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Articles Tagged Peak Age 

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October 1, 2012 5:00 am

Baseball Therapy: When Do Players Stop Developing?

9

Russell A. Carleton

How old does a player have to be before we should stop expecting him to improve?

"He just needs another year."

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As we head for the season's home stretch, Nate reminds us that even comfortable leads late in the season aren't sure things.

While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audiencesend us your suggestion.

There's no such thing as a lock, as Nate discovered in his research on late-season collapses, which originally ran as a "Lies, Damned Lies" column on September 27, 2007.


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March 26, 2010 12:20 pm

Prospectus Hit and Run: Mauer and JAWS

10

Jay Jaffe

The Twins' $184-million man is on a career track headed towards Cooperstown.

Is Joe Mauer Cooperstown-bound? Four weeks shy of his 27th birthday, we can't answer that question definitively, of course. But that doesn't mean we can't start measuring the $184 Million Dollar Man's chances with the tools (of ignorance?) at our disposal.

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February 22, 2010 12:01 pm

Baseball Therapy: That Peak Age Thing, Part 2

6

Russell A. Carleton

Pitchers, unlike hitters, have no discernible pattern for reaching their peaks but they do often flame out quickly.

Last week, I looked at the question of when hitters hit their peak and came away with the very unsatisfying answer of "it depends." Good hitters peak later. Even leaving aside the usual cries of "treat everyone as an individual!" there are different peak ages in the aggregate among different groups. The details matter. Now we are left with this question: What happens with pitchers?

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Dispelling the idea that all hitters reach their prime at the same age.

My grandfather used to say that in heaven, everyone was 25. He figured that was the perfect age in life. You're old enough that you're not a kid any more, but young enough to enjoy everything. Grandpa lived to age 93, and more than six years later, I still miss the guy. This one's for you, Grandpa.

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January 11, 2010 2:50 pm

How Do Baseball Players Age?

125

J.C. Bradbury

The old assumption that players peak around the age of 27 has long been the accepted standard, but should it be?

Recently, there's been a decent amount of chatter regarding how baseball players age, and I have to admit that it's mostly my fault. In a study that was recently published in Journal of Sports Sciences, I find that players tend to peak around the age of 29; this finding has been met with resistance from some individuals in the sabermetric community, where 27 has long been considered the age when players peak. Will Carroll and Christina Kahrl graciously asked if I would be willing to defend my findings on Baseball Prospectus. I agreed, and I thank Will and Christina for the opportunity to do so.

Due to the length of the explanation, I have broken the analysis into two parts. Part I explains the empirical problems faced when estimating aging, and examines why past sabermetric studies have failed to properly measure player aging; Part II explains my recent study.

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September 27, 2007 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: Blowing It

1

Nate Silver

Which teams blew the best possible shots at making the postseason, and where do the ill-fated teams on this year's NL slate stand to land?

Today's article represents an update of Clay Davenport's piece from two years ago that described the biggest collapses in playoff chase history (spoiler alert!), as defined by the teams that had the highest percentage chance to reach the playoffs at some point during the regular season who then failed to do so. I have a comprehensive set of playoff odds reports that Clay prepared for us in connection with It Ain't Over, and was therefore able to identify a couple of races that Clay had missed during his spot-checking. In addition, I will be looking all the way back to the start of the season, rather than limiting things to August 1st as Clay did; it's surprisingly easy for teams to establish a stranglehold on a playoff spot relatively early in the season in the Wild Card era, and if they're a bit less dramatic as narratives go, those collapses still deserve discussion. In addition, Clay has made some improvements to his methodology since the time his article was originally published, so all of that goodness is incorporated herein.

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February 15, 2007 12:00 am

Schrodinger's Bat: Age Before Beauty

0

Dan Fox

Dan shows that young, fresh faces aren't necessarily what makes for the best ballclubs.

-Oliver Wendell Holmes

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October 25, 2005 12:00 am

Call it a Comeback

0

Ben Murphy

Jason Giambi and Ken Griffey Jr. won the Comeback Player of the Year Award in their leagues as voted by the fans. Is there a more objective way of handing out the award?

This bounceback comes in three steps: the first peak, the valley and the second peak. In order for a player to qualify for our 2005 Objective Rebound Award (or ORA, because we love acronyms and we're hoping that the winner has that special something about him), the second peak should come in 2005. For the initial run, we're only going to consider players whose first peak came in 2003 and valley came in 2004. Later, we'll open it up to look at larger windows, up to five years from peak to peak. Although the subjective Comeback Awards are given out by league, we'll make no such distinction here, to avoid having to split playing time across leagues.

Overall, the level of the rebound is measured by the distance dropped plus the distance gained back, or (Peak 1 VORP - Valley VORP) + (Peak 2 VORP - Valley VORP). Although this method would leave us open to having some rebounds that appeared large because of one large peak on either end, there are so many seasons in question that the highest rebounds end up having large peaks on each end. Once we start to limit the sample sizes down to three consecutive years ending in 2005, you get some interesting "rebounds." Although we could place limits on these, it would take arbitrary cut-offs, and since it's an inexact science and simply a toy at this point, we can eliminate these by sight as they come up.

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September 22, 2005 12:00 am

Lies, Damned Lies: A New Look at Aging

0

Nate Silver

Nate uses Joe Crede and poker as points of departure to investigate when position players peak.

This week’s column was originally supposed to be a break from the usual LDL routine, inspired by Tuesday night’s fantastic white Sox/Indians game, which I got to take in with New York Sun buddy Tim Marchman. Tim and I have some mysterious, voodoo-like power when we go to Sox games together. Earlier this year,

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February 8, 2005 12:00 am

Prospectus Today: The Ordonez Deal

0

Joe Sheehan

Even if Magglio Ordonez was completely healthy, his contract would be ridiculously out of line.

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September 3, 2004 12:00 am

When Greatness Comes Early

0

Chaim Bloom

While the average player peaks between the ages of 26 and 28, individuals have a great variety of career paths. Chaim Bloom takes a look at what happens to players who have big seasons before turning 24.

This crucial knowledge informs every team's player moves, and when it does not, leads us to question them. For instance:

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