2013 Red Sox community projections: Jon Lester...disappoints?

Jamie Squire

It's hard to believe, but the numbers don't lie. At least for the community, Jon Lester's season was a disappointment.

After an incredible postseason run, Jon Lester is golden in the eyes of Red Sox fans. Which makes it all the weirder that, at least based on the community's preseason projections, the left-handed starter was disappointing.

Name IP Wins ERA WHIP K/9 BB/9
Jon Lester 213.1 15 3.75 1.29 7.47 2.83
soxfanabroad 218.2 16 3.41 1.29 8.10 3.10
navarra 205.0 17 3.67 1.16 8.30 2.80
0bsessions 204.0 14 3.46 1.28 8.70 3.20
drg1022 205.2 14 3.81 1.34 8.10 3.10
Thinman61 200.0 17 3.65 1.28 8.10 3.30
tanookiscutaro 207.1 18 3.47 1.27 8.70 2.90
titio1300 215.0 18 3.12 1.13 8.90 2.90
Mjmadonna 198.0 18 3.45 8.00 3.00
theartolater 150.0 9 4.59 1.25 6.30 3.80
Sologub 204.1 13 3.88 1.34 8.14 3.14
jimed14 200.0 17 3.67 1.24 7.80 2.50
chazcoe21 213.2 19 2.78 1.18 13.00 2.70
cds7c 207.1 17 3.37 1.18 9.70 2.70
soxdude7 202.0 17 3.43 1.17 9.13 2.67
fizrat 210.0 18 3.46 1.12 9.10 2.80
colco 209.0 17 3.47 1.26 8.64 3.20
hitech97 228.0 18 3.56 1.15 9.20 3.20
magicbosox 199.2 17 3.70 1.29 8.50 3.40
The Name is Dalton 208.0 16 3.30 1.22 9.00 2.98
RedSox01 210.0 15 3.25 1.21 8.60 2.90
kraken613 215.0 19 2.95 1.20 8.90 2.70
Debageldond 209.1 18 3.31 1.26 8.80 2.90
skmsw 204.0 20 3.23 1.27 9.40 2.80
slamU130 206.1 16 3.54 8.20 2.70
pichris 212.3 17 3.14 1.19 9.20 3.14
GoosepeckerRidge 205.0 16 3.68 1.25 8.20 2.40
Anonymous #1 200.0 16 3.45 1.28 9.50 3.50
jraaicizcool 211.2 17 3.29 1.08 7.80 2.30
kimmel09 215.0 18 3.02 1.24 8.00 2.50
Alfredo 211.0 15 3.67 1.26 7.60 2.50
BobZupcic 210.0 15 3.82 1.25 8.10 3.40
Ozsoxfan 220.0 17 3.86 1.32 8.10 3.70
Anonymous #2 202.1 15 3.72 1.26 8.20 3.10
RSNexile 210.0 16 3.50 1.30 8.10 3.15
louandjan 202.0 14 4.10 1.12 7.00 4.00
dsharp 210.0 18 3.34 1.22 9.10 3.30
random walk123 202.0 12 3.56 1.26 8.40 3.20
Yama 212.0 19 2.10 1.79 8.90 1.90
speeddemonnd 213.0 19 3.38 1.16 8.60 2.80
sambat2000 183.2 15 3.47 1.22 7.40 1.80
vhbjknl? 215.0 14 3.86 1.27 8.30 3.20
tbendt 196.0 15 3.45 1.28 8.77 2.45
westcoastredsox 221.0 17 2.93 1.23 8.71 3.02
MaineSox 200.0 16 3.55 1.30 8.30 3.30
dibs 201.0 18 3.12 1.21 9.60 2.30
Tck 222.0 20 3.22 1.00 8.20 2.00
kevhorn 210.0 16 3.48 1.23 8.78 2.80
HeyYoCraig 201.0 16 3.55 1.26 8.10 3.50
fishindude 210.0 20 2.99 1.20 10.00 2.80
bilmster 195.0 16 3.89 1.32 7.10 3.20
Droot 209.0 15 3.86 1.32 8.30 3.20
DC Sox Fanatic 190.0 14 4.01 1.20 7.30 2.81
FrenchSox 202.0 16 3.31 1.24 7.10 2.90
Buccaz 211.0 18 3.33 1.24 8.88 2.76
Averages 206.0 16.44 3.47 1.24 8.50 2.93

This is partially due to the fact that these projections were, as a whole, very optimistic. As bad as Lester was in 2012, there seems to have been the expectation that he would be back to being just about as good as he ever had been. Notably, a fair few expected him to return to those heights by adapting to his lower strikeout numbers, rather than just boosting his rate back up.

For much of the year, those projections were pretty much spot on. There's just that five-week period making a mess of things. You know, the one where Lester gave up 37 runs in 47 innings? As ugly as it was, it's awfully hard to believe that was the same pitcher who so dominated the rest of the way.

Hopefully that was a blip on the radar, and hopefully any such blip in 2014 will be less noticeable. At the very least, though, we have some reassurance that the 2012 form of Lester is not the new norm.

As far as the projections are concerned, I'm partial to Magicbosox, who hit WHIP dead on and came close on ERA. There's some submissions that came in with three near-misses, and others who matched Magicbosox, but those all included the wins category which, honestly, just doesn't carry much weight. It's like the free space in bingo, even if a bunch of people missed on it.

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