Beginning in 2006, USA Baseball and its youth sports moved the cutoff date from July 31 to April 30. Hence any child born before 1989 or before was essentially groomed during the original cutoff date and any child born 1990 or later developed under the April cutoff date.
As mentioned, the Red Sox currently have 117 players in their employ born in 1989 or earlier, and 116 born 1990 or later.
There is a distinct preponderance of players in the Sox system born prior to 1989, who were born from August-October. The same holds true for post-1990 births from May-July.
There is a decided advantage for a player born in the first three months following the cutoff date.
While the physical differences of a 25-year old born in September versus one born in May the following year is insignificant, the 9-12 month difference for children going through puberty can be astronomical.
Center-fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (September), third baseman Will Middlebrooks (September), second baseman Dustin Pedroia (August), catcher Ryan Lavarnway, and top prospects Deven Marrero and Xander Bogaerts were all born in October.
And oh yes, Mike Trout was born in August of 1991 and his National League counterpart Bryce Harper was born two months later in October.
Peter Delani is a long-time area high school baseball coach and former general manager of North Shore Navigators.