From SABR member Derek Bain at Seamheads on August 10, 2016:
In the comments section from one of my recent articles, “nocaBall” posed the following query: “I would like to ask your opinion of how many years it takes an expansion team to develop a complete team? I do not mean using players who were part-timers, or who pitched less than a full season, but a team comprised of mostly full-time players, or at least a platooned player, such as Ken Boswell was with the Mets in ’69. Which expansion team did it fastest, and what would you say the average number of seasons it took for an expansion team to be on par with the other teams?”
I compiled my findings and shared the results in the GoogleDocs link below.
To summarize, the majority of MLB expansion franchises are able to field a competitive team within 9 to 12 years of their inaugural season. This conclusion is based on the research for my book, “Hardball Retrospective”. The Mets were the fastest expansion team to field a competitive ballclub, completing the task in 1969 (8 seasons from the inception of the franchise). The Angels were the largest outlier. While the Halos exceeded the PA and BFP requirements (see Methodology below) within 8 seasons, the franchise failed to transcend the league average WAR and Win Share marks until 1993 (32 seasons).
Read the full article here: http://seamheads.com/blog/2016/08/10/hardball-retrospective-the-journey-from-expansion-to-competitive-team/
Originally published: August 15, 2016. Last Updated: August 15, 2016.