Adrian Gonzalez: He has the talent. But does he understand the moment?
Jon Lester: There are only two pitchers in Major League history who were born after 1930 and have a better career winning percentage than Jon Lester. The first is Don Gullett who went 109-50 (.686) over nine years with the Red and Yankees, before retiring with shoulder problems at the age of 27. The other is a guy named Pedro Martinez, who went 219-100 over 18 seasons with the Dodgers, Expos, Red Sox, Mets and Phillies. Now obviously things aren’t trending in a great direction for Lester. Even if he’s still a solid pitcher, he’s clearly lost his rank among baseball’s elite.
You know he has the stuff, and would like to think he has the mental make up to fight through this and pick up where he left of before *everything* hit the fan, but for now, his already unlikely Hall of Fame chances are barely visible.
David Ortiz: He’s had a few unbelievable seasons, and a handful of historic playoff moments, but the overall numbers aren’t up to par, and steroid rumors will haunt him moving forward.
Josh Beckett: When you win a World Series MVP at 23, and serve as the undisputed ace on another champ four years later, you’re certainly on the road to Cooperstown. Then again, when you win 20 games only once in your career, have a sub-3.00 ERA only once, pitch more than 200 innings only three times and also happen to be almost universally perceived as an enormous a-hole, the road gets a little cloudy and you eventually drive off a cliff.