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TheFranchiseAce

Jon Lester 2013 Outlook

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Didn't see a topic for him.

Was 2012 an outlier or a trend?

He could provide great value provided he returns to form.

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Fwiw I have him at 3.80/1.25/6k's per start/13 W

In H2H I have him ranked between Haren and Kennedy

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His K rate is a concern.

2009: 26.7% 9.96

2010: 26.1% 9.74

2011: 22.8% 8.55

2012: 19.0% 7.28

He could be a nice value if he bounces back but I rarely target guys that have mediocre control and WHIP killing prospects. Lester is regularly over 3.0 BB/9 and his career WHIP is 1.31, which really aren't the kinds of numbers that point to an SP2 anymore. Lastly, the guy probably won't be the beneficiary of getting 7 runs of support per game anymore.

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4.82 was the highest he has had since 07'. From 08' to 11' you could pencil him in for 200 innings with 200 ks. Yes he has some rocky starts now and again but I think John Farrell coming back is going to help him out tremendously. He's a great SP3 if he can put last year behind him, I foresee a bounce back to form and will draft him with confidence. I advise you to do the same.

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I agree with Poppa Chubby 81 about John Farrell. If Lester doesn't get it together with Farrell back with the Sox this season, I don't think he ever will.

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Nothing from his numbers last year says, he can not bounce back. I also see that SP is filled with a abundance of quality arms and don't see why I would draft him to find out. I will not be looking to draft Jon Lester in 2013.

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League format determines his true fantasy value, H2H he can be a whip killer, roto, his numbers even out in the end proceed accordingly.

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I've seen enough times (Verlander, Greinke, Hamels, Shields, etc) were really solid players who start their career strong have a bad year or so and all the secondary metrics suggest they are declining but then they magically turn it around. That is the nature of pitchers. Guys like Lester and Ricky Romero I will target as a result of this.

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Lester turned into just another guy who's outmatched in the AL East. I heard Clay Buccholz was his beta clone.

The fact a pitcher is in the AL East counts against him from the get-go. Then you see a guy like Lester get continually hammered by AL East competition = dime a dozen who has a name because he pitches in Boston.

He was solid for a couple years - I agree with DWR above that I don't see myself taking him with all the other proven talent out there.

Sabathia and Price are the only guys who are true aces in the AL East.

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His velocity was down just a little bit last year from where it was in 09 and 10. There's been a lotta talk about messed up mechanics. I think it was that, plus things just messing with his head in boston. Good bet to bounce back.

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I think people are overvaluing the impact John Farrell is going to have. He sure did a fine job with Ricky Romero last year. After owning Lester all year in 2012, I don't have the stomach for '13.

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I think to be affective, he will have to find some MPH. I don't like the downward trend. I'm looking somewhere in the 3.75 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 175 Ks, 13-14 Ws. Nice low risk/high reward #3-4 if you have 2 front line studs. He is still only 29 years old.

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His velocity was down just a little bit last year from where it was in 09 and 10. There's been a lotta talk about messed up mechanics. I think it was that, plus things just messing with his head in boston. Good bet to bounce back.

Yup, I agree. Farrell will help him. Morrow did great when healthy, does Farrell get credit for that? Just because Romero went wrong doesn't mean he still can't handle pitchers well. I think there is a great chance that Farrell looks at old tapes and helps Lester fix whatever went wrong last year. Getting Valentine out in my mind will help the whole team regardless.

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I like Lester a lot for 2013. I think he'll be a great bargain.

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Lester is a very interesting case this year. As cymbaline started to point out, there were a lot of recent trends that had me label him as a bust candidate even before last season started, which held very much true.

xFIP 09-12 (3.09, 3.18, 3.62, 3.82)

SIERA 09-12 (3.15, 3.25, 3.59, 3.94)

K% (26.7, 26.1, 22.8, 19.0)

FB Velocity 10-12 (93.5, 92.6, 92)

Contact% 09-12 (75.6, 76.5, 80.1, 80.4)

His SwStrk% on his cutter, what used to be his out pitch, also dropped significantly in the past 2 seaons, so he started to abandon it, leaving him only with a very below average fastball, and an average cutter and curve. He no longer has any plus pitches.

All that adds up to pretty much certain proof that he is never going to return to his ace/borderline-ace status.

HOWEVER, as you can see with his 3.82 xFIP and his 3.94 SIERA, he actually wasn't nearly as bad as his 4.78 ERA last year would suggest. This was caused by a BABIP that was slightly higher than his career average (.312 last year, career average is .301) but mostly by an absurdly low and unsustainable 67.6% strand rate, one of the worst in the MLB last season and a very obvious outlier when compared to his 74.8% career average.

This makes Lester a very interesting almost reverse-value pick, as he will have a short window of time in the draft when you can get value for him. Will he ever be what he was from 08-11 again? No. But he WILL be better than what he was last year, meaning you CAN get value out of him, ONLY if he starts to get drafted among the players he performed on par with last season. I wouldn't hate to have Lester on my team this upcoming season, but it would have to be at the perfect price

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I think having Farrell as a coach will help motivate him. Clearly no one on the Sox wanted to play for Valentine. I just think he will try harder this year with the new coach.

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Lester is a very interesting case this year. As cymbaline started to point out, there were a lot of recent trends that had me label him as a bust candidate even before last season started, which held very much true.

xFIP 09-12 (3.09, 3.18, 3.62, 3.82)

SIERA 09-12 (3.15, 3.25, 3.59, 3.94)

K% (26.7, 26.1, 22.8, 19.0)

FB Velocity 10-12 (93.5, 92.6, 92)

Contact% 09-12 (75.6, 76.5, 80.1, 80.4)

His SwStrk% on his cutter, what used to be his out pitch, also dropped significantly in the past 2 seaons, so he started to abandon it, leaving him only with a very below average fastball, and an average cutter and curve. He no longer has any plus pitches.

All that adds up to pretty much certain proof that he is never going to return to his ace/borderline-ace status.

HOWEVER, as you can see with his 3.82 xFIP and his 3.94 SIERA, he actually wasn't nearly as bad as his 4.78 ERA last year would suggest. This was caused by a BABIP that was slightly higher than his career average (.312 last year, career average is .301) but mostly by an absurdly low and unsustainable 67.6% strand rate, one of the worst in the MLB last season and a very obvious outlier when compared to his 74.8% career average.

This makes Lester a very interesting almost reverse-value pick, as he will have a short window of time in the draft when you can get value for him. Will he ever be what he was from 08-11 again? No. But he WILL be better than what he was last year, meaning you CAN get value out of him, ONLY if he starts to get drafted among the players he performed on par with last season. I wouldn't hate to have Lester on my team this upcoming season, but it would have to be at the perfect price

Good post. I had him as a DND last year due to the trends you mentioned above. He's a guy who I will be watching in spring training to see where his velocity is at.

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ERA and xERA going up up up.

K's and GB% going down down down

I'll pass this year, thank you.

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I think having Farrell as a coach will help motivate him. Clearly no one on the Sox wanted to play for Valentine. I just think he will try harder this year with the new coach.

I don't buy having Farrell as a coach being his motivator. Pitchers want to do their best every time out because they want to cash in on their next deal. Nobody tanks or gives minimal effort as a pitcher because they don't like their coach. It only hurts their numbers and their money. These are big leaguers, not high school.

If he can find his cutter with some velo, he can be a very successful pitcher, again.

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Watched him tonight. Decent outing

3IP

0 R

1H

1BB

2K

Velocity was 88-90 and cutter was pretty decent. Though, as the TV velocity can be from time to time, it may have been off. Rubby de la Rosa (who hit 100 his last time out) was 91-95 on it in his first inning.

One hit he gave up was a fastball belt high over the middle. He didn't miss a lot of spots, but wasn't dominant by any stretch. Good outing, but need to see some more before buying into him

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I doubt he's gonna return to cy young contender but 14 wins and a 3.80 ERA is very doable, with upside from there.

Worth a mid round pick up as a number 3.

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I'm all in on Lester this year. I see him as a great bargain.

Agree 100%. It's always a plus to be able to grab an "ace" later in the draft.

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