I’m trying a new format to show a player’s season at a glance, using their ranking relative to their peers to reflect their performance visually. Squint and it looks somewhat like a bar chart. Look closer and you can see how they compared to specific players. Note also that I have the players grouped in tiers, each tier consisting of 14 players. Since there are 14 teams in the American League, a perfectly average team would theoretically have 1 player in the middle of each tier.
So what can we learn about John Lester’s season from this visual? First, he had a slow April and May. I recall everyone asking “what’s wrong with John Lester” in April, and while his performance was below his standards, he pitched like a poor #3 starter (look for him near the bottom of the 3rd tier) which isn’t THAT bad. In June, July and August he pitched like a true ace. He finished up September strong, at the bottom of the first tier of teams’ aces (or like a great #2 starter).