disservice that Schanuel was rushed to the league so aggressively, but he has done his best to be a valuable asset for the Halos.

The plate approach will help Schanuel remain a big league player, but he needs to find more consistency and impact with the bat to survive as a MLB first baseman. Luckily, at just 22-years old with less a year under his belt since being drafted, Schanuel has time to work through his recent struggles.

Anthony Molina (22-years old, 1/12/2002)

By far the least recognizable name on this list was not even on the prospect radar, but is still one of the 10 youngest in the game. Molina was taken by the Rockies in the MLB Rule 5 Draft this past winter and thus entered this list when he made the Rockies bullpen this spring.

Molina excelled at just 20-years old in High-A two years ago before making 13 appearances in Triple-A down the stretch last year. He didn’t have a clear path to a role with the Rays, who evidently left him unprotected when they didn’t add him to their 40-man roster.

Unfortunately, Molina has allowed a combined 12 runs in his first three MLB games and has looked largely overmatched. He looked a little bit better in his third appearance this past weekend than he did in the ones prior, but he likely just isn’t quite ready for the MLB level of play.

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Elly De La Cruz (22-years old, 1/11/2002)

Regarded as one of, if not the best, prospects in baseball last year, Elly De La Cruz is the definition of electric. With elite sprint speed that matches essentially any player in the league and scoreboard power, De La Cruz instantly showed what he can be last season.

However, that doesn’t mean he has perfected his game as he does have a long way to go before reaching his superstar ceiling. His blend of power, speed, and arm strength is probably up there with any player in the game and we’ve already seen that through absurd infield throws, home runs, and stolen bases.

The biggest concern that has been apparent for De La Cruz is his plate approach and continually high chase and whiff rates. So far this season, he’s striking out at a 34.3% clip, which simply isn’t sustainable for someone looking to ascend into the next tier of players in MLB.

De La Cruz has a lot of critics given the hype surrounding him and the performances we have seen from him. But he is just 22 still and the tools will eventually outweigh the growing pains. His talent is off the charts and he is going to be the face of Cincinnati for years to come.

Francisco Alvarez (22-years old, 11/19/2001)

The last player on this list is someone that I think most forget how young he still is given that he debuted in 2022. Especially at a position like catcher, Alvarez is ahead of his years and has ample room for growth.

His rookie campaign was definitely up and down as he flashed plus power with 25 home runs as a 21-year-old but was rather streaky throughout the year. He seemed to find his groove with a 1.030 OPS in May but that dropped to a .534 mark in June and continue to waver.

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He came into the league with defensive question marks, but has graded as one of the best framers in the game since arriving. He earned the catching job in New York for years to come and can still improve further behind the plate.

This season has started poorly for Alvarez, but he showed last season that he’s going to be a powerful presence for many years to come and that prognosis has not changed.