With a curve ball indistinguishable from his slider without a radar gun and one of the consistently highest fastball velocities coupled with one of the lowest ERAs, José Fernandez captured the BBWAA’s top NL rookie honors for his stellar 2013 performance. He spent the 2013 season bringing opposing hitters’ nightmares to life.
Beating Yasiel Puig by 142 to 95 votes, Fernandez is the first Cuban-born player to win the top honor.
Marlins fans across the country were treated to some of the best rookie pitching since Doc Gooden’s entry. Where Fernandez beat Gooden is in his unabashed enthusiasm for the game. The image of his utter delight at a Giancarlo Stanton home run will likely remain a baseball icon long after he hangs up his cleats.
Unbeknownst to Fernandez, team owner Jeffrey Loria made arrangements to have Fernandez’ grandmother brought to Miami. Followers of José’s Twitter feed will recognize that seeing his grandmother in the US was probably more important than the award, and Loria’s assistance will help cement his presence in Miami for (hopefully) many years to come.
What remains to be seen is whether or not the reconfigured front office will be able to sign the high OPS, high doubles position players that are necessary to provide the run support that will be critical for Fernandez as the Marlins try to turn a corner on the last three dismal seasons.
For now, José Fernandez has the Marlins spotlight. All of the editors and staff here at Marlin Maniac offer him our sincere congratulations.