Friday, January 4, 2008

Lester's A Popular Guy

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Most Red Sox fans probably know how high pitching coach John Farrell is on Jon Lester. Farrell is a strong advocate for keeping the young lefty. He's said that if the Red Sox keep Lester, he "will be counted on heavily once spring training opens."

But Farrell isn't the only one who has flattering things to say about Lester. The 23-year-old pitcher has also garnered praise from outside of the organization. Peter Gammons describes that
"after the Cleveland series, the Indians front office, coaches, and player personnel people had a meeting and it was unanimously agreed that after Josh Beckett, the best pitcher on the Red Sox was Lester. That doesn't include Papelbon, different category"

It will be interesting to see what Lester can do next year. He hasn't been at full strength for the better part of the last two years. Peter Gammons cites the fact that Lester's velocity hasn't been normal for some time, and he's not the only one to point that out.

Over Lester's first two years in the Red Sox farm system, his fastball sat in the low 90's and topped out in the mid-90's. But by the time was called up to the Red Sox in 2006, his fastball was sitting in the high 80's and was topping out in the low 90's.

Lester was weak and losing weight. Until he was diagnosed with cancer months later, he didn't understand why. According to Lester, he still weighs himself routinely to assure himself that he isn't relapsing.


Tex said...

Are you actually a member of the Royal Rooters? Because if you're not, I think you are misrepresenting yourself. Furthermore, you need to be crediting any pictures you are taking from other people's websites! And it really is a bore when you post your blog name ON your post. This will be my only post. delete if you want

Ethan Michaels said...

I'm sure no one alive is actually a member of the real Royal Rooters. They'd be well over 100 years old. This site name is meant to pay homage to them. I'm not at all claiming I'm one of them.

As for crediting my photos, this isn't a for profit site. You're probably right though, I should give credit to the photographers. They're beautiful pictures.

Temple said...

That's unbelievable what he went through/goes through.

GOD said...

u know lester is so overrated its insane yes he should be a good pitcher but no more then a 3 because he walks everyone and he stuff is good but not much more then that

i am glad he is better but everyone nows wants him to be the next Santana and thinks he will because he is better i am not saying u did but a bunch of fans think he will be an ace for sure

Ethan Michaels said...

Lester does walk guys, but even so he was a top rated pitching prospect before he was diagnosed with cancer. Prior to the 2006 season, Baseball America rated him the 6th best pitching prospect in baseball, behind Liriano, Billingsley, Verlander, and Cain.

I don't know anyone who thinks he's going to be the next Santana, but he could be a solid top of the rotation guy. Before his velocity went down he was striking out a batter an inning. He's still raw, but you have to remember he's still only 23 and he lost a lot of development time because of his illness.

EricSanSan said...

I'm just not as high on Lester as others. I completely respect what he went through, and believe that his moxie if off the charts.

His stuff however, is more pedestrian than I was led to believe. The velocity isn't overwhelming, and from what I have seen his four-seamer is extremely flat.

He has trouble commanding the zone (that could come with experience) and he lacks a dominant pitch right now.

While he might evolve into the guy that Farrell and Gammons think, if Minnesota wanted him to headline a Johan package than it is a no brainer. It's not like your rotation is getting that much older (other than Schilling) anyway. We'll see.

Eric SanInocencio

Michael said...

that tex is certainly a jackass, isn't he?

i'm one of those guys who feel that lester has a very high ceiling. i think you're going to see him blossom this year. i also think his control issues will diminish


Ethan Michaels said...

Eh, he's harmless Mike. Yeah, Lester certainly has a high ceiling. It'll take some time to see if he ever reaches it.

Marc said...

The pictures should be in the public domain now.

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