Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez has been named the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year.
The news comes courtesy of the official MLB Twitter account:
Fernandez had one of the best seasons not only of any rookie in the National League, but also of any pitcher. The Cy Young Award candidate posted a 2.19 ERA and a 12-6 record during the season.
A closer look at his stats will reveal why Fernandez was certainly worthy of this honor. He struck out 187 batters in 172.2 innings, posted a WHIP of just 0.98 and allowed opposing batters to hit a paltry .182 against him.
Unfortunately, the 21-year-old was on a pitch count that brought an early end to his season.
Fernandez’s final game came on Sept. 11, when he picked up his 12th win and hit the first home run of his major league career against the Atlanta Braves.
He was one of the few bright spots for a rebuilding Miami organization, and the team was relatively successful with him on the mound; the Marlins finished 62-100 but went 18-10 during his starts.
With this honor, Fernandez becomes the fourth player in Marlins franchise history to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award.
Not many could have expected his rise to take place so quickly. Selected No. 14 overall in the 2011 draft, the Cuban defector was able to use his elite arm to rapidly rise through the minor leagues.
He was named to the NL All-Star team and won two NL Rookie of the Month awards during his first season.
Did Fernandez deserve this award?
Fernandez is capable of throwing a fastball in the mid-90 mph range on a regular basis, but occasionally flirts with 98 and 99 mph heaters, per FanGraphs. Along with a breaking ball and rapidly improving changeup, there isn’t much that Fernandez can’t do at this point in his blossoming career.
He will only get better with experience and it should be exciting to watch him develop over the next few years.