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Around the SaberSphere 12/20: Cape Cod Baseball League, De-Lucker, Vargas/Morales

Today's edition of sabermetric linkage includes a look at the top 100 prospects in the CCBL, de-lucking wOBA, the Vargas/Morales swap and more...

Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE

For those don't know, I spent this summer on beautiful baseball fields in the even more beautiful Cape Cod. And coming from someone who experienced this entire season, as well as, saw every one of these players play, this re-cap/rankings from Allan Simpson at Baseball Prospectus is an incredible achievement. Also projected number one overall pick Sean Manaea was incredibly dominant: Baseball Prospectus | Scouting the Cape Cod League's Top 100 Prospects

For a player who went undrafted out of an Indiana high school in 2010 and was recruited by only one Division I college (Indiana State), Manaea has made a meteoric rise up draft boards over the last two-plus years to a point that he ranks as an early favorite to be the first player selected in 2013. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound lefthander hasn’t overly distinguished himself in two years at Indiana State, going a collective 10-8, 3.77 with 85 walks and 197 strikeouts in 188 innings, but he has been a scourge in summer-league competition. He was ranked the No. 1 prospect in the Prospect League following his freshman year of college, and earned a similar designation this summer in the more-challenging Cape Cod League. Manaea was a slam-dunk choice as the Cape’s best talent after assembling one of the most-dominating seasons by a pitcher in league history.

Bradley Woodrum of FanGraphs continues his great work with luck and wOBA: De-Lucker X: The Final 2012 Numbers | FanGraphs Baseball

DL 2.0 used the Fielding Independent wOBA formula, which includes stolen bases. In order to keep things parallel, we now must revert back to the Should Hit formula — essentially: 0.09 + 1.74(HR%) + 0.39(BB%) – 0.26(K%) + 0.68(BABIP) The De-Lucker part comes in when we plop an xBABIP in the place of yonder true BABIP. Jeff Zimmerman and Robert Boden (slash12) have been working on and promoting what I believe is the best xBABIP formula out there, so let us once again use that.

Rob Neyer of Baseball Nation gives us his take on the Jason Vargas for Kendrys Morales trade: Does Vargas-Morales trade really help both clubs? - Baseball Nation

I don't understand why the Mariners made this trade. While it is perhaps true that when you consider park effects, you're drawn to the conclusion that Kendry Morales is actually more talented than Jason Vargas, I believe that's still begging the question. Jonathan Franzen is more talented than Jason Vargas, too, and could probably do one hell of a job on the Mariners' 2013 Information Guide. That doesn't mean it would make sense to trade for him.

Matt Swartz of the Hardball Times presents us with the fourth part of his Game Theory and baseball series: Game theory and baseball, part 4: if batters were Bayesians--THT

o put this into a proper game theoretic framework, we allow the batter to observe a “signal” after the pitcher throws the ball. The signal will basically imply “this looks like a fastball for a strike”; absence of a signal will basically imply “this looks like a curveball for a ball.” Of course, the signal does not mean that there is a 100 percent chance of a strike; its absence does not imply that there is a zero percent chance of a strike. Instead, let’s call the probability of observing an accurate signal when the pitcher throws “fastball-for-strike” as “x” and the probability of observing an inaccurate signal when the pitcher throws “curveball-for-ball” as “y.” Without loss of generality, we can assume x > y

Jeff Zimmerman of Baseball Heat Maps quickly breaks down Bubba Starling's swing: Bubba Starling Swing Breakdown | Baseball Heat Maps