You know that exit velocity is a big deal if you’re a baseball fan. A player’s exit velocity can tell us how fast the ball came off their bat. The Statcast system, which measures various aspects of a baseball player’s performance and produces stats that show how fast, far, and accurately they hit the ball, was first introduced in the 2015 MLB season. The average exit velocity by age chart helps to demonstrate just how much these numbers are impacted by age and experience. Youth league players tend to have lower exit velocities because of their more diminutive stature and inexperience with the game. But once players reach adulthood (in most cases), those exit speeds spike up again – due to increased strength, coordination, and understanding of the game.
How to read this chart
The X-axis of this chart represents the age of the baseball player. Data scientists use a Doppler radar system to determine the exit velocity of a baseball player’s swing. The Doppler radar calculates the speed and trajectory of the ball. They then use the ball’s flight time to calculate the distance the ball traveled once it was hit. This distance is used to find the exit velocity of the ball. The chart’s Y-axis represents the exit velocity of a baseball player’s swing. The average exit velocity for a baseball player is 96.3 mph.
20-Year-Olds (Freshmen in College)
For a group of baseball players who are still growing into their bodies, the 20-year-old group is at the lower end of the chart. The average exit velocity for these college-age baseball players is 89.5 miles per hour. This is due to several factors, including their height, weight, and slower reaction speed. The average age of players in the NCAA is approximately 19 years old, rising to 22 by their senior year. By their 22nd birthday, the average college-level baseball player will have reached their physical peak. Their weight, height, and overall strength will be at an optimum. It’s important to note that these numbers are for the average player. Some may be stronger or faster than others.
30-Year-Olds ( Seniors in College )
This group of baseball players is just beginning to hit their stride. These players are likely to be seniors in college or playing in their first season of professional baseball. The average exit velocity for these players is 96.1 mph. Players at this age can expect to see an increase in speed and strength, contributing to the rise in exit velocity numbers. MLB players tend to peak in their 30s. By this point, they are in the prime of their careers. Many baseball players will see a drop in performance after their 30th birthday. Some may even retire at this age, as they’ve likely accumulated enough money to live comfortably for the rest of their lives.
40-Year-Olds (Adult Baseball Players)
The average exit velocity for a 40-year-old baseball player is 95.5 mph. While the numbers might seem low, there’s an excellent explanation for this. A 40-year-old baseball player has likely retired from the game and is now coaching a younger team or working in the front office as a general manager. Players in this age range are usually more robust and faster than their younger counterparts. As players get older, their bodies naturally slow down. While they might not be able to play at a high level anymore, they can pass on their knowledge and expertise to younger players. Some, who are in the correct positions to make the decisions, may even decide to draft more youthful players and give them opportunities to excel.
50+-Year-Olds (Mature Adult Professional Baseball Players)
The average exit velocity for this age group is 94.3 mph. This group is playing at a high level and is likely competing in a semi-pro or amateur league. Players in this age group are probably still in fantastic shape and have the skills to play ball with just about anyone. But as players continue to age, their reaction speed will slow down. By this age, many players have decided to retire from the game. The physical demands of playing baseball can take a toll on the body. As players age, they begin to experience the effects of arthritis, muscle loss, joint pain, and other chronic diseases. Many in this age group are likely working in some capacity in the baseball world.
As players grow older, their average exit velocity tends to decrease. However, this doesn’t mean a more senior player is any less of an asset to their team than a younger player. Just because a player is older than another doesn’t mean they are better. It’s important to remember that many factors contribute to a player’s success. A player’s exit velocity is only one small part of their overall game. These numbers do not indicate who the better player is or who has more potential. They are only a way for fans to see how fast the ball came off the bat during a game.