More on the development of Pedro Alvarez relative to history. The subject for today is when do players hit 30 dingers in a season for the first time. Pedro hit his eighth blast of the 2012 season, putting him on pace to club 28 for the year.
To gauge this, I ran the numbers at baseball-reference.com for every single season in which a player hit 30 homers or more for the first time between 2007 and 2011. There were 42 different players who hit 30 homers for the first time in that five-year stretch. The average age of those players was 26.3. The youngest was Giancarlo Stanton at 21. The oldest was Russell Branyan at 33. 28 of the 42 players (66%) had at least one season with 20 homers already under their belt by the time their first 30 HR season developed. Two of the 30 home run sluggers accomplished the feat in their rookie season.
The breakdown by age and by average number of homers hit the season before:
|Age||# of players||Ave HR previous year|
Historically, there have been 383 different players with a 30 home run season. The average age all-time for the first 30 bomb year was 26.7. Looking a little deeper, there have been 48 players with a career total of 400 or more round trippers. Among them, the average age for their first season with 30 round trippers is 23.9. At one end of the scale were Mel Ott, Frank Robinson, Alex Rodriguez and Ted Williams, each of whom had a 30 homer season as a 20-year-old. The opposite end had Cal Ripken. After nine straight 20 homer campaigns, Ripken clubbed 30 homers for the first time in a season at the age of 30. 17 of the 48 had their first 30 HR season at age 25 or older, including 13 who did it at age 26 or older.
Dropping it down one notch to 300 career taters gives us a sample set of 133. At that plateau, the average age is 25.7 and there are two players (Harold Baines and Al Kaline) who hit 300 career homers, but never as many as 30 in one season. Three players waited until 37 to have their first 30 bomb season – Chili Davis, Carlton Fisk and Edgar Martinez. 70 of the 133 had their first such season at age 25 or younger.
The conclusion is the typical time frame to establish oneself as a 30 home run hitter with staying power is closing on Pedro Alvarez. For guys who reached 400 dingers, their average age was under 24. For guys who got to 300 homers, their average age was 25.7. Here’s hoping he gets to one of those levels.