Vlad, Soto, Tatis pull off MVP voting first

We have 3 finalists under 23 years old for the first time in history

November 9th, 2021

The current group of young stars in baseball may be the best we've ever seen -- and here's another reason why. On Monday, and were announced as two of the three finalists for National League MVP, while was announced as one of the three MVP finalists in the American League.

What do all three have in common -- aside from standout 2021 campaigns?

MVP finalists: Guerrero | Soto | Tatis

They're all young. Very young. In fact, all three were under the age of 23 when the regular season ended.

With that, all three have combined to do something historic.

Top-three MVP finishers under the age of 23
By being finalists, all three have cemented a top-three finish in their respective leagues in MVP Award voting this year. This is the first time that as many as three players under the age of 23 at regular season's end finished in the top three in MVP voting in the same year, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

That is, of course, across both leagues. If we examine the two in the NL, Soto and Tatis are the first duo of sub-23-year-olds to finish top-three for MVP in the same league in the same year.

Before 2021, just two years had featured two players under the age of 23 at season's end in the top three of voting between both leagues -- but both instances included one NL player and one AL player. In 1956, Hank Aaron (22) finished third in the NL and Al Kaline (21) finished third in the AL. And in '41, Pete Reiser (22) finished second in the NL and Bob Feller (22) finished third in the AL.

Those were the only such duos before 2021 -- and we hadn't even seen such a pair since 1956, 40 years before Soto, Tatis and Guerrero were born. That's also before former Major Leaguers Vladimir Guerrero Sr. and Fernando Tatis Sr. were born.

Now, we have our first trio of sub-23-year-old MVP top-three finishers, and our first duo in the same league.

Where would they rank?
Four players who were 22 at the end of that season have won MVP honors: Stan Musial (1943), Johnny Bench ('70), Vida Blue ('71) and Bryce Harper (2015). Blue, who turned 22 in July of that season, was the youngest of that group on the final day of the season.

Guerrero would rank as the second youngest. Tatis would also be second youngest -- or third, if Guerrero also wins. And Soto would be fourth youngest, or fifth if Guerrero also wins.

We've been telling you for a few years that this group of young players was on the path toward historic happenings, and here's another such accomplishment. The future is so, so bright. And it's already here.