How Hitters Age

by Jason Epstein

Beyond the Boxscore’s Jeff Zimmerman recently studied the aging curves for big-league hitters. Among his findings:

  • Starting at 33, hitters from more recent years (1980–2010) aged slower than ballplayers from earlier eras (1950–79), which Zimmerman suggested was thanks in part to advances in medicine.
  • “The age that players peak changed from 25 to 26 when comparing the two 30-year intervals.”
  • “Young-old players* peak at age 25, which is one year earlier than the general population.”
  • Fast players age extremely well from their peaks at 26 to 31, then continue to outperform their peers through their mid-30s.

* “These players exhibit power at an early age with high number of walks and strikeouts.”

Right Field

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