No one had made as big of a splash in the community and with the team as Conine had. Then along came a kid who fled from Cuba and went to High School in Tampa. That kid was Jose Fernandez.
The Fish drafted Fernandez in the first round of the 2011 draft straight out of high school. The Marlins knew what they had right off the bat, and when called up in 2013, so did the rest of the Nation.
In his first professional year, Fernandez made the All-Star team, was named Rookie of the Year, and finished 3rd in Cy Young voting.
Sidelined with Tommy John surgery, the Fish were without their Ace for 2014 and most of 2015. However, Fernandez bounced back with a strong 2016 campaign that saw him named to his second All-Star appearance.
Unfortunately, Fernandez’s life was cut short in a tragic boating accident at the end of the season in 2016. Fernandez finished his shortened careers with a 2.58 ERA which is second among Marlins.
The Marlins are planning on honoring Fernandez’s memory with a statue at Marlins Park later this year.