Age, Nothing But A Number?
As I was doing a little of my pointless research this morning something started sticking out about the results of the season so far in the NL. Of course we all know that Kemp is off to an incredible start boasting a gaudy 1.383 OPS so far. Wright is 2nd at 1.064, followed by Posey at 1.016. What do these 3 players have in common? They are all under 30.Following the OPS leader board on down I noticed that only Adam LaRoche of the Nationals (32 years old .964 OPS) 31 or over has an OPS over .900 and the next names that shows up on the board are Todd Helton in 14th with a .886 and Michael Cuddyer in 15th with a .884 OPS. Helton the GS monster in Byrdak's nightmares but is sporting a .174 BA away from home. Cuddyer also of course plays half of his games in Coors and has a .710 OPS on the road. So lets discount those for the moment. The next name on the list is all the way down at 22nd none other than 31 year old AJ Ellis (.843) of the Dodgers (obviously a house hold name). 23rd is our friend Beltran with a .838 OPS. All in all in my unscientific count I counted only 10 players 31 or over in the top 50 in OPS. For measurement purposes that 50th player had only a .688 OPS.Taking a peak at SLG% produced similar results. #9 and 10 on the list were the only ones in the top 10 31 or over. Of course those are our buddies LaRoche and Helton. Below them Cuddyer again at 15, Alex Gonzales at 20 (.479 4 points higher than Kirk), Beltran at 25, Werth at 34 (.429 tied with Josh Thole), Furcal and Uggla at 35 and 36, Ellis at 41 (.400 SLG), Carlos Lee at 44, Aramis Ramirez at 47, Vicki at 48 (.380 SLG) and finally Bloomquist at 50. League average for SLG was set at .383 so 3 of our elderly "leaders" couldn't even manage that. So that's 12 out of 50 but only 5 out of the top 25.What I also noticed is that the Mets are 2nd in the league in BA, OBP, and OPS+ but are also 2nd in the league in terms of the youngest average age of hitters trailing only Houston by 27.1 to 27.3. The oldest team the Phillies are 12th in OPS and 14th in OBP by the way :)So what do you guys think this shows? A whole bunch of nothing? That older guys take longer to get started? That no steroids has a huge impact on the new stars of the game (Braun withstanding)? All I know is that considering the Mets are loaded with young players we all should hope the trend continues.