Jon Lester was the first Red Sox pitcher on the Yahoo.com fantasy baseball rankings, and 118th overall. Rankings are mostly based off of the player's previous season's performance, and Lester was certainly not his usual superb self in 2012.
Although easily lost in the fiasco of 2012, Lester's season was particularly poor by his lofty standards. Prior to 2012, the most games Lester had lost in a season was nine, and he managed to lose fourteen last year, while his ERA jumped a full run higher than it was in 2011.
Jon Lester is rightfully embarrassed about 2012, and September of 2011. He's coming into the season determined to prove that he can be the ace of the Red Sox staff, and a leader in the clubhouse in the absence of longtime teammate Josh Beckett. I took Lester a round or two earlier than I might have needed to, but I truly believe that this is going to be a monster year for him.
So far in spring training, Lester has thrown the ball very well, and he has the results to prove it. Interestingly enough, John Farrell has not yet named him as the Opening Day starter, but I can't imagine he'll pick someone else. Jon Lester has overcome a lot of obstacles in his career - bouncing back from his first losing season to contend for a Cy Young seems like the next logical step.