There’s a popular theory in sabermetric circles that MLB players enter their years of peak statistical performance when they turn the age of 27. Technically, the age range of peak performance for MLB players is somewhere between 26 and 32. During this time period, a man is physically at his peak. The combination of physical peakness coupled with the repetition of swinging motions and pitch motion practice lead to outstanding statistical performance during these seasons.
SI.com’s Eric Mack is one of the biggest believers in this theory, and I have to admit I kind of believe in it, too. For an example of recent memory, Mack points to the 2010 high quality statistical campaigns players like Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, and NL MVP Joey Votto put together the year they turned 27. Elite player performances aren’t enough for you – how about Rickie Weeks’ 29 homers or Casey McGehee’s breakout season last year? Both of them turned 27 also.
The same rule of thumb applies to pitchers, too. In 2010, Jered Weaver’s career bests in innings, ERA, and strikeouts or Justin Verlander’s career best ERA show that hitters aren’t alone.
So, assuming all of this is true, its probably a good idea to move players up in your fantasy baseball rankings of cheat sheets who will be turning 27 in 2011. As these guys blow out the candles, your fantasy team could be in for a major boost in performance this season.
Below are the top 27 players currently in the Majors born in 1984 and therefore, turning 27 in 2011. We’ve ranked them based on who has the most fantasy value this season. Let the debate begin. Rankings begin after the jump.
2011′s Top 27 Turning 27
- Tim Lincecum, SP, San Francisco Giants
- Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies
- Prince Fielder, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers
- Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington Nationals
- Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, Rockies
- Josh Johnson, SP, Florida Marlins
- Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Joakim Soria, RP, Kansas City Royals
- Andrew Bailey, RP, Oakland A’s
- Jon Lester, SP, Boston Red Sox
- Brian McCann, C, Atlanta Braves
- Matt Cain, SP, Giants
- Clay Buchholz, SP, Red Sox
- Drew Stubbs, OF, Cincinnati Reds
- Ricky Romero, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
- B.J. Upton, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
- Jonathan Broxton, RP, Dodgers
- Max Scherzer, SP, Detroit Tigers
- Denard Span, OF, Minnesota Twins
- James Loney, 1B, Dodgers
- Erick Aybar, SS, Los Angeles Angels
- Chase Headley, 3B/OF, San Diego Padres
- Brandon Morrow, SP, Blue Jays
- Chad Billingsley, SP, Dodgers
- Alex Gordon, 3B, Royals
- Danny Valencia, OF, Twins
- Ian Kennedy, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Is there someone we missed? Do we have someone ranked too high/too low? Let us know in the comments below.