Temple: A resurgence of young postseason starters

From SABR member David Temple at FanGraphs on October 13, 2013:

With the exception of the return of the Pittsburgh Pirates to playoff contention, perhaps the biggest story of this postseason is the cavalcade of young starters taking the mound. There have been 46 postseason starts so far (23 games at two starters a piece), and 18 of those 46 were started by someone 25 years old or younger. That list includes the likes of Michael Wacha, Gerrit Cole, Sonny Gray, Danny Salazar, and Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw, Mike Minor and Joe Kelly are all 25, while Wacha and Julio Teheran are the babies at 22.

Almost 40% of the postseason starts were from young talent this year, though that number will go down now that Kershaw, Kelly, and Wacha are the only young starters left. Still, the 2013 postseason is another indicator that the trend of young starters is making a comeback.

With the addition of the first wild card in the 90′s, and the recent addition of the second wild card, this graph almost seems counter-intuitive, since more teams and more games should mean a need for more (younger) pitching talent. But that’s not the case. In fact, there is a long tradition of throwing green pitchers on the mound in the most important games of a team’s season.

Read the full article here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/a-resurgence-of-young-postseason-starters/

Originally published: October 14, 2013. Last Updated: October 14, 2013.