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Thread: Age and success
05-13-2008 04:50 PM #1Aberdeen
- Join Date
- Jul 2007
Age and success
Based upon what I read, I'm constantly hearing a guy is "too old" for a specific league and that's the reason for their success. But, if that's the case, why can't we simply take the age of all ballplayers (from Rookie ball to the Big Leagues) and simply list them by chronological order and identify who the best hitters/players are? We can't, because there are so many other factors.
If age were the determining factor, then Ben Davis should light it up at Bowie and Norfolk, right? Griffey would be one of the leading hitters in the bigs and Justin Upton would be struggling to hit his weight. RIGHT? Thoughts?
05-13-2008 05:17 PM #2Plus Member since April 2008
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
The way I read remarks pertaining to age, it isn't that they're not age hinders their ability to be good/bad, just moreso how their age is relative to their organizational plans for them. Like if their age, success, and progress allows them to be a propsect that the team can project and include and hopefully count on the make the parent team better. I would think you want a player to spend the "prime" years of his career with the parent club, and not being in AA ball. With that it would make sense for a player to get the most out of his prime years, he spend a moderate time in the bigs to fully maximize his potential when he is 24-30.
This is only my second season, and first full season following MiLB baseball in depth, so I could be way off and if so sorry formy ignorance, but that is just what I have picked up.
05-13-2008 10:43 PM #3
05-13-2008 10:44 PM #4
Last edited by TakebackOPACY; 05-13-2008 at 10:52 PM.
05-13-2008 10:50 PM #5Plus Member Since 09/03 Hall of Fame
- Join Date
- Dec 2003
- Bethesda MD
Look at major league players and what age they were when they reached the majors.
05-14-2008 02:37 PM #6
Baseball players' performance generally follows an arc that peaks between the ages of 26 and 29, then declines after. So Major League prospects are expected to improve steadily from the time their minor league career starts (usually 18-21) and age 26 or 27. At that point it generally plateaus for several years and eventually declines (32 is the age often associated with a notable decrease in performance). There are always exceptions (e.g. Melvin Mora peaked at age 32, Aubrey Huff seemed to peak at age 25-26 then declined starting at age 28), but generally this pattern holds up.
So the way this applies to evaluating minor league talent is that a 20-YO who achieves a certain level of success, say an .800 OPS, at AA is regarded as a better ML prospect than a 24-YO with the same success at AA. The expectation is that the older player is closer to reaching his peak and thus has a lower "ceiling" than the younger player. Again, there are exceptions but it usually plays out this way. The notion that a player is having success because they are "too old for the league" is perhaps not quite accurate...maybe it is more precise to say they are having success because they have a certain level of talent AND are further along in their likely growth curve. Another important note is that the most difficult and statistically significant jump in the minor leagues is between A+ and AA ball. This is a big part of the reason why "semi-old" players like Brandon Tripp who have put up big numbers in A ball are regarded cautiously. Players with a lower level of talent or major flaws in their game (eg a big hole in the swing) are going to hit their talent ceiling before they hit their age ceiling. So, for example, Dustin Yount posted a solid .813 OPS at Frederick at age 23, but struggled to reach .700 at Bowie and eventually was released. Some players (usually labeled as "AAAA" guys) can consistently perform at a high level in AAA but have little success at the ML level.
Bottom line: assuming a high level of talent, age is an important and helpful predicter of future success. I hope this is helpful.