How old is your Double-A team?

In my article earlier this week, I looked at the age distributions of 2009 Triple-A teams. It was easy enough to generate a similar report for 2009 Double-A teams, so here it is. I’ve included the average age of the organization’s Triple-A affiliate in the rightmost column.





Org  Team            Average  Median  <23  23-24  25-26  27+  Avg Bat  Avg Pit  AAA Avg  

STL  Springfield        23.1      23   16     20      4    1     22.7     23.4     25.4  
CHC  Tennessee          23.6      23    9     20      8    2     23.7     23.5     26.9  
ATL  Mississippi        23.7      23   11     12      7    3     23.5     23.9     27.4  
MIN  New Britain        23.8      24    6     17     11    1     23.9     23.7     25.6  
ARI  Mobile             24.0      24    5     17     13    1     24.3     23.8     26.9  
DET  Erie               24.0      24    5     20      8    2     24.3     23.7     26.8  

LAA  Arkansas           24.0      23   11     10      7    6     25.2     22.9     26.8  
TEX  Frisco             24.0      24   14      9     13    7     24.0     24.1     26.7  
BOS  Portland           24.2      24   10     10      9    6     23.7     24.7     27.3  
CIN  Carolina           24.3      24    7     20     11    5     24.4     24.2     26.5  
OAK  Midland            24.3      25    8     12     18    4     23.6     24.8     25.5  
COL  Tulsa              24.3      24    6     14     11    4     24.9     23.9     28.2  

CHW  Birmingham         24.4      24    7     12     10    5     24.4     24.3     27.5  
SDP  San Antonio        24.4      24    5     17     10    6     23.6     25.0     26.6  
SFG  Connecticut        24.4      24    5     14     11    5     24.6     24.2     27.4  
CLE  Akron              24.4      24    7     19      9    6     24.3     24.5     27.3  
NYM  Binghamton         24.6      25    7     13     13    8     24.2     24.8     28.6  
PIT  Altoona            24.6      25    5     15     18    4     24.5     24.7     27.0  

NYY  Trenton            24.9      25    8     11     17    6     24.3     25.3     27.0  
WAS  Harrisburg         25.0      24    0     20     13    6     25.1     24.9     27.0  
TOR  New Hampshire      25.0      24    3     17     12    7     24.8     25.2     27.0  
TAM  Montgomery         25.0      25    5      8     15    7     25.5     24.4     28.0  
BAL  Bowie              25.1      25    3     13     14    8     26.0     24.4     26.8  
KC   NW Arkansas        25.1      25    3     14     17    6     25.3     24.9     28.1  

LAD  Chattanooga        25.2      25    4     16     11   10     25.4     25.0     28.7  
SEA  West Tenn          25.2      25    7     10     12   15     25.6     24.7     26.8  
MIL  Huntsville         25.2      25    3     14     11    9     25.9     24.7     26.4  
HOU  Corpus Christi     25.4      25    1     13     14    8     24.7     25.9     27.2  
PHI  Reading            25.6      25    4      9     11   11     26.5     24.9     28.8  
FLO  Jacksonville       26.1      26    5      4     10   16     26.2     26.0     26.7  

MLB  AVERAGE            24.6    24.3  6.3   14.0   11.6  6.2     24.6     24.5     27.1

The Cardinals are youngest and the Phillies are second-oldest, but overall, the correlation between AAA and AA team age is not very strong.

Conventional wisdom, or some variation thereof, probably does a good job of explaining why this is. Triple-A teams are, more than anything else, extended benches. Thus, if a team wants veterans to plug in at a moment's notice, their AAA squad will skew older. That preference will probably not affect the age of the Double-A affiliate very much, if at all. Perhaps such a team would be more likely to stash a veteran catcher (think Max St. Pierre, maybe) at Double-A, or maybe a veteran signed out of the indy leagues would spend time in Double-A because the AAA roster is full. But that's about as far as it goes.

But Double-A teams are generally built around prospects, and the makeup of the roster is more dependent on who happens to be in the system. While a lot of free-agent signings go into the formation of a Triple-A roster, most Double-A non-prospects are organizational soldiers (often with their original org) who have survived. If a team has a lot of prospects at a particular level, that affiliate will skew younger. If the club's prospects are mostly younger and/or graduated, Double-A will be unusually full of filler, including some free agents and minor league Rule 5 picks. The Brewers, whose AAA team is young and whose AA team is (relatively) old, are a good example of this.

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Comments

  1. jackdunn'sbaby said...

    Jeff,
    If you are willing to guess, how would your numbers change according to when you compile them – Opening Day or June 1st for example?

    Also, do these numbers reflect the movement of players at the trade deadline?

  2. Jeff Sackmann said...

    How these numbers are calculated: I took the age of every player who had 30+ BF or AB for the team this season, then averaged the ages.  So if somebody has gotten 30 BF/AB since the deadline, they’re included.  If not, they’re not.

    As for dates … I don’t know.  My guess is that, in general, teams get a little younger as the season goes on, as prospects move through the system, both because they improve, and because needs at the MLB level trickle down.

    At the same time, an open spot on June 1 often requires getting an old guy—the better minor league free agents are gone, so you end up dealing for roster filler or maybe signing out of an indy league.

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