Quick Learn

Average Career Length Of MLB Player By Position

By / 19 April 2023 10:42 AM

Nolan Ryan (Left) and Tommy John (Right) are the two players who have longest career length of 27 and 26 years respectively
Source : pinterest

Average career length of MLB Player is 5.6 years. MLB career is short compared to other sports with an average retirement age of 29.5.

A baseball player's career has two different stages: the minor league, where there are young and fresh players, and the major league. 

According to RBC Research, the average retirement age for MLB players is 29.5, which is higher than in the other leagues like NHL, with 28.2, 28 for NBA, and 27.6 for NLF players. The MLB players still want to play for a long time due to the various facilities provided to them by the club as retirement pensions and salaries for playing long-term in the league.

Cameron Maybin is one of the latest players who retired in 2022 after playing his last major league game for the Mets in May 2021. He has played for 13 different teams in his 15 years MLB career.

Average MLB Career Length

Average length of MLB career lasts 5.6 years. More than 700 players took part in the Major League every year.

Average career length of MLB pitcher is less than 5.6 years. It is because they are more prone to injury than other position players. They retire due to injuries and lacking skills.

MLB players' career length varies by factors such as their financial situation, personal problems, scandals, etc. Sometimes even the clubs will hire temporary players to address the team's emergency and injuries happening to other active players.

Bartolo Colon is one of the player who has played for more than 11 teams in his 21 years long career
Source : instagram

Another thing that may affect the average career length of the players is the frequent change of teams in their MLB career. Bartolo Colon played for 11 teams in his 21 years career in MLB. Hence this type of career would bump the average up in an unusual manner.

Some players like Larry Yount had made up his major league roster but never made it into the game before his career ended due to his elbow popping while he was warming up in the bullpen for Astros in 1971. Eddie Gaedel was the small player with just one plate appearance for St. Louis Brown on August 19, 1951.

Such unusual events vary in career length and don't give exact statistics in the MLB.

Average Age Of Retirement In MLB

Average age of retirement MLB is 29.5 years. It is the oldest age for retirement in the sports field in the USA.

The MLB player's retirement age has been changing by looking at the previous year, as seen in the NIH Journal in 2007. It noted that modern MLB players tend to remain active longer than players of the past era and therefore retire later.

There are various reasons the player retires later, as they get free agency and league expansion, which results in more available spots on MLB rosters, advanced sports medicine and training, pensions, and higher salaries.

The oldest baseball player to ever retire was Satchel Paige, who retired at 56 after playing for 38 years in NgL and AL/NL. He became the oldest player to play in the MLB of all time.

Cameron Maybin is one of the latest players who retired in 2022
Source : instagram

Jamie Moyer retired at age 49 after playing for 26 years in the MLB and became the modern-era player to retire that old. He retired in 2012 while playing for Colorado Rockies.

Several players have retired and then un-retired themselves in MLB to continue playing.

Jim Bouton, the former Yankees' pitcher, announced his retirement in 1970 from Astros when they sent him down to the minor leagues. But he returned after five years after a bid with Mavericks and later signing a minor league contract with the White Sox.

Jim Morris was drafted out of high school by the Milwaukee Brewers and later injured his shoulder early in minor league and became a coach for high school. He signed with Tampa Bay Devil Rays and became a rookie at 35 after his player saw how hard he threw the ball in batting practice.

Average Age Of Baseball Players

Average age of baseball players is between 26-30 years old. It is the prime age as the players are typically at their peak physical and athletic ability.

According to Statista, the New York Mets have the oldest average age of baseball players, with 30.68 years having 38 years old Max Scherzer on their active roster. The oldest active player is Rich Hill, who is 43 years old, and still plays as an LHP for team Pirates.

The Cleaveland Guardians have a low average age of 26.42 years old, with Mike Zunino being the oldest player at 32 years old and 23 years old Gabriel Arias as the youngest player for the team.

Jordan Walker is the youngest active player in the MLB starting his career at 20 years
Source : instagram

The youngest player in the MLB is Jordan Walker from the St. Louis Cardinals at the age of 20. Walker debuted in MLB on March 30, 2023, after playing in a minor league for three years.

The oldest player ever to play in MLB history was Satchel Paige, who pitched for nine teams and was 59 years old when he played his last major league game. He got inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in the class of 1971.

The youngest player to ever play in the MLB was Joe Nuxhall, who started his MLB career at age 15 for the Cincinnati Reds. He signed during the period of World War II. Despite his age, he was a giant compared to other players. 

Comparison of NFL And MLB Career Length

Average career length of NFL player is less than four years which is relatively shorter than others. NFL is a very physical sport as compared to MLB.

NFL kickers tend to have the longer career length on average at nearly five years, while running backs have the shortest career length at about 2.5 years, so they have an average career length of 3.3 years. While MLB is not as physical as NFL, so they have long career average than them.

The average career length of NFL players are 3.3 years whereas MLB players are 5.6 years
Source : pinterest

NFL players retire mainly due to health concerns such as Concussions and other neurological injuries and Tendon and ligament injuries, especially in the knee and ankle. Also, being not adapt to the ability and skill due to less practice and new rules and regulations, the player is forced to retire.

These types of health concerns are mostly in MLB's pitchers, so due to this reason, they have short career lengths than other position players in MLB.

Related post of Quick Learn