Rick Porcello is still young. Probably younger than you think he is, even. Porcello doesn't turn 26 years old until the end of this month, and yet, he's going to be a free agent at the end of the 2015 season. That's a rarity for both pitchers and hitters, and also a reminder that your favorite young-ish player from Triple-A isn't as young as you think they are.
Take the 2014 PawSox, for example. The Pawtucket squad had lots of intriguing players, many of them you could dream on, but for many of them, dreams are all we'll ever have. I'm not going to use this space to dissect which of them have careers in jeopardy or what have you, but I am going to give you a little context on how special it is that Porcello is heading into free agency at a time when much of Boston's upper level players of a similar age aren't guaranteed to even be in the majors.
- Rick Porcello's birthday is December 27, and he was born in 1988. He's 25 years and 349 days old, headed to free agency before his age-27 season, and has thrown 1,073 innings in the majors.
- Rubby De La Rosa, traded to the Diamondbacks in the Wade Miley deal, is 25 years and 282 days old. He has thrown 174 innings in the majors.
- Allen Webster, also traded to the D-Backs, is turning 25 in February of 2015. He has thrown 721 innings in the minors and could be at Triple-A for the third season in a row in 2015.
- Brandon Workman is possibly headed back to Pawtucket again, unless there is room in Boston's bullpen. He is already 26 years old, four months older than Porcello. He was drafted in 2010, in the middle of Porcello's first full season in the majors.
- Tommy Layne is older than Rick Porcello and possibly Rick Porcello's parents.*
- Steven Wright is 30 years old, but he's a knuckler, which makes him the same age as Rick Porcello when you think about it.
- Alex Wilson has 56 big-league innings to his credit. He was traded for Porcello, and is two years and change older.
- Chris Hernandez was drafted in 2010, and was the first from that draft class to reach the PawSox. He is 13 days older than Rick Porcello.
- Brock Holt just snagged a job as a utility player in the majors in 2014. He is almost seven full months older than Rick Porcello.
- Drake Britton is 147 days younger than Rick Porcello, but Porcello has thrown 7-1/3 big-league innings for every day younger Britton is.
- Rick Porcello is three days older than Bryce Brentz, but has shot himself in the leg cleaning his gun one time fewer.
- Will Middlebrooks is turning 27 in September of 2015, but he has 34 more career home runs than Rick Porcello, so it's a push.
- Dan Butler is 28. Aw hell, I'm six months older than Dan Butler.
- Ryan Lavarnway isn't with the Red Sox anymore, but he is 27, and more than two full years older than Rick Porcello.
- Felix Doubront also isn't with the Red Sox anymore, but you remember what it felt like trying to dream him to bigger things. He was 26 in 2014 and hasn't gotten any younger since.
- Heath Hembree is 17 days younger than Rick Porcello, has a cool name, and struck out a lot of dudes last year. We're cool, Heath.