Posted by: Peter | July 24, 2008

Youth Movement

Dave Studeman has an article in the Hardball Times today asking whether veteran players “know how to win”. Unsurprisingly, at least to me, there’s no evidence that older players are somehow better at handling the pressure of pennant races. But what really caught my attention was the appendix to his article reproduced below:

References and Resources
As a reference, here is a list of each team’s Win Shares Age this year. Win Shares age is essentially a team’s age weighted by the contribution of each player (as measured by Win Shares). There are several youth movements to note: the Giants are 3.2 years younger than last year’s team, the Twins are 2.5 years younger, the Dodgers are 2.3 years younger and the Rangers are 2.1 years younger.

Team        WSAge
MIN         25.7
TB          25.7
ARI         26.2
OAK         26.4
FLA         26.7
WAS         27.0
LAN         27.0
CLE         27.2
KC          27.2
TEX         27.2
ATL         27.3
PIT         27.4
LAA         27.4
COL         27.4
MIL         27.8
CIN         27.9
BAL         28.0
SF          28.1
STL         28.1
SEA         28.3
CHA         28.5
NYN         28.6
SD          28.7
BOS         28.7
CHN         28.9
DET         29.2
PHI         29.2
TOR         29.3
HOU         30.8
NYA         31.6

This “Win Shares Age” statistic is a little convoluted, but as best I can tell it measures: a) how young a team is; and b) how much the younger players are contributing to the team’s on-field success. And the table shows that the Twins are tied with the Rays for the title of “best young team”. And that’s even with Carlos Gomez batting leadoff for half the year. I have to say, this makes me optimistic about the next few seasons, even if I’m still skeptical that this is a playoff year for the Twins.

Also: oh boy, were the Giants ever old last year! They had the biggest youth movement in the majors and they’re still in the older half of the league.


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