Aging in Baseball

Fellow economist Steve Walters pinch hits for Dave Berri at Wages of Wins Journal, where he discusses aging in baseball. You may remember Steve from his Statscape column in Sporting News.

Steve discusses how our perceptions about aging in baseball may be incorrect. In the early-1980s, Bill James found that players peak around age 27. But statistician Jim Albert, co-author of the excellent Curve Ball, finds that players tend to peak closer to 29. This reminded me of some work I have done.

A few years back, I ran a series of posts to measuring aging in baseball for hitters (part 1, part 2 , part 3) and pitchers using slightly different methods. What did I find? Like Albert, I find players peaking at around age 29—worse players tend to peak earlier, and better players peak later.

Now, this was three years ago, and I need to follow up on my findings (and I plan to this summer), but I think it is interesting that both Albert and I reach similar conclusions.

I’m not sure if Steve will be writing more for WoW this week, but I will. Look for a post from me there tomorrow or Wednesday.

One Response “Aging in Baseball”

  1. jpwf says:

    Isn’t is possible that teh average player’s peak is later now than when James did his prioginal study?

    Among other things I do not recall so many players playing effectively past the age of 35 as we have seen in recent years.