Mets Opening Day lineup shows off the youth on this roster
By Tim Boyle
All winter, we’ve had time to assess every element of the New York Mets roster. The Opening Day lineup included, we’ve dove into numbers, sunk ourselves shoulder-deep into predictions, and through it all neglected to realize just how old this lineup will make us all feel.
In 2021, the Mets open the season with a starting lineup featuring only one position player at age 30 or older. Catcher James McCann, whose 31st birthday isn’t until June 13, is the elder statesman of the position players.
Jacob deGrom, 32, is the oldest and only member of the Opening Day roster who may have any memories from the 1980s.
The Mets offensive youth extends beyond the Opening Day lineup
It’s not just the Opening Day lineup position players who have youth on their side. On the bench, four of the five players are under 30. Only Kevin Pillar, 32, has gone through his “quarter-life crisis” of turning 30.
As if this doesn’t make you yearn for childhood even more, deGrom is the only starting pitcher to open the season over 30. He does have some company in the bullpen with several members of the relief corps having already reached the big three-oh. Only Edwin Diaz, Miguel Castro, and Robert Gsellman remain in their 20s.
According to Baseball-Reference, the youngest average age of Mets batters was in 1967. They averaged 25.8 years on this earth. The measurement does, however, include a weight with games and at-bats considered. This Mets team won’t beat the 1967 record. Their youngest player, Dominic Smith, is 25.8.
This young core is in the beginning stages of their prime years
The Mets aren’t perfect but the timing of where many of these players are at this stage of their career couldn’t be much better. The best years of many careers happen sometime between the ages of 28-32. If this can hold true for these Mets, they have a chance to have a fantastic year this season and for the next few.
Even those younger players who fall outside of the prime years range have come out of those early career jitters. As much as I follow the Mets closely, I was surprised to see Smith is the youngest player on this team. Hearing him speak, you would think he is a seasoned veteran. He is beyond mature and it transferred into his play last season.
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Age might not be the ultimate determining factor for any team. If there’s any positive takeaway fans can have, it comes from the idea that the fun has a chance to continue for many more years.