The Marlins’ #1 rated prospect will finally realize his dreams of pitching in the big leagues this afternoon as the Marlins look to close out the series against the New York Mets in their second series of the 2013 season. It was an epic moment in the making for the 20 year old.
Fernandez fled Cuba via a speedboat – getting shot at as they made their break. He had served time in jail previous to that as his family had tried to flee before. Once they arrived in Mexico, they headed to Texas and eventually he settled in Tampa. The Marlins drafted him 14th overall in 2011 and he has delivered ever since.
He grew up in Cuba and played on the national team and only started being used as a pitcher when he was 14. Now, at 20, he is in the bigs making his debut. Joe Capozzi writes a very clear piece on Fernandez and offers a snapshot of this kid’s journey and mentality. He can’t be phased. After escaping from Cuba, everything else is just on a lower volume. This is fun for him.
Along with his plus fastball and strong pitching repertoire and tool set, this kid has what scouts feel is frontline stuff. We already predicted a call up for this kid, but we thought it would be much later in the season – post All Star Break so that the Marlins would get more time out of him before his arbitration eligibility kicked in. Clearly, for once, Loria seems to not worry about that and actually made the phone call, himself, to Fernandez to let him know they were giving him his shot. We will be watching with great anticipation because if he can deliver on his promise, Jose Fernandez very well could be the staff ace by season’s end. For now, he will take the mound to try to give the Marlins their first series win of the season.