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Around the SaberSphere 10/18: Pitch Movement, Immovable Contracts, Instructional Leagues

Thursday's dose of sabermetric links includes interpreting pitch movement from Pitch F/X, baseball's most immovable contracts and more...

Alex Trautwig

Baseball Physicist Allan Nathan discusses how to determine pitch movement from Pitch F/X data:

Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus lists baseball's most immovable players (whaddp Vernon Wells)Baseball Prospectus | Overthinking It: Baseball's Most Immovable Players

A-Rod’s combination of age, salary, and disappointing performance would make him a nightmare to move, but where does his contract rank among the majors’ most difficult to deal? No contract is truly untradeable if a team decides it’s a sunk cost, but the dozen deals below would find few takers unless a team were willing to help pay the player’s way out of town. (Note: rankings mostly for fun.):

Kiley McDaniel reports back on the progress of a few Yankees' instructional league players: Reports From Instructs: New York Yankees (Pt 1) | FanGraphs Baseball

Where a full report from a pro scout could be up to a paragraph on each tool and a summary, instructs reports are typically a handful of sentences in total. So, my reports from instructs will be these abbreviated impressions, unless it’s a player I got a full look at during the spring. The Yankees recently closed camp, so I’ll start this series with a three part look at their players from instructs.

Shane Sanders and Adam Winn look into differences between a player's wOBA and OPS: Ordinal comparisons of wOBA and OPS--THT

However, in 1,968 pairs (4.2 percent of all pairs), the two measures diverge in choosing a superior offensive player (i.e., one player had a higher wOBA while the other player had a higher OPS). If a team compares 16 randomly selected players in a pairwise manner, we expect 5 of the 120 pairwise comparisons to differ depending on the measure used. Based on the two sets of player rankings, we developed a wOBA percentile ranking and an OPS percentile ranking for each player. These percentile rankings are similar to one’s percentile ranking on the SAT exam. A 90th percentile ranking, for example, indicates that one performed better than 90 percent of peers taking the exam.