Cubs minor leaguers compared to league median age

Baseball America was nice enough to publish the median age for each league in the minor leagues. This is useful information. We often talk about a prospect being young or old for his level. Just look at my writeup on the Kane County Cougars pitching staff. As Baseball America notes, it's rare to find a significant prospect who is old for his level.

These median ages are even older than what we typically use to describe old or young for a level. For example, the median age in the Midwest League (A ball), is 22.2. I tend to think of 21 as the cutoff point. It has to be at least 21 or all college drafted players would be considered old for the level. That doesn't seem fair at all.

I calculated the age in years based on the birthdates listed on milb.com for each Cubs minor leaguer and compared it to the median age for their level.

Name  Team Pos  Age Median Age Diff
Nick Struck Iowa Cubs P 23.5 26.8 -3.3
Logan Watkins Iowa Cubs 2B 23.6 26.8 -3.2
Josh Vitters Iowa Cubs 3B 23.6 26.8 -3.2
Arismendy Alcantara Tennessee Smokies SS 21.4 24.6 -3.2
Javier Baez Daytona Cubs SS 20.3 23.5 -3.2
Ben Wells Daytona Cubs P 20.6 23.5 -2.9
Jeimer Candelario Kane County Cougars 3B 19.4 22.2 -2.8
Christian Villanueva Tennessee Smokies 3B 21.8 24.6 -2.8
Barret Loux Iowa Cubs P 24.0 26.8 -2.8
Jorge Soler Daytona Cubs RF 21.1 23.5 -2.4
Jae-Hoon Ha Tennessee Smokies CF 22.4 24.6 -2.2
Dustin Geiger Daytona Cubs 3B 21.3 23.5 -2.2
Brett Jackson Iowa Cubs CF 24.7 26.8 -2.1
Austin Reed Daytona Cubs P 21.4 23.5 -2.1
Brooks Raley Iowa Cubs P 24.8 26.8 -2.0
Tony Zych Tennessee Smokies P 22.7 24.6 -1.9
Daniel Vogelbach Kane County Cougars 1B 20.3 22.2 -1.9
Gioskar Amaya Kane County Cougars 2B 20.3 22.2 -1.9
Brian Smith Kane County Cougars P 20.3 22.2 -1.9
Trey Martin Kane County Cougars CF 20.3 22.2 -1.9
Oliver Zapata Kane County Cougars OF 20.6 22.2 -1.6
Marco Hernandez Kane County Cougars SS 20.6 22.2 -1.6
Rafael Dolis Iowa Cubs P 25.2 26.8 -1.6
Tayler Scott Kane County Cougars P 20.8 22.2 -1.4
Yao-Lin Wang Daytona Cubs P 22.2 23.5 -1.3
Willson Contreras Kane County Cougars C 20.9 22.2 -1.3
Kyle Hendricks Tennessee Smokies P 23.3 24.6 -1.3
Stephen Bruno Daytona Cubs 3B 22.4 23.5 -1.1
Starling Peralta Daytona Cubs P 22.4 23.5 -1.1
Casey Coleman Iowa Cubs P 25.8 26.8 -1.0
Zach Putnam Iowa Cubs P 25.8 26.8 -1.0
Elliot Soto Tennessee Smokies SS 23.6 24.6 -1.0
Jaye Chapman Iowa Cubs P 25.9 26.8 -0.9
Trey McNutt Tennessee Smokies P 23.7 24.6 -0.9
Eric Jokisch Tennessee Smokies P 23.7 24.6 -0.9
Matt Szczur Tennessee Smokies CF 23.7 24.6 -0.9
Rubi Silva Tennessee Smokies OF 23.8 24.6 -0.8
Dallas Beeler Tennessee Smokies P 23.8 24.6 -0.8
Zeke DeVoss Daytona Cubs 2B 22.7 23.5 -0.8
John Andreoli Daytona Cubs LF 22.8 23.5 -0.7
Rock Shoulders Kane County Cougars 1B 21.5 22.2 -0.7
Frank Batista Tennessee Smokies P 23.9 24.6 -0.7
Wes Darvill Kane County Cougars 2B 21.6 22.2 -0.6
Austin Kirk Daytona Cubs P 22.9 23.5 -0.6
Timothy Saunders Daytona Cubs SS 22.9 23.5 -0.6
Dae-Eun Rhee Tennessee Smokies P 24.0 24.6 -0.6
Pin-Chieh Chen Kane County Cougars OF 21.7 22.2 -0.5
Johermyn Chavez Tennessee Smokies RF 24.2 24.6 -0.4
Bijan Rademacher Kane County Cougars OF 21.8 22.2 -0.4
Luis Flores Iowa Cubs C 26.4 26.8 -0.4
Chris Rusin Iowa Cubs P 26.5 26.8 -0.3
Ben Carhart Daytona Cubs 3B 23.2 23.5 -0.3
Pierce Johnson Kane County Cougars P 21.9 22.2 -0.3
Luis Liria Daytona Cubs P 23.2 23.5 -0.3
Zach Cates Daytona Cubs P 23.3 23.5 -0.2
Alberto Cabrera Tennessee Smokies P 24.4 24.6 -0.2
Taylor Davis Daytona Cubs C 23.4 23.5 -0.1
Anthony Giansanti Tennessee Smokies IF 24.5 24.6 -0.1
Jose Arias Kane County Cougars P 22.2 22.2 0.0
Steve Perakslis Kane County Cougars P 22.2 22.2 0.0
Kevin Rhoderick Tennessee Smokies P 24.6 24.6 0.0
Frank Del Valle Daytona Cubs P 23.6 23.5 0.1
Nathan Dorris Kane County Cougars P 22.3 22.2 0.1
Zach Rosscup Tennessee Smokies P 24.8 24.6 0.2
Justin Bour Tennessee Smokies 1B 24.9 24.6 0.3
Ryan Searle Daytona Cubs P 23.8 23.5 0.3
Ian Dickson Kane County Cougars P 22.6 22.2 0.4
Marcus Hatley Tennessee Smokies P 25.0 24.6 0.4
Jeffry Antigua Kane County Cougars P 22.8 22.2 0.6
Taiwan Easterling Daytona Cubs OF 24.1 23.5 0.6
Justin Amlung Kane County Cougars P 22.9 22.2 0.7
Michael Heesch Kane County Cougars P 22.9 22.2 0.7
P.J. Francescon Daytona Cubs P 24.2 23.5 0.7
Eduardo Figueroa Daytona Cubs P 24.3 23.5 0.8
Felix Pena Kane County Cougars P 23.1 22.2 0.9
Rafael Lopez Tennessee Smokies C 25.5 24.6 0.9
Sheldon McDonald Daytona Cubs P 24.4 23.5 0.9
Chadd Krist Kane County Cougars C 23.2 22.2 1.0
Blake Parker Iowa Cubs P 27.8 26.8 1.0
Yeiper Castillo Daytona Cubs P 24.6 23.5 1.1
Drew Carpenter Iowa Cubs P 27.9 26.8 1.1
Micah Gibbs Daytona Cubs C 24.7 23.5 1.2
Jonathan Mota Tennessee Smokies IF 25.8 24.6 1.2
Ty Wright Iowa Cubs LF 28.1 26.8 1.3
Ryan Sweeney Iowa Cubs RF 28.1 26.8 1.3
Jair Fernandez Tennessee Smokies C 26.3 24.6 1.7
A.J. Morris Tennessee Smokies P 26.3 24.6 1.7
Yaniel Cabezas Kane County Cougars C 24.0 22.2 1.8
Eduardo Orozco Kane County Cougars P 24.0 22.2 1.8
Lendy Castillo Kane County Cougars P 24.0 22.2 1.8
Chad Noble Daytona Cubs C 25.4 23.5 1.9
Jensen Lewis Iowa Cubs P 28.9 26.8 2.1
Yoanner Negrin Iowa Cubs P 28.9 26.8 2.1
Brian Bogusevic Iowa Cubs LF 29.1 26.8 2.3
Esmailin Caridad Iowa Cubs P 29.4 26.8 2.6
Brian Schlitter Tennessee Smokies P 27.3 24.6 2.7
Cory Wade Iowa Cubs P 29.9 26.8 3.1
Donnie Murphy Iowa Cubs 3B 30.1 26.8 3.3
Brad Nelson Iowa Cubs 1B 30.3 26.8 3.5
Edwin Maysonet Iowa Cubs SS 31.5 26.8 4.7
Tim Torres Tennessee Smokies 2B 29.4 24.6 4.8
J.C. Boscan Iowa Cubs C 33.3 26.8 6.5
Darnell McDonald Iowa Cubs LF 34.4 26.8 7.6

As I mentioned, those median ages are a little old for what we typically use. I hadn't really tried to put numbers to what I had in mind, but decided to go ahead and do that. Here are the ages at which I think a player is considered to be old for each level.

  • A: 21.5
  • A+: 22.5
  • AA: 23.5
  • AAA: 24.5

Some people might even argue it's younger. I know GW and I argued about this awhile back. I got the impression, based on our discussion of Christian Villanueva, that he felt 21 was the cutoff in A+. I can only guess that he might think it would be a year different for each level, making it about half a year younger at each level than what I've generally used.

I'm also not sure about AAA. We don't talk about too many highly ranked prospects who are older than 24 at AAA. Anyway, using my ages above, here are the 20 youngest players I get.

Name  Team Pos  dmick89 Age dmick89 Diff
Javier Baez Daytona Cubs SS 22.5 -2.2
Jeimer Candelario Kane County Cougars 3B 21.5 -2.1
Arismendy Alcantara Tennessee Smokies SS 23.5 -2.1
Ben Wells Daytona Cubs P 22.5 -1.9
Christian Villanueva Tennessee Smokies 3B 23.5 -1.7
Jorge Soler Daytona Cubs RF 22.5 -1.4
Daniel Vogelbach Kane County Cougars 1B 21.5 -1.2
Gioskar Amaya Kane County Cougars 2B 21.5 -1.2
Brian Smith Kane County Cougars P 21.5 -1.2
Trey Martin Kane County Cougars CF 21.5 -1.2
Dustin Geiger Daytona Cubs 3B 22.5 -1.2
Austin Reed Daytona Cubs P 22.5 -1.1
Jae-Hoon Ha Tennessee Smokies CF 23.5 -1.1
Nick Struck Iowa Cubs P 24.5 -1.0
Oliver Zapata Kane County Cougars OF 21.5 -0.9
Marco Hernandez Kane County Cougars SS 21.5 -0.9
Logan Watkins Iowa Cubs 2B 24.5 -0.9
Josh Vitters Iowa Cubs 3B 24.5 -0.9
Tony Zych Tennessee Smokies P 23.5 -0.8
Tayler Scott Kane County Cougars P 21.5 -0.7

That list includes most of the Cubs top prospects. This list makes a lot more sense. Using the median, 4 of the 10 youngest were at AAA. Using my ages, it's now only 3 of the 20 youngest and it includes Nick Struck, Logan Watkins and Josh Vitters. None of them are elite prospects by any means, but all 3 probably belong in a top 20 or 30 Cubs prospects list.

While my suggest cutoffs might be more in line with how we typically think of ages in the minor leaguers, the fact that only 26 of the Cubs minor leaguers, just 25.2%, would be young for their level.

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