Sarris: Are veterans better at busting a slump?

From SABR member Eno Sarris at FanGraphs on May 25, 2016:

Way back at the winter meetings, Brad Ausmus said a thing that I found interesting. It’s stuck with me ever since, gathering moss as I’ve pondered it occasionally. But by itself, it raised my eyebrow and set me on a path.

“Especially hitting,” began Ausmus. And continued:

[W]henever you recover from a struggle or go through a slump, you fall back on that experience anytime it happens again. That’s absolutely true. I can tell you that from experience. That’s why veteran players are much better equipped to handle slumps than young players just because of the experiences.

There’s a lot to unpack here, but before we ask the players and the numbers, I thought it would be interesting to call back to a psychology experiment with which I once assisted in college. In a study colloquially called The Beeper Study run by Laura Carstensen at Stanford University, we found that getting older led to more emotional stability and happiness.

 I’m not suggesting that veterans are better baseball players because they are happier, though that’s not a crazy assumption given the relationship of productivity to positive thinking. Rather, it’s the actual method to the study that seems most relevant here.

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Originally published: May 25, 2016. Last Updated: May 25, 2016.