The career arc of MLB players is usually pretty predictable.
In the 20-26 range, give or take, they are at the top of their physical conditions, but still are not experienced or skilled enough in many cases.
From 26 to 32, approximately, they are still in good physical condition and have acquired valuable experience and knowledge of their craft.
This period is usually called their prime.
After 33 or 34, they are wise and experienced, but their bodies are not the same: they start losing a step or two.
In the case of position players, they don’t have the same bat speed and have issues catching up to fastballs.
Pitchers start losing mph from his fastballs, and tend to get injured a lot.
Where, then, can we place Houston Astros star Justin Verlander, a player who just won his third Cy Young Award at 39 years old?
Verlander Is A Rarity In Today’s Game
We would need to come up with a new category for him.
The unicorn, the Benjamin Button…whatever you want to call it.
Not only did he win the most prestigious pitching award, but he also finished with the best ERA of his career at 1.75, in 175 frames.
He is the fourth-oldest pitcher ever to win a Cy Young Award.
JV has aged like fine wine. pic.twitter.com/vCAj0gKd0j
— MLB (@MLB) November 17, 2022
The best news is that Verlander wants to stick around for a while, too.
He just got out of a $25-million commitment with the Astros, his team since 2017, to look for a multi-year deal.
It may come with the Astros, but if another team will give him a more lucrative, or longer, contract, he will consider it.
Verlander is a true rarity in today’s game: most pitchers at his age are already retired.
He wants more, and kudos to him for that.