The average age of Royals hitters in 2009 was the 9th youngest in Franchise history, with an average of 27.6 years old.
The average age of Royals hitters so far in 2010 is the 8th oldest in Franchise history, with an average age of 29.9 years old.
Barring the surprising promotion and use of young Royals prospects in this season, the potential for that average age to plunge doesn't seem to be there. This isn't a stat that is gonna get tilted by having a bunch of 24 year olds glued to a bench. They have to actually play over the old fogeys.
There's another interesting reality about old Royals teams that will zoom over some people's heads. The 7 teams with the oldest hitters included 5 winning teams, including the 1985 World Series team. Those teams were good, the players on those teams were still good, and this team is not good.
For those who are unsure on how we got to this point. A review
Out: Mark Teahen (27 in 2009), Miguel Olivo (30 in 2009), Mike Jacobs (28 in 2009), Coco Crisp (29 in 2009), John Buck (28 in 2009), Josh Anderson (26 in 2009), Luis Hernandez (25 in 2009), Tony Pena Jr (28 in 2009), Ryan Freel (33 in 2009), Tug Hulett (26 in 2009)
In: Jason Kendall (36), Chris Getz (26), Scott Podsednik (34), Rick Ankiel (30)
Ryan Freel was the oldest Royals hitter in 2009, Jose Guillen was the second oldest. So the Royals signed two guys older than Jose Guillen. (Unrelated note, Baseball-reference claims that Podsednik's nickname is the Podfather, a sign that players just anonymously submit nicknames to BB-Ref in hopes that real people will use those nicknames.)
The first three Dayton Moore teams held the fort around an average batter age of 28 (with the 2009 team veering down to 27.6). In fact, Moore came aboard on a team with the average age of 29.6, a team which lost 100 game despite having Reggie Sanders, Matt Stairs, Mark Grudzielanek, and Tony Graffanino.
With most of those players gone quickly, it seemed like Dayton Moore would be change from having random over the hill dudes wasting our time. Suckers.
I've kind of viewed this team the way that I viewed the mid to late 1990s Royals. A team with a lot of over the hill dudes drawing checks. Looking at BB-Ref tells me that those teams weren't as crusty as I was suspecting (hey, I checked out of Baseball for four years in-between the royal screwing of the 1994 Royals [aka the Strike] and the McGwire/Sosa HR chase). The 1997 Royals (the first Royals team to lose more than 90 games since 1990) only had five regular hitters who were 30 or older (Chili Davis, Bip Roberts, Mike Macfarlane, Jeff King, and Jay Bell). This team has also five regulars 30 or older (Kendall, Podsednik, Ankiel, DeJesus, and Guillen). Granted, the 1997 team also has Damon, Dye, and Mike Sweeney hanging around with more in the pipeline.
How long will this team stay this old?
- Jose Guillen is gone after this year (along with the road suite that he got in his cntract).
- David DeJesus will likely have his $6M option bought out for $500K.
- Rick Ankiel might end up bought out for $500K instead of employed for $6M. Laugh to yourself that we have a GM who put Rick Ankiel and David DeJesus on the same salary for a season.
- Jason Kendall is back next year for $3.75M at the age of 37 (but at least it's not the dumbest contract that Kendall signed... $13M for 242/301/309. Good one Cam).
- Willie Bloomquist's deal ends after 2010.
- Scott Podsednik could be employed for $2M or bought out for $100K, which is a sign that Podsednik needs to fire his agent for not getting at least $4M in 2011 out of Dayton Moore.
So, when it comes to 2011, in theory, the entire outfield could be gone, along with Guillen, and Bloomquist, to be replaced by younger guys.
Or some members could return for salaries above their worth and more old guys could be signed. Willie Harris is my bet for a random free agent signing ("Hey Jordan, this is Willie Harris, he has a World Series ring, enjoy Omaha")
Dayton Moore told Nick Wright that he has a 20 year plan, you're just a spectator.