This is what we've wanted all along. Of course, it's easier for the organization now, and more acceptable to more fans, given that these are not only young players, but hyped young prospects who are already mini-stars.
Through so many bad Royals seasons I was worn down by the pointlessness of the roster. Oh, wee, here's Terrence Long and Scott Elarton and Mike Jacobs and whomever. Guys with no future in the game or with the Royals. Shane Costa may have been no better (or even worse) but at least you could imagine the beginning of something. Yet the Royals never truly went young. Anyone order more Bloomquist?
This year, thankfully, they have. In June, I noted that the Royals were by weighted average the youngest team in baseball. The youngest lineup, the youngest pitchers, the youngest. Here were their numbers on June 13th:
- Hitters: 26.9
- Pitchers: 26.1
Today, the weighted average for Royals position players is down to 26.4 years of age. The AL average is 29 years, to give you a sense of scale. No one in the American League is really close to the Royals (Minnesota is next at 27.8) and that's without the next month of the average age continuing to drop as a number of rookies keep playing.
The pitchers have actually gotten a little older, despite all the kids in the bullpen. Today, the weighted average for Royals pitchers is 26.3, a tick up from where it was in August. That change is explained by young pitchers O`Sullivan and Mazzaro losing their starts to Paulino (27) and the continued presence of Francis (30) and Chen (34), the latter returning from his absence in early summer.
Royal hurlers are still, as a group, the youngest in the AL, although the Indians are now closing in (26.5 average).
Last year, the average age of Royal hitters was 28.9, in 2009, the pitchers were at 27.5. I like this version of a bad team so much better.