Two should things be obvious to anyone reading this blog, I love baseball-reference.com and I love Gil Meche. I was looking at his top 10 comps (similiar players through age 28) and I started wondering how they all performed at age 29. So after a few seconds of research (thank you br) here are the results. (Except for Pineiro and Marquis who are, in fact, the same age as Meche.)
age 28: 11-12 4.84 era 90 era+ 176.2 IP
age 29: 7-7 4.22 era 114 era+ 140.2 IP
Stottlemyre was a decent pitcher before age 28 but a better one after. His two best strikeout seasons came at ages 30 and 33. If Meche puts up the numbers that Stottlemyre did at 28-32 then I will be pleased.
age 28: 14-12 4.11 era 105 era+ 201.2 IP
age 29: 9-13 3.68 era 120 era+ 181 IP
Clement's age 29 season is the best of his career and it looks an awful lot like Meche's age 28 season. After regressing at age 30 Clement has been battling injuries ever since.
age 28: 13-7 4.07 era 106 era+ 150.1 IP
age 29: 13-8 3.45 era 112 era+ 185.1 IP
Like Stottlemyre and Clement, Schmidt also improved the next season. From ages 28-32 he was one of the best pitchers in baseball, a true #1 starter.
age 28: 9-8 4.21 era 110 era+ 145.1 IP
age 29: 12-13 3.68 era 108 era+ 191 IP
Nixon was done by age 30. We at Royally Speaking do not like this comp.
age 28: 7-8 6.52 era 75 era+ 98IP
age 29: 2-1 3.55 era 143 era+ 33 IP
Injuries ruined a potentially nice career for Hamilton. By age 28 he was pretty much done and was out of baseball before his 33rd baseball.
age 28: 14-13 4.45 era 97 era+ 192.1 IP
age 29: 1-1 7.77 era 59 era+ 22 IP
Injuries derails another Meche comp. Hermanson did have a great year as a reliever in 2005 but age 28 was his last as a full time starter.
age 28: 8-18 5.56 era 81 era+ 205.2 IP
age 29: 8-15 4.80 era 104 era+ 200.2 IP
Trachsel became a reliable and consistent innings eater. I would probably be pleased if Meche matched his career but I'm betting that he will end up with better numbers. Trachsel has always been a mid-rotation type of pitcher and that was fine for him but Meche has better stuff.
age 28: 12-6 5.08 era 89 era+ 157.2 IP
age 29: 4-13 5.03 era 82 era+ 116.1 IP
Like Nixon, Wilson was done by age 30. His best years were from ages 24-26.
So what does all this prove? Not a thing, Meche is just as likely to become the next Nixon as he is the next Schmidt. Half these guys had their best years before age 28 and the other half had their best years after. Based on the small sample size of one year I would say Meche is in the Stottlemyre/Schmidt/Trachsel area more so than the others.