It just couldn’t be denied. The kid was phenomenal on a team that lost 100 games this season and even the members of the media couldn’t deny it. Jose Fernandez has come a long way from his days escaping Cuba to playing high school baseball in the Tampa Bay area. Now, as a big leaguer, he has some hardware to show off.
The Marlins were 18-10 in games he started. Officially, he was 12-8 with a 2.18 ERA. He was selected to the All Star game in New York, and struck out 2 of the three batters he faced. Fox missed an opportunity to talk about his moving saga to get to the US and escape Cuba and instead decided to interview Pirates reliever, Jason Grilli (and former Marlin). It seemed as though Fernandez was not going to earn the attention he deserved – especially with Yasiel Puig, another Cuban refugee, making waves for the Dodgers.
Fernandez tightened up even more – putting together a 7-1 record with a 1.32 ERA after the All Star break. Opposing hitters just hit .182 off of him all season. In fact, his rookie campaign can be considered one of the best ever – rookie or veteran – for a pitcher. He is actually a candidate for the Cy Young – along with Adam Wainwright and Clayton Kershaw.
Jose Fernandez give the Marlins a very bright centerpiece to build around moving forward. He is the 4th Marlins to win the award (Dontrelle Willis, Hanley Ramirez, and Chris Coghlan). He will anchor a young starting pitching staff as the Marlins look to rebuild and get back to the top of the NL East. If his climb is any indication, that could be a swift and impressive one not only for this young fireballer, who has vaulted into stardom, but for a team (and a city) that could be close behind.