I was putting together team box info for Baseball Prospectus 2007, and ran a little
test to see which teams had the oldest and youngest systems.
Average team age is established by looking at the weighted
average of the ages of all players on the team as of July 1, 2006.
Ages are calculated in days, with weights assigned by plate appearances
(hitters) and innings pitched (pitchers). Batters’ and pitchers’ scores are then averaged
together to get team total age.
The average age of each level was determined to be as follows:
Triple-A: 27.4 Double-A: 25.0 High-A: 23.5 Mid-A: 22.3 Short-Season A: 21.9 Rookie (Pioneer/Appalachian): 21.3.
Teams were compared to the league average, so Albuquerque, at an average
age of 28.2, would be rescaled as +.8 (since the average Triple-A team was 27.4 years old).
Take the average of each score in the minor-league system, without
accounting for season lengths. (Note: the Isotopes’ parent club, the
Marlins, had an average age of just 25.8).
The youngest system? By far, it was the Mariners at -.85. Tacoma and San
Antonio were the youngest teams in all of Triple-A and Double-A, and every team
in their system was below average for their level. In fact, relative
to the average age for their level, they were the first- and
third-youngest teams in all of the minors (Durham, Tampa Bay’s Triple-A team, slipped into
The Cubs were second youngest at -.52. Like the Mariners, all of
their teams scored young, although none were as extreme as Seattle’s
The race for oldest minor-league system was a three-team affair
between teams located very close to each other, the Pirates, Phillies
and Orioles. Down to the wire, the Orioles emerged with the dubious
title with a score of +.64. Hitters on their four full-season teams
averaged an astonishing +1.42, nearly a year and a half above average
for their level–and even then they weren’t any good. Ottawa’s and
Bowie’s hitters, at +1.7, were the tied for fifth-worst in all of
baseball, behind the Giants (+4.8), Albuquerque and Reading (+2.0),
and the Yankees (+1.8). Frederick took the prizes for oldest
hitters and oldest pitchers in High-A, the only team to manage that
double (although Florida had the youngest hitters and pitchers in the
The Pirates took second with a +.62 score, led by their pitchers.
Indianapolis and Altoona were the oldest pitching teams in their
brackets at +1.6 apiece. The Phillies were third, at +.58, thanks
largely to Reading, the oldest minor-league club in baseball relative
to their level. Interestingly enough, the second- and third-oldest
minor-league teams were Altoona and Bowie, meaning the top three were all in the Eastern League.
Here’s the full list. “-85” means 0.85 years younger than average for their level.
Sea -85 Chi -52 Min -50 Atl -48 Laa -45 Lad -39 Col -38 Ari -33 Tex -25 Tb -17 Mil -16 Cle 1 Cws 3 Stl 7 Sd 9 Bos 10 Tor 13 Fla 14 Kc 15 Hou 17 Det 18 Nym 21 Nyy 29 Oak 32 Sf 33 Cin 36 Was 46 Phi 58 Pit 62 Bal 64
Marlins -3.6 DevilRa -1.9 Pirates -1.85 Twins -1.35 Indians -.95 Rockies -.95 Cubs -.75 Rangers -.7 BlueJay -.6 Mariner -.55 Brewers -.55 A's -.5 Angels -.5 Braves -.4 Nationa -.2 Royals -.1 Tigers -.1 Orioles .15 WhiteSo .15 Cardina .3 Reds .3 Diamond .35 Phillie .7 Dodgers 1.1 Astros 1.25 Padres 1.45 Mets 2.1 RedSox 2.1 Giants 2.35 Yankees 2.8