In order to see how players improve and decline with age, it's necessary to use players with sufficiently long careers to quantify age changes. I included players who played at least ten seasons with a minimum of 5,000 career plate appearances for hitters, and 4,000 career batters faced for pitcher. Each season, a player must have at least 300 plate appearances, and 200 batters faced for pitchers. Furthermore, because when players begin and end their careers is not random-good players tend to start earlier and end later than inferior players-I only looked at player performances from the ages of 24 to 35, even though careers extend beyond this range.
Amen John Harrington and Andrew. There are much more important things for our Congress to be working on than baseball. We are just wasting our tax dollars here. Why won’t they tackle a much more important issue. For example: healthcare, gas prices, subprime scandal, recession, Iraq and Afganistan Wars, loss of manufacturing jobs, etc… I don’t think steroids in baseball ranks above any that I have mentioned. What is the ROI on this investigation? I would rather know that my kid will have a country to inherit, that still speaks English and not Chinese or Arabic in 15 years.
But in terms of hitters purposely revamping their swings to become extreme flyball hitters, this modern trend is often traced to Marlon Byrd, the outfielder serving a 162-game suspension after a second positive test for performance-enhancing drugs. In 2012, Byrd averaged two grounders for every flyball, a rate that was in line with his career numbers to that point. But in 2013, after working with an obscure, independent swing instructor named Doug Latta who runs a baseball training facility in Chatsworth, Calif., Byrd cut that rate in half and produced the best season of his career.