The Vanishing Age 33 Year

We’d had an inkling before, but with a second slip of the tongue, it appears that we can now be confident that Angels’ OF/DH Vladimir Guerrero is in fact a year older than his listed age. That makes him 34 for the upcoming season, his final under the contract he signed with Anaheim back in the 2003 offseason.

Given the recent trend in market contracts for good hitting outfielders with lead gloves, it will be interesting to see what kind of extension talks take place between Vlad and the Angels, if any, during this season. Any new contract for Guerrero is going to start with his age 35 season and he is already showing signs of age-related performance decline.

In fact, Guerrero’s WAR has fallen every year since 2004, when he posted a 5.6 WAR, to last season’s 2.4 figure. All that results in Vlad being overpaid each of the last three seasons according to FanGraphs estimates.

CHONE, ZiPS, Marcel and Oliver combined to project a slight rebound in offense for Vlad this coming year, but that was before it turned out that he was a year older. An extra year at that age, and track record, may result in a non trivial adjustment downward in expectations. With his defense at an abysmal -10 to -20 range and injury concerns, Guerrero really needs to scale back the number of games he plays in the field even further than the 99 he was down to last year.

If Vlad isn’t able to rebound, there could be some serious offensive issues in Anaheim, something the team can ill-afford especially with the news that Ervin Santana has at least a partial tear of his UCL.

Print This Post

Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.

29 Responses to “The Vanishing Age 33 Year”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. Chris says:

    The age 35 year is normally when you see a significant decline in production from hitters, not to mention the injury probability goes up significantly as well.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. rk says:

    So, are any of these projections going to change because of his “new” age? Sorry if this is a stupid question (still learning)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. j says:

    I bet Vlad will hit .320/.400/.550, especially now that his knee is healthy. He’s also in a contract year. He also really turned it up since June of last year. Over .400 wOBA. Never bet against Vlad’s offensive performance! He’s Mr. consistent, when healthy.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • BrettJMiller says:

      Do we really still believe in the contract year effect?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • j says:

        Sure, why not? Worked for Beltre and many others!

        BTW, Vlad was injured last year. That clearly had an effect on him. He said so himself. His knees prevented him from doing the things he’s capable of. He had knee surgery during the offseason. He’s healthy now.

        LOL, sure. Vlad has been getting worse offensively, but that graph looks so misleading. It makes it seem like he had a huge drop


        2004: .414 wOBA
        2005: .401 wOBA
        2006: .387 wOBA
        2007: .393 wOBA
        2008: .373 wOBA (injured)

        I don’t think anyone expects prime Vladdy, but 05-07 isn’t out of the question, when healthy. And he’s healthy.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Nathan says:

        How is the graph misleading?

        It’s clearly labeled and to scale.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Evan B. says:

        Because it starts at .360. This one looks far less dramatic.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • BrettJMiller says:

        Yes, he’s healthy NOW. Will he be healthy in September? Or May, for that matter? Plus, he’s getting older. Most players, no matter how good they are, don’t sustain their peak performance through age 34.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Travis says:

        Baseball Prospectus did an analysis of the “Contract Year” performance increase ( membership req’d). To sum up, they found that hitters appeared to be +2.2 runs better during their walk years (data normalized to 400 batter outs). Pitchers were -1.1 runs different. Statistically, no difference between walk years and normal years.

        BP’s own Dayn Perry did the same analysis and found that each player did very slightly better in their walk years, compared to the two previous years.

        The major difference in methodologies was that Perry used “prominent” free agents, whereas the first article looked @ all free agents. The linked article sums everything up nicely:
        “In the end the results are about what you’d expect intuitively. Major League Baseball is so competitive at all times that one would assume that it is rare indeed if a player can turn it on one season and turn it off the next. With the average Major League career historically spanning just over four years, players are aware of just how quickly they can be out of baseball if their performance slips. So if there are indeed players with the ‘talent flexibility’ to perform at will, they are likely few and far between.”

        That last paragraph can also be applied to any anecdotal “performance increase” argument, e.g. the “clutch hitter” argument.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • alskor says:

      Yes, he’s “consistently” been getting worse every year since 2004, which you would have seen had you RTFA.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. j says:

    He was only overpaid by 200,000 in 06 and 07 (according to fangraphs estimates) and $4.5 million in 08 (too bad he was injured, huh?)

    You might want to mention that, Matthew. Call it “slightly” overpaid (based on fangraphs estimates, anyway).

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Vlad's Mama says:

    If you take away is awful may, Vlad hit .321 last year. When you look at his numbers when the angels got Teixeira they were outstanding. With the addition of Abreu (a high OBP guy) hitting in front of Vlad, I expect Vlad to have a very productive year.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Evan B. says:

      If you take away anyone’s awful May they look better.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Vlad's Mama says:

        you’re probably right but that’s still 5/6 of the season at .321, but more importantly is the addition of a high OBP guy hitting in front of him all year.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • BrettJMiller says:

      You can’t cherry pick some stats out though. It happened.

      A bit of decline doesn’t mean he can’t still be productive. He was worth 2.4 wins last year. Getting worse doesn’t mean abysmally bad.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Matthew's face says:

    Matthew is one ugly bastard. Dude is frustrated he has a face only a mother can love. You should see him. He looks like a cross between Clay Aiken and Lyle Lovett.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Jim says:

    Next thing you know, we will find out that Miguel Tejada is actually 70.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. vivaelpujols says:

    Read the fucking article?
    Oops…forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Bill says:

    Vlad’s slip doesn’t necessarily mean he’s 34. It may just mean he doesn’t remember how old he is supposed to be. He could actually be older.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. scatterbrian says:

    Signs are pointing to a rough year in Anaheim. I’d be surprised if the AL West champ wins more than 85 games.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Juan says:

    Vlad just has to realize that half time at DH and half time in the field are his new positions until he retires and goes to HOF. I hope he gets to bang out 3000 hits and 500 HRs; 2000 RBI wont happen, but heck he’s been one of the greatest players of his generation.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. ?????? says:

    ?????? ???????????! ?????? ???????? ???? ???????????? ??????. ???? ? “?????? ????? ????? ?????? ???”:)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *