FanGraphs Baseball

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  1. A non-baseball factor could well of had a bearing in TJs second half of the season results, which dragged down his seasonal numbers. He found out at that point that his mother, whom he is very close to, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. It would be entirely human for a young man of his age to be distracted from his occupation by such news for an extended period of time. He finished the season in his league’s playoffs performing well again.

    Comment by maqman — February 28, 2013 @ 11:37 am

  2. He also struggled with consistency on his curve ball. In AA, he could have probably dominated with the fastball alone (It’s good).

    But he needs to master some sort of curve for the Majors.

    Comment by bookbook — February 28, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

  3. The median ages for all levels is over 21, which makes sense, since a pretty sizable chunk of players come to the pros from college. Is there any way to tell the median age of players who one day made an impact in the pros? (+10 career WAR or whatever threshold you want). I guess the thought is that a lot of filler guys are on the minor league rosters inflating the median age. Players who don’t have a shot to make it to the majors. Perhaps Walker’s youth isn’t as shocking under that microscope.

    Comment by TwoScoops — February 28, 2013 @ 2:39 pm

  4. One thing that I think bears mentioning is that Walker did not play baseball and pitch until his later years in high school. His development curve is a little behind your average pitcher. I think that hurts him short term but may help long term because he has less mileage on his arm.

    Comment by Average_Casey — February 28, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

  5. That’s a good point. Easy to forget that these kids aren’t emotionally mature yet, in many cases. Hard to know how it affected him, though.

    Comment by Mark Smith — February 28, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

  6. Either way, he’s still facing guys that are older than he is. Just because they aren’t good enough for the majors doesn’t mean they’re just fodder. Some are pretty good at that level and are still legit competition for up-and-coming prospects.

    Comment by Mark Smith — February 28, 2013 @ 5:23 pm

  7. Maybe. One could also argue that he hasn’t built up the stamina in his shoulder to consistently make it through seasons (we’re really not sure). That was probably more of a factor when drafting him, knowing he could make serious strides if he focused on one sport. He’s obviously still improving, but he’s seemingly closed the gap as he’ll be 20 and probably in AAA.

    Comment by Mark Smith — February 28, 2013 @ 5:26 pm

  8. For High-School draftees, here’s a good rule of thumb:

    18 – Rookie league
    19 – Low A
    20 – High A
    21 – AA
    22 – AAA
    23 – Majors

    That’s only to be used as a gauge. Almost no players are going to follow that same exact course, but it gives you a general idea of about where a prospect should be at a certain age, if he’s likely to have any kind of career in the Majors.

    The average age of any league is going to be older than what a good prospect should be when they hit that league.

    College players are different, of course, they’re older when they get drafted, and are placed higher or lower based on their draft spot and prospect status.

    Comment by Nathaniel Dawson — February 28, 2013 @ 6:35 pm

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