Top 7 All-Time Best Pairs of Players in MLB History

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Major League Baseball is old. Very old. So old that it could feasibly be described as “olde,” if you were painting an artisanal sign and wanted that vintage feel. And as long as there have been baseball teams, there have been wunderkinder. Prodigies. The futures of the sport wrapped up in youthful packages that will eventually turn into more pages in the annals of baseball history.

Over at Nate Silver’s self-styled data journalism website, FiveThirtyEight, which is underwritten by ESPN, one reporter has turned to the history books and the passage of time to take a look at who the best pairs of position players younger than 22 playing at the same time have been. Ever. Neil Paine, the author of the article, took each pair’s Wins Above Replacement (WAR) score and found the highest harmonic mean between the two. Why 22? Because it serves as an effective barometer of youth in a sport where players often start at 18, among other things.

So without further delay, here are the seven best pairs of position players that have ever been in the league at the same time. The statistical best of the various youths of the MLB. The players that were the future and who are now, mostly, in the past. (To check out the FiveThirtyEight post — there’s a lot more data in there, and it’s a fun read – go here.)

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