Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Facts

What is the Average Age of MLB Players? A Position-by-Position Breakdown

What’s the oldest position? How about the youngest? The data might surprise you.

Jackson Chourio headlines our breakdown article on the average age of MLB players
Credit-Milwaukee Brewers/MLB/Joker Mag

Major League Baseball is the pinnacle of professional baseball. Every season, a new crop of young talent emerges from the minors to achieve their big-league dream.

But how old is the average MLB player? I’ve always been curious since many baseball journalists cite a player’s prime as 27 to 30 years old.

So I analyzed the numbers provided by The Baseball Cube – an aggregator of baseball-related data – to find out the answer.

As of May 22nd, 2024, the average age of all MLB players is 28.72 years old.

Many are older, many are younger, and some positions skew to one side more than the other.

Let’s dive into a position-by-position breakdown of the average age of all MLB players at every position.

Oakland A's slugger Brent Rooker pictured next to text that reads "The average age of all MLB players is 28.72 years old."

Average Age of MLB Pitchers

The average age of an MLB pitcher is 29.14 years old.

This includes all pitchers in the majors, from starters to long-relievers to closers.

Contributing to the average age are several big-time arms in the twilight of their careers: 41-year-old Justin Verlander (the league’s oldest pitcher), Jesse Chavez (40), Charlie Morton (40), and Max Scherzer (39).

Verlander is two decades older than the Marlins’ 21-year-old right-hander Eury Perez.

Average Age of MLB Position Players

The average age of MLB position players – or simply, hitters – is 28.25 years old.

It’s fascinating to see hitters skew younger than pitchers, but it makes sense. Pitchers typically take a bit longer than hitters to mature, develop, and hit their stride at the big league level.

The youngest MLB position player is 20-year-old Brewers rookie outfielder Jackson Chourio (born in March of 2004). Meanwhile, the oldest hitter is 39-year-old Justin Turner (born in November 1984).

That means Turner played in the College World Series before Chourio was even born. And he won a World Series with the Dodgers before the Venezuelan slugger even signed with Milwaukee as an international free agent.

Average Age of MLB Catchers

The average age of MLB catchers is 28.92 years old.

While slightly above the average age of all players in the big leagues, the catching position has experienced a youth movement in recent years.

Up-and-coming backstops like Bo Naylor and Logan O’Hoppe have injected excitement into a position once home to aging veterans.

That’s not to say that every catcher is young. The ageless Martín Maldonado is the position’s oldest (born in August of 1986), alongside Yan Gomes and Yasmani Grandal – also in their mid-to-late 30s.

Average Age of MLB 1st Basemen

The average age of an MLB first baseman is 29.39 years old.

Surprisingly, the first base position is 0.25 years older than big league pitchers. That’s likely due to the offensive need associated with the position – if you can hit for power, defense becomes an afterthought.

Veteran sluggers like Carlos Santana (38), Paul Goldschmidt (36), and Anthony Rizzo (34) anchor the high end.

On the young side is Angels’ 1B Nolan Schanuel (22) and Cleveland’s Kyle Manzardo (23).

Average Age of MLB 2nd Basemen

The average age of MLB second basemen is 27.36 years old.

Second basemen need to be nimble, agile, and strong enough hitters to stick around at the big league level. Like most positions, though, teams tend to prioritize strong hitters who can play the position well enough.

Teams will even move shortstops over to second base – see the Padres with Xander Bogaerts or the Phillies with Bryson Stott – to squeeze more out of their lineup.

Yet, the keystone is the second-youngest position in the modern-day MLB.

Veteran 2B Donovan Solano – also among the league’s shortest players – is nearly 14 years older than Tigers rookie Colt Keith.

Average Age of MLB Shortstops

Shortstop is the youngest position in today's MLB. Only 23% are over 30 years old.

The average age of MLB shortstops is 26.87 years old, making it the youngest position in the game today.

It’s been incredible to see how quickly teams have moved their young shortstops through the ranks of the minor leagues. In 2024, only 23% of eligible shortstops are over 30 years old.

The low-end, of course, includes some of the game’s biggest prospects: Jackson Merrill (21), Jordan Lawlar (21), and Elly De La Cruz (22).

Big league GMs want to be ‘strong up the middle’, and it all starts with a star shortstop. Look back at the World Series champions over the past several years – all of them had a big-time shortstop anchoring their defense and hitting in the top-half of the lineup:

  • 2023 Rangers: SS Corey Seager (World Series MVP)
  • 2022 Astros: SS Jeremy Peña (World Series MVP)
  • 2021 Braves: SS Dansby Swanson
  • 2020 Dodgers: SS Corey Seager (World Series MVP)
  • 2019 Nationals: SS Trea Turner
  • 2018 Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts
  • 2017 Astros: SS Carlos Correa

The last time a team won the World Series without a bonafide star shortstop was the 2015 Royals with Alcides Escobar – notably, however, Escobar made his only All-Star appearance that season.

Average Age of MLB 3rd Basemen

The average age of MLB third basemen is 27.75 years old.

It’s the third-youngest position in the game today.

The hot corner spans all age groups: from 30-something-year-old veterans like Nolan Arenado and Eugenio Suarez to 24-year-olds such as Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Mark Vientos.

Third base is tricky. Most teams try to find a balance between stellar defense and a powerful bat. Alex Bregman is an example of both. Meanwhile, a guy like Jake Burger is penciled into the lineup primarily for his bat.

Average Age of MLB Outfielders

The average age of an MLB outfielder is 28.26 years old.

Coming in slightly below the league’s overall average age, there is a significant difference across all three outfield positions:

  • Average Age of MLB Left Fielders = 28.44 years old
  • Average Age of MLB Center Fielders = 27.36 years old
  • Average Age of MLB Right Fielders = 28.76 years old

If you read my breakdown of the shortstop position and teams wanting to be ‘strong up the middle’, you could’ve predicted that center field would be the youngest of all three outfield spots.

Simply put, GMs want to find their franchise center fielders, shortstops, and catchers. So they’re more eager to give young players a chance in center than the corner outfield spots, which are typically reserved for power bats.

Center fielders need to cover a ton of ground in a major league outfield, but they also need to hold their own on offense. Rarely do you see a Ken Griffey Jr. type who can do both well in today’s game.

Average Age of MLB Designated Hitters

The average age of an MLB designated hitter is 29.82 years old, making it the league’s oldest position.

If you’re a baseball fan, you saw this coming from a mile away. When the National League transitioned to the full-time DH in 2022, it leveled the playing field for all MLB lineups.

Instead of trotting out a pitcher who had little chance of making meaningful contact (apart from Big Sexy in 2016), clubs could now sign (aging) veteran sluggers.

While a guy like Nelson Cruz was virtually useless in the outfield, a team like the Washington Nationals could hand him $12 million to be their DH in the middle of the order.

FAQs About the Ages of MLB Players

Who is the oldest active MLB player?

41-year-old Justin Verlander (born in February 1983) is the oldest player and oldest pitcher in today’s MLB.

Who is the oldest active MLB hitter?

That’d be Justin Turner, who at 39-years-old is finishing out his career as Toronto’s DH.

Who is the youngest MLB pitcher right now?

Right-hander Eury Perez is the MLB’s youngest pitcher (born in April 2003).

Who is the youngest MLB hitter right now?

20-year-old OF Jackson Chourio (born in March 2004).

Which MLB team has the biggest age difference between teammates?

The St. Louis Cardinals. 36-year-old 1B/DH Matt Carpenter is 16.11 years older than 22-year-old SS Masyn Winn.

Written By

Division III baseball alum (McDaniel College) and founder of Joker Mag. Sharing underdog stories to inspire the next generation.

Related

Baseball

"I thought after my first six years in baseball, it was going to be, ‘Go out and look for another job.'"

Football

"Passion is kind of an important word for me."

Stories

“I couldn’t believe this was going to be the rest of my life."

Football

He sent 1,100 letters to NFL teams and rejections stacked "as high as the ceiling". Here's how he beat the odds to make his...