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Prime Ages Part III

May 5, 2023
 Prime Ages

Part III

Very Young


            Group III of our effort here is players whose Prime Age ranges from 21.42 to 22.00.   There are 429 players in the group, supposed to represent 3% of the players in the study. 

            Again, the best player in this group is a 19th century pitcher, Silver King.  This will continue to be true for several more groups of players—that the BEST player in the group, by Win Shares, is a 19th century pitcher.  19th century baseball was to a large degree represented by very young pitchers—18, 19, 20, up to 23—very young pitchers pitching a large number of innings.  King was credited with 263 career Win Shares, a near-Hall of Fame number, although I wouldn’t personally regard King as a reasonable Hall of Fame candidate. 

            The only other two players in this group with 100 Win Shares are Tony Conigliaro (104) and Hardie Henderson (100).  Hardie Henderson was another 19th century pitcher.  Other names on the list that you might recognize include Marlins’ pitcher Jose Fernandez, Royals’ one-time super prospect, Clint Hurdle, Bob Coluccio, Juan Nieves, 1970 phenom Wayne Simpson, and shooting stars like Larry Bearnarth, Nelson Mathews, David Clyde, Joe Lovitto, Nelson Simmons from Sparky’s Tigers, Billy Joe Robidoux and basketball star Dave DeBusschere.

            Altogether, not a very interesting group.  Sorry.



COMMENTS (6 Comments, most recent shown first)

I couldn't find Win Shares information, but I use WAR for the same calculation, Dick Kokos lands in this group. To me, Dick Koko's claim to fame is that he is the youngest player to hit 20 homers in a season for the LAST time. I haven't been keeping my data up to date for the last ten years, so it is possible that someone else has surpassed him, but I would be surprised. My list actually has two players younger than him, both active at the time (and now) - Bryce Harper and Mike Trout.
Next on my list is Willie Davis, followed by Dave W. Roberts. (I keep ages with a month granularity for sorting in this case).
1:48 AM May 11th
Nelson Simmons seemed so promissing hitting an OPS of .911 at the AAA International League's Evansville team, then .969 in his call up with the Champion 1984 Tigers. He was a young 21 year old - became an adult officially that June 27th. What nobody seemed to realize then was how lucky he was. His Batting Average on Balls In Play was about .334 at Evansville and .520 in his 32 PA with Detroit. It didn't help that he was more of a DH than an outfielder. But, his hitting never improved - he never had a season close to that good ever after. He finished with 100 career games and hit only .728 OPS.​
11:56 PM May 5th
JackKeefe wrote:

“Should Jose Fernandez even be included in this study? Of course his prime years were in his early 20's, since he tragically died at age 24. Who really knows when his prime might have been?”

It is very tragic. But from a purely baseball standpoint it’s no different from someone who had a serious injury at 24. Or was called into WW II. Or any other event which might curtail a promising career. So analytically, yes he should be included. Tragedy notwithstanding.​
11:29 PM May 5th
Jack: Like Ken Hubbs, in the previous group. Some people get hurt. Some people die. S*** happens.We're not here to judge, just tally and report.
11:29 PM May 5th
Should Jose Fernandez even be included in this study? Of course his prime years were in his early 20's, since he tragically died at age 24. Who really knows when his prime might have been?
8:36 PM May 5th
Billy Jo Robidoux! LOVE that name! A few years back, the name popped into my head and I tried to find him on Wikipedia and couldn't. "Maybe he never existed?" I thought, shrugged, and moved on. This time around I went to Baseball Reference dot com.
4:11 PM May 5th
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