High Walk Rate Aging Curve

Over at tangotiger.com, MGL asks if the following statement is true.

“Of all of the skills to sign up for past a players prime, however, plate discipline is probably the best one.”

I decided to create an wRC+ aging curve of high walk players.  I know the quote is for high plate discipline, but I am not sure how exactly plate discipline should be defined. The article focused on Shin-Soo Choo, so I waned to players with similar walk rates. Over the past three seasons (age 28 to 30 seasons), Choo has walked (NIBB) 12% of the time. So for the curve, I used players since 1980 who had less than or greater than a 10% walk rate between their age 28 and 30 seaons (min 300 PA).

While the high walk players plateau sooner, they begin to decline at the same rate around age 28. High walk players don’t really age any better than lower walk players.

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6 thoughts on “High Walk Rate Aging Curve

  1. Pingback: FanGraphs After Dark Chat - 1/7/14 | FanGraphs Baseball

  2. Hey Jeff,

    Your article was just pointed out to me and I enjoyed it very much. My statement seems to have been misconstrued by a number of people, however. I was speaking specifically about the plate discipline tool and how it ages, not the aging of high-discipline players. Have you done any research on how plate discipline (in this case I think we’re specifically talking about walk rates) ages? I believed I had read it somewhere but don’t know where that it ages well, but the general belief was just based on what I’ve seen from high walk players over the years. I certainly would like to change my stance on it if I’m mistaken. Thanks.

    Jeff Moore

  3. Walk rate does peak around age 34 to age 35.

    From what I got from your article was that Choo will have more value since he is a high walk player. What I pointed out, the high number of walks will not be close enough to offset the decline in other stats.

  4. I’m not sure this is the most accurate study, even if you define plate discipline as walk rate, since the sample size isn’t very good (assumed to be a result of limited data sets for above 10% walk rates?).

    Perhaps plate discipline should be defined by multiple parameters… say, for example:

    BB% > 12%
    K% 0.6

    I think that might smooth out the red “curve” some and possibly show an increase in how long the plateau lasts. Maybe those numbers can be used for age 26-30, arbitrarily. I would use 26-32, but fear that might artificially bias the results to include only those whose skill set lasted longer (30/31) than average (27/28).

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