Weekend BlogMarch 29, 2008
Youth Is Served
By The Baseball Analysts Staff

It seems like we are at a nice point in time with regard to the emergence of quite a bit of young talent. With nothing more than this thought in mind, I decided to have a look at it. In 2007, four position players 24 or younger managed an OPS+ of 150 or better. In case there is little context around that number for some readers, it's Jim Thome's career mark and a figure that Jim Rice only eclipsed twice.

Here are the four players (min 200 PA's):

P. Fielder   156
R. Braun     153
D. Wright    150
M. Cabrera   150

Since 1957, it was just the fifth season in which four or more players 24 or younger bested the 150 mark. From 2000 to 2006, there were only nine such seasons, and Albert Pujols lays claim to four of them. Here are the remaining seasons (again, min 200 PA's).


B. Powell    176
R. Santo     164
D. Allen     162
R. Carty     161


J. Mayberry  168
J. Bench     166
C. Cedeno    162
C. Fisk      162
R. Blomberg  153
R. Hebner    152


J. Canseco   170
W. Clark     160
M. Greenwell 159
F. McGriff   157


J. Olerud    186
K. Griffey   177
J. Gonzalez  169
M. Piazza    152

The five best seasons of the last fifty years according to OPS+ for players 24 or younger?

              Yr    Age  OPS+
R. Jackson   '69    23   189
A. Pujols    '03    23   187
W. McCovey   '59    21   187 (just 219 PA's)
J. Olerud    '93    24   186
D. Allen     '66    24   181

Patrick Sullivan, 3/29/08, 1:49pm EDT


Olerud should be '93.

Thanks, Mark.

There are a lot of Hall of Fame of the Very Good in the above lists. Only two of those players (Bench and Fisk) have made the Hall of Fame. Griffey and Piazza should be locks in due time as well. Of note, three of the four in or heading to Cooperstown are catchers. Five first basemen and not one is likely to get enshrined (although I would not be opposed to McGriff making it). Three third basemen and not a single HoFer.

With respect to the class of 2007, I would be less surprised if Wright and Cabrera were elected than Fielder or even Braun, for that matter.

Pujols, Hanley Ramirez, Wright and Cabrera are a pretty good young group with the capability for a future Hall of Fame entry.
With no so great OPS+ I think that Sizemore, Reyes and Zimmerman are also future HOF material.

It's a fun time to be a Brewer fan.