Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
August 6, 2007
BASEBALL: The Average 300 Game Winner

Following up on this morning's post, here's the year-by-year average wins and career win total, by age, for the twelve 300-game winners to start their careers in the post-1920 era (Spahn, Clemens, Maddux, Carlton, Ryan, Sutton, Niekro, Perry, Seaver, Glavine, Grove and Wynn):

AgeWinsTotal
2134
22711
231021
241032
251244
261659
271978
281694
2917111
3019129
3117147
3219165
3317182
3419199
3518217
3616232
3715247
3814262
3916277
4013291
4111302
428310
435315
443318
452320
462321
471322
481323

Note that I left off age 20 - Maddux won two games at age 20, and he's the only one, although a couple of these guys made their debuts as teenagers. As with other parts of the chart, those two wins show up only when rounding off the averages.

Among active pitchers, Pedro was ahead of the pace until this season, Mussina and Hudson are about a year behind, Pettitte a little further behind, Santana, Oswalt and Zito should be ahead of the pace by season's end, Buehrle is ahead, Zambrano is a year ahead, Sabathia two years ahead. Of course, history shows that the important thing for 300 is consistency through the thirties and pitching well past 40; these 12 guys combined for eight seasons of double figures in victories between age 43 and age 47 and six seasons of 21 or more wins between age 39 and age 42, with Carlton and Grove the only ones who didn't win at least 12 games in a season in their 40s. By contrast, Maddux and Seaver were the only ones to win 15 games in a season before age 23.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:47 PM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Niekro kind of screws up the averages, having won six games through 27, and 121 from 40 on. As a result, anyone who's behind the average is further behind than they seem, unless they plan to pitch through their late 40s.

Posted by: Jerry at August 6, 2007 1:55 PM

It's not just Neikro. Ryan averaged 13 wins a year from age 41-44 and pitched until he was 46. Perry, Spahn and Clemens were/are still pitching at 44. Spahn won 23 games at 42. Grove and Spahn won their first games at 25. Wynn won more than 11 games only twice before he was 30.

Posted by: The Crank at August 6, 2007 2:56 PM

According to the chart - Josh Beckett would need to be at 78 wins at the end of the season to be on track for 300. He currently has 71 career wins with 10 or so starts remaining this season.

Posted by: chris at August 6, 2007 4:01 PM

I firmly believe that Mark Buehrle will be the next 300 winner.

Posted by: Steven Andrew Miller at August 6, 2007 6:06 PM

I was surprised to see that on average, these guys don't even pass the halfway mark until age 32, although, as Jerry noted, Niekro does throw that a bit out of whack. Very instructive chart Crank, thanks.

Posted by: Thom at August 9, 2007 5:06 PM
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