My last two posts have been about the average height and average weight of MLB players. While I will be looking at performance relative to height and weight as well, I wanted to make a quick post to show height and weight over time. Have players gotten taller on average since 1960? Do players weigh more now than in 1960? The answer to both is yes.
Height went from 72.6 to 73.4 which doesn’t seem like a significant change over a 50 year time span. MLB players are not even an inch taller, on average, than they were in 1960.
Average weight went from 188.6 to 196.4 in about 50 years. Baseball players on average weigh about 8 pounds more than they did in 1960.
The graphs look more shocking than they actually are given height didn’t even change an inch, and weight changed only about 8 pounds. What do you think of the graphs? Any conclusions you’d draw? The next series of posts will be regarding performance relative to height and weight.
It is important to note that the height and weight data used only appears in the data once, as opposed to an updated height and weight for each player every season. I hope to talk with Sean Lahman about his database to understand at what point in the career that type of information is corrected. As it stands the trends shown above likely reflect that new players coming in are taller and weighing more, as opposed to an individual player getting taller and heavier over time.