|[From the FAQ]|
If a player without any fielding grades listed for a particular position is inserted into that position, his skills at his primary position are translated to the new position. A designated hitter that did not play in the field is treated as a D-/D- first baseman. He is then slapped with a mandatory out of position penalty. From there, he is penalized for each spot he moves to the on the Bill James' Defensive Spectrum. For example, moving Ozzie Smith from SS to 2B would still yield an above average 2B. Moving Jim Thome to SS, on the other hand, would result in an atrocious SS. Moving Thome to LF would not be as drastic a penalty since SS is a more difficult position.
[from the 10/13/05 Developer Chat]
Hi, If understand correctly, you use the Bill James defensive spectrum in your code. When it comes to moving players who are ranked at one position to one that they are not, how does this affect them. Can I play a Catcher at 3B with minimal damage? How about LF? Could my A-/A+ AAA Shortstop excel in CF? I guess what I am really asking is how exactly do you figure out the fielding rates of out of position players?
Anytime a player is put in a position he didn't play that season, his fielding percentage is mapped to the new position (maintaininig the same level of play). Then he is assigned a 2% penalty to his fielding percentage. Each shift along the spectrum results in an additional 4% hit. The likelihood of turning double plays for out of position players also decreases. Putting a non-catcher behind the plate will result in many successful steals along with a ton of passed balls. Catchers are a special case, so we assign shift penalties based on the position they will be playing.
Besides his fielding percentage, does moving a player to a position he does not play affect his range? Will an A 2B who didn't play 2B that year be an A CF?
Range works the same way with different penalty values. 10% hit for being out of position, and a 15% hit for each shift on the spectrum (in the more difficult direction).