Just over a week ago, February 10th to be exact, I came across an interesting post on Jeff Parker’s Royals site Royally Speaking. The concept was to select the organization’s best seasons based on the player’s age using Wins Above Replacement (WAR). Jeff looked at ages 20-40 and in doing so found that George Brett topped the list in 11 of the 21 age groups (21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 29, 32, 35, 37, 39, 40). Of course Brett was an amazingly talented player who won batting titles in three different decades so this should come as no surprise to anyone who is a fan of baseball.
I was intrigued to such a degree that I found myself wondering what the list would look like if I followed his methodology for our Minnesota Twins. The Royals and Twins aren’t exactly apples to apples though. While the history of the Twins/Senators goes all the way back to 1901, the Royals played their 1st season in 1969. That of course means that there are a lot more seasons and candidates for each age along the timeline. It also means that there are a number of ways to break up the data to make it presentable, manageable and relevant.
Keeping that in mind I chose to deviate from the presentation that Jeff used. Instead of providing a table showing the best seasons by age in team history, I wanted to take an approach that was a little more segmented allowing me to tackle things in a way that suits my style. I also wanted to present the best seasons by age for both the Twins and Senators. Instead of choosing one season for the best 20 year old in team history, I wanted to break it out to give both “eras” of the franchises history their due.
Since the final product of my work is generally more in depth and longer than what I plan when I set out to write a column, and since I tend to be wordy (some would say long-winded), putting all this info into one column would make for a mammoth post which would be daunting to read. Not to mention it would be difficult for me to write and manage. On my best days I have maybe 4 hours to write and often times that number is more in the 2 hour range. By breaking this project up into chunks I can keep it moving along while still allowing me time to write other content and react to Twins news as it happens.
My plan for this series is to publish one article per day that will deal with one year/age. As I mentioned above I will be including the top season for that age from both eras. Each article will therefore feature 2 players (one from the Twins and one from the Senators) though I may drop in a few honorable mentions in along the way. In Jeff’s Royals version he looked at ages 20-40 and I will be doing the same, though I plan on also including a 19 and younger article and a 41 and older article as well. Position players and pitchers will be covered in independent columns so if I stick to my one per day plan, I should have the series wrapped up right around Opening Day.*
*Opening Day is a formal holiday in my world so I always capitalize it.
While I am just getting started on this process, I have already found the research for this series to be enlightening and enjoyable and I’m sure the writing will follow suit. I hope you will find similar value in reading these, but if it’s not for you, rest assured that I hope to be publishing something else every day as well (time permitting of course).