Star rosters could be youngest ever

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball and its fans are on the same page — they want to see more of the kids.

With millennial mashers Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich leading the way, this year’s All-Star starting lineups have a chance to be the youngest ever, based on an Associated Press analysis of the latest ballot results released by the league this week.

The AP studied the average age for starting All-Star position players since the first Midsummer Classic in 1933, and this year’s group is almost certain to be historic, especially in the National League. The average age of the eight NL ballot leaders is just 25, a full year less than the previous youngest starting lineup, the 2017 American League roster.

When combined with the AL, this year’s projected starters average 26.6 years old — 0.2 older than the 2017 squads, which are the youngest ever. If 24-year-old Rays outfielder Austin Meadows edges 32-year-old Astros outfielder Michael Brantley, the average would fall to 26.3.

“For the young guys to represent and be talked about, it’s definitely really special to be a part of,” Meadows said.

The AP’s analysis was based on information pulled from Baseball-Reference.com, using players’ ages as of June 30 each year.

As recently as 2012, the average age of All-Stars elected by fans was over 30, but the years since have featured some of the youngest lineups in the game’s 86-year history. The reasons for that seem to be far-ranging, including the introduction of interleague play, improved scouting and player development, the popularity and accessibility of advanced statistics among fans, online balloting and social media.