Introduction to MLB Players
Major League Baseball (MLB) is the professional baseball organization in North America, consisting of teams that play in the American League (AL) and the National League (NL). MLB players come from all over the world, but the majority originate from within the United States. Players range in age from the early 20s to the late 40s, but the majority are in their mid- to late 20s. So, what age are most MLB players?
MLB Players by Age
A 2019 study by the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) found that the median age of MLB players is between 27 and 28 years old. The median age has remained relatively consistent over the last decade, with a slight uptick in the last few years. The oldest players are typically pitchers, while the youngest players are typically position players.
Factors Impacting Age of MLB Players
There are several factors that impact the age of MLB players, including the number of college athletes drafted, the length of development time in the Minor Leagues, and the number of international free agents signed.
College Athletes Drafted
The number of college athletes drafted into MLB each year has a direct impact on the age of players in the league. College players are generally older than high school players and can contribute to the league at a more advanced level, making them more attractive to teams. College players also typically have more experience and a better understanding of the game than high school players, making them more attractive.
Length of Development Time in the Minor Leagues
The length of development time in the Minor Leagues can also impact the age of players in the MLB. Minor League players are typically young and still developing their skills. As they progress through the system, they become more experienced and closer to being ready for the major leagues. The longer a player spends in the Minor Leagues, the older they will be when they make their MLB debut.
International Free Agents Signed
The number of international free agents signed each year can also have an impact on the age of MLB players. International free agents are typically younger than players from the United States, and teams can sign them to long-term contracts that extend beyond their rookie years. This allows teams to acquire players with the potential to become stars without having to wait for them to develop in the Minor Leagues.
MLB Players by Position
The majority of MLB players are position players (i.e. hitters and fielders). The average age of position players is 28.3 years old, while the average age of pitchers is 29.2 years old. This is due to the fact that pitchers often take longer to develop their skills and reach the major leagues.
Average Age in MLB by Team
The average age of players on each team can vary significantly. The Texas Rangers, for example, have the youngest roster at 26.6 years old, while the St. Louis Cardinals have the oldest roster at 30.6 years old. The Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, and New York Yankees also have rosters with an average age above 30.
MLB Players Age Distribution
The age distribution of MLB players is as follows:
- 20-24: 18%
- 25-29: 45%
- 30-34: 24%
- 35-39: 11%
- 40+: 2%
The majority of MLB players are in their mid- to late-20s, with a small percentage of players in their early to mid-30s. The number of players in their late 30s and 40s is relatively small.
The majority of MLB players are between the ages of 25 and 29, with a median age of 27-28 years old. The age of MLB players is impacted by several factors, including the number of college athletes drafted, the length of development time in the Minor Leagues, and the number of international free agents signed. Pitchers tend to be older than position players, and the average age of players on each team can vary significantly.
Society for American Baseball Research. (2019). Age of MLB Players. Retrieved from sabr.org/research/age-mlb-players