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The youngest players to HR for each team

@SlangsOnSports
May 15, 2019

Getting to the Majors at a young age -- let alone any age -- is a feat in and of itself, but what about blasting a home run as a youngster, too? With 20-year-old Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hitting his first career home run for the Blue Jays, here’s a look

Getting to the Majors at a young age -- let alone any age -- is a feat in and of itself, but what about blasting a home run as a youngster, too? With 20-year-old Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hitting his first career home run for the Blue Jays, here’s a look at the youngest players to homer for each current franchise. Toronto's previous youngest may surprise you.

We’ve also listed the second- and third-youngest individuals to homer for each franchise -- even if those three do not encompass the three youngest home runs in franchise history, as sometimes the youngest player hit each of those three youngest home runs.

Here are the youngest players to homer for each current franchise in the Modern Era (since 1900), with help from the Elias Sports Bureau, sorted by division:

AL EAST

BLUE JAYS -- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (20 years, 59 days on May 14, 2019)

Until Guerrero hit his first career home run, this record belonged to Danny Ainge, a two-time NBA champion who actually played baseball before his first career NBA game. But that will no longer be a tricky trivia question, as the youngest home run in franchise history now belongs to the player who most people would probably guess these days. Guerrero rocketed a first-inning pitch from Nick Vincent at Oracle Park for his first career homer. He hit it with a 111.3 mph exit velocity and it went a projected 438 feet. The only question now is how many more will he hit in his career?

Runners-up: Danny Ainge (20-77), Paul Hodgson (20-158)

ORIOLES/BROWNS -- Wayne Causey (18 years, 173 days on June 17, 1955)

Causey, an infielder, debuted in early June and hit his first career home run in his seventh game, becoming the youngest player in franchise history with a home run. He wasn’t even 19 years old when he hit that first homer, against the Tigers at Memorial Stadium. Causey went on to hit 35 home runs across an 11-year career with five teams. He hit two of his 35 career home runs -- his first two -- for the Orioles.

Runners-up: Milt Pappas (19-74), Brooks Robinson (19-134)

RAYS -- Melvin Upton Jr. (19 years, 362 days on Aug. 17, 2004)

Upton had been the then-Devil Rays’ first pick in the 2002 MLB Draft, going second overall after the Pirates took Bryan Bullington. He debuted in early August of 2004 as a 19-year-old, and went yard for the first time on Aug. 17. He hit his first career homer off Angels starter Kelvim Escobar in an 8-3 Rays win. Upton notched 164 career home runs, 118 of which came with the Rays’ franchise.

Runners-up: Delmon Young (20-349), Carl Crawford (21-5)

RED SOX -- Jerry Moses (18 years, 289 days on May 25, 1965)

Moses debuted for the Red Sox in May 1965 and played in just four Major League games that season, but he did manage to hit a home run in a mere four plate appearances -- all of which came as a pinch-hitter. The home run in question here came off Mudcat Grant. Moses would go on to hit 25 home runs over a nine-year career, with 13 of them coming in a Red Sox uniform.

Runners-up: Billy Consolo (18-348), Bobby Doerr (19-18)

YANKEES -- Bobby Murcer (19 years, 117 days on Sept. 14, 1965)

Murcer debuted in September of 1965 for the Yankees, playing in just 11 games. But that was plenty of time for the youngster to knock his first career home run, which came in his second game on Sept. 14 at the Senators. His two-run home run broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning between the teams, as Murcer went yard off the Senators’ Jim Duckworth. Murcer finished his career with 252 career home runs, 175 of which he hit with the Yankees.

Runners-up: Mickey Mantle (19-193), Lou Gehrig (20-100)

AL CENTRAL

INDIANS -- Pat Seerey (20 years, 95 days on June 20, 1943)

At 20 years old, Seerey hit his first career home run in his ninth Major League game for the Indians on the road at Comiskey Park. He homered off the White Sox Orval Grove in the third to extend the Indians’ lead in a game they’d go on to lose, 10-6. Seerey hit 86 career home runs in seven Major League seasons. Sixty-eight of his home runs were in an Indians uniform, and the other 18 came with the team he knocked his first homer against -- the White Sox.

Runners-up: Buddy Bell (20-239), Jay Bell (20-292)

ROYALS -- Clint Hurdle (20 years, 50 days on Sept. 18, 1977)

Hurdle isn’t just the youngest player in Royals franchise history with a home run, he did it in his Major League debut. He grounded out in his first career plate appearance in the second inning, but his second plate appearance was a whole other story. With the game still locked in a scoreless tie in the fifth, Hurdle came up after a John Mayberry double and knocked a homer off the Mariners’ Glenn Abbott. Despite that first-game surge, Hurdle wasn’t much of a power hitter for his career. He finished with 32 home runs in 10 Major League seasons, spanning 515 games and more than 1,500 plate appearances.

Runners-up: Buck Martinez (20-233), Jamie Quirk (20-333)

TIGERS -- Ty Cobb (18 years, 279 days on Sept. 23, 1905)

It’s fitting that Cobb, who debuted at 18 years and 255 days old in 1905, would lead this list for Detroit -- and it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, either. His first home run wasn’t any old over-the-fence home run, instead it was an inside-the-parker off the Senators’ Cy Falkenberg. Cobb’s home run was one of just 13 the Tigers hit in 1905. Yes, it was a different era, especially for power, but that was a low total even for that year -- Detroit’s 13 homers were fewer than all but two of the 16 teams in the Majors. The New York Giants led the way with 39, though that total was 10 more than any other team that year.

Runners-up: Al Kaline (18-281), Denny McLain (19-176)

TWINS/SENATORS -- Jack Calvo (18 years, 359 days on June 5, 1913)

Calvo’s case is quite the oddity. He played the majority of his professional baseball career in Cuba, but did appear in games for the then-Senators in 1913 and 1920 -- 17 games in each season, to be precise. He hit just one Major League home run, as an 18-year-old in 1913. It came off the St. Louis Browns’ Roy Mitchell, and it was an inside-the-park home run. He finished his career with nine career hits in 65 plate appearances.

Runners-up: Harmon Killebrew (18-360), Zoilo Versalles (19-230)

WHITE SOX -- Cass Michaels (19 years, 101 days on June 13, 1945)

Michaels debuted at a mere 17 years of age in 1943, but didn’t homer until the 1945 season, when he was 19. His home run came off the Indians’ Ed Klieman at Comiskey Park. Michaels played 12 years, accumulating 53 home runs, 28 in a White Sox uniform.

Runners-up: Johnny Callison (19-186), Brian McCall (19-248)

AL WEST

ANGELS -- Ed Kirkpatrick (18 years, 280 days on July 15, 1963)

Kirkpatrick hit his first career home run in his 19th career game. The Angels’ youngest home run could’ve been even younger -- he had debuted at 17 years old in 1962 but was held homerless in three games. Kirkpatrick’s solo homer on July 15, 1963, was the Angels’ only run in a 2-1 loss to the Red Sox. He’d go on to hit 85 career home runs, 17 of which came with the Angels.

Runners-up: Aurelio Rodriguez (19-251), Mike Trout (19-351)

ASTROS -- Larry Dierker (18 years, 315 days on Aug. 3, 1965)

Dierker didn’t just hit the youngest home run in Astros history in August 1965 -- he did it in a game where he also started and was credited with the win. The pitcher, who debuted on his 18th birthday in 1964, had a career .136 batting average and a .169 slugging percentage, but he did hit four home runs. This one, which he hit before even turning 19, is the youngest for any player in an Astros uniform. Dierker hit his first career home run in St. Louis off Bob Purkey. Among the three other pitchers he homered off in his career, one stands out -- Nolan Ryan, who he went yard against on July 30, 1969.

Runners-up: Rusty Staub (19-63), Cesar Cedeno (19-131)

ATHLETICS -- Lew Malone (18 years, 174 days on Sept. 3, 1915)

Malone hit just one home run in his 133-game, 412-plate appearance career, but he made it count -- at least for the Athletics’ franchise record books. In a September game against the Red Sox at Shibe Park, he went yard in the bottom of the ninth off Vean Gregg, with his team trailing, 10-0. To add to the quirk associated with a player with one career home run having the youngest homer in the franchise’s history, it wouldn’t even have been a home run if it happened today. Until the early 1930s, if a ball bounced but then ended up over the outfield wall, it was ruled a home run. Malone’s one career home run was one of these "bounce home runs," before all homers had to clear the outfield wall on a fly.

Runners-up: Lou Klimchock (18-348), Dave Duncan (18-365)

MARINERS -- Ken Griffey Jr. (19 years, 140 days on April 10, 1989)

This one should come as no surprise -- that The Kid, who debuted at 19 years old for the Mariners in 1989, holds the franchise record for youngest home run. Griffey hit his first home run off the White Sox Eric King in his sixth career game, and went on to hit 630 home runs, which stands as the seventh most all time. He hit 417 of his 630 home runs with the Mariners.

Runners-up: Alex Rodriguez (19-320), Chris Snelling (20-177)

RANGERS -- Jurickson Profar (19 years, 195 days on Sept. 2, 2012)

Profar was a September callup in 2012, playing in just nine games. But in his very first plate appearance, he took the Indians’ Zach McAllister deep for a home run. He became the third player in Rangers history to homer in his first career at-bat, joining Brant Alyea in 1965 and John Kennedy in 1962.

Runners-up: Ivan Rodriguez (19-276), Juan Gonzalez (19-333)

NL EAST

BRAVES -- Bill Southworth (18 years, 329 days on Oct. 4, 1964)

Southworth played in just three career Major League games, all with the Braves in October 1964. His home run came in what ended up being his final career game. He homered off the Pirates’ Earl Francis in the bottom of the third inning, and not only was that his first and only career home run, but it was also one of just two career hits.

Runners-up: Sibby Sisti (19-40), Andruw Jones (19-115)

MARLINS -- Edgar Renteria (19 years, 309 days on June 11, 1996)

Renteria debuted in May for the Marlins but didn’t hit his first home run until June 11, a month and a day after his May 10 debut. His first homer came off the Expos’ Ugueth Urbina in the top of the fourth at Olympic Stadium. Not known for his power, Renteria hit 140 career home runs, with 12 of those coming in a Marlins uniform.

Runners-up: Miguel Cabrera (20-63), Giancarlo Stanton (20-222)

METS -- Ed Kranepool (18 years, 162 days on April 19, 1963)

Kranepool debuted for the Mets as a 17-year-old in 1962 but didn’t homer in any of his three games that season. But in his fifth game of 1963, he did so, cementing himself into the Mets' record books. In the bottom of the second inning, he took the Braves’ Bob Shaw deep for the first of what would be two home runs that season for Kranepool. Kranepool hit 118 career home runs over the course of an 18-year career with the Mets.

Runners-up: Greg Goossen (19-285), Jose Reyes (20-4)

NATIONALS/EXPOS -- Juan Soto (19 years, 208 days on May 21, 2018)

The Nationals had already had a pretty accomplished 19-year-old in their history, with Bryce Harper’s body of work in 2012, but Soto surpassed many of Harper’s records in his own 2018 rookie season. One of those was the mark for youngest home run in franchise history, which Soto established with a second-inning homer off Robbie Erlin. Soto went on to hit 22 home runs in 2018, tied with Harper's 2012 for second-most home runs by a teenager in a season in MLB history.

Runners-up: Bryce Harper (19-211), Gary Carter (20-173)

PHILLIES -- Johnny Lush (18 years, 336 days on Sept. 8, 1904)

Lush played games in his first season in 1904 as a first baseman, outfielder and pitcher. He hit two career home runs, and both were in 1904 while playing first base -- and they were within a few days of each other, on Sept. 8 and 12. Not only that, both of the home runs were of the inside-the-park variety. The first was at the New York Giants, off Claude Elliott.

Runners-up: Ted Kazanski (19-175), Sherry Magee (20-33)

NL CENTRAL

BREWERS -- Robin Yount (18 years, 209 days on April 13, 1974)

The future Hall of Famer homered in his sixth career game off the Orioles’ Ross Grimsley. Oddly enough, Yount’s first two homers both came off Grimsley, even though one was in mid-April and the next was in mid-June. Yount went on to hit 251 career home runs, win two MVP Awards and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999.

Runners-up: Darrell Porter (19-240), Gary Sheffield (19-296)

CARDINALS -- Dick Schofield (18 years, 221 days on Aug. 16, 1953)

Schofield played for 19 years, amassing 3,545 plate appearances, but hit just 21 home runs in his career. His first one was historic for the franchise, though, as he hit it as an 18-year-old. He hit that first home run in Cincinnati off Frank Smith, in his 13th career game.

Runners-up: Bunny Hearn (19-142), Tim McCarver (19-270)

CUBS -- Danny Murphy (18 years, 21 days on Sept. 13, 1960)

Murphy played outfield initially in his career, then finished up his final two seasons as a pitcher -- but this home run, of course, came while he was an outfielder at just 18 years old. He actually debuted as a 17-year-old that year, but didn’t go yard until after his Aug. 23 birthday. His first home run came in his 21st career game. He hit it off the Reds’ Bob Purkey, a three-run home run to give the Cubs the lead in a game in Cincinnati. Murphy hit four career home runs, including his fourth and final one as a pitcher in 1970.

Runners-up: Phil Cavarretta (18-68), Harry Chiti (19-165)

PIRATES -- Bobby Del Greco (19 years, 63 days on June 9, 1952)

The 19-year-old hit his first career home run in his 49th career game off the Boston Braves’ Jim Wilson. Del Greco finished his career with 42 home runs, three of which he hit for the Pirates, in 1952 and 1956.

Runners-up: Lee Walls (19-217), Dale Coogan (19-314)

REDS -- Pete Schneider (19 years, 29 days on Sept. 18, 1914)

Schneider was a pitcher, but he managed five home runs in his career, including this one as a 19-year-old in 1914. He homered off the Giants’ Art Fromme, knocking an inside-the-park home run. Three of his five career home runs were inside-the-parkers. He finished his career with 16 home runs allowed.

Runners-up: Ted Tappe (19-224), Curt Flood and Vada Pinson (19-250)

NL WEST

D-BACKS -- Justin Upton (19 years, 347 days on Aug. 7, 2007)

The only home run as a teenager of Upton’s career was this one, in his first home game and fifth overall game in 2007. He went yard off the Pirates’ Tom Gorzelanny, one of two home runs he’d hit that season. Upton and his brother, Melvin Upton Jr., each hold the record for the youngest home run for a franchise -- Justin for the D-backs and Melvin for the Rays.

Runners-up: Gerardo Parra (22-7), Karim Garcia (22-153)

DODGERS -- Tommy Brown (17 years, 257 days on Aug. 20, 1945)

Brown isn’t just the youngest Dodgers player to hit a home run in the Modern Era, he's the youngest for any team in the Modern Era, as he’s the only one to go deep as a 17-year-old. Brown’s first homer came off the Pirates’ Preacher Roe. What’s even wackier than a 17-year-old homering? Brown debuted in 1944, at 16 years, 241 days old, so he could’ve done so at an even younger age, theoretically. He played in 46 games in 1944, but tallied just four extra-base hits, all doubles.

Runners-up: Adrian Beltre (19-84), Don Drysdale (20-48)

GIANTS -- Mel Ott (18 years, 138 days on July 18, 1927)

Ott debuted at 17, but didn’t homer until he was 18, in his second season in the Majors. His first home run was an inside-the-parker off the Cubs’ Hal Carlson. He’d go on to hit 511 home runs in his career, which makes him one of 27 players to reach the 500-homer plateau, though when he hit No. 500, he was the first National League player to accomplish the feat.

Runners-up: Whitey Lockman (18-345), Fred Merkle (19-186)

PADRES -- Roberto Alomar (20 years, 85 days on April 30, 1988)

Alomar’s first home run came off the Pirates’ Bob Kipper at Jack Murphy Stadium. Alomar hit 210 home runs in his Hall of Fame career, including 22 with the Padres. Earlier this season, Fernando Tatis Jr. became the second-youngest player to homer for the Padres, narrowly missing out on edging Alomar as he was four days older.

Runners-up: Fernando Tatis Jr. (20-89), Jerry Morales (20-204)

ROCKIES -- Roberto Mejia (21 years, 100 days on July 23, 1993)

This Rockies record still stands from the team’s first year of existence in 1993. Mejia hit just 10 home runs in his career, all of them in a Rockies uniform, but he certainly hit them at a young age. The 21-year-old took Allen Watson of the Cardinals deep for his first career home run. His other four home runs in 1993 came off some pretty nifty company: Curt Schilling, Tim Wakefield, Trevor Hoffman and Tom Glavine.

Runners-up: Troy Tulowitzki (21-329), Nolan Arenado (22-13)

Sarah Langs is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in New York. Follow her on Twitter @SlangsOnSports.