With a collected ERA+ of 176, RHP Kevin Brown led all Marlins with the minimum 100 innings pitched threshold set on the previous page. An All Star in both seasons for the Marlins, he finished second in the National League Cy Young Award vote in 1996 and helped the club claim their first World Series Championship in 1997.
Brown was 17-11 in 1996, and led the majors with a 0.944 WHIP, a 1.89 ERA, three shutouts, 0.3 HR/9, and a 215 ERA+. In 1997, he started five games in the playoffs, going 2-2 including victories against the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series in Game 1 and the series-clinching Game 6. The Marlins are set at number one with a 31-year-old Brown in the prime of his career.
And let’s not forget that Jose Fernandez wasn’t no slouch either, with a four-year total ERA+ of 150. The right-hander out of Santa Clara, Cuba won the N.L. Rookie of the Year Award after he went 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA and a major league-best 5.8 H/9 allowed in 2013. He also pitched in the All Star game and finished third in the NL Cy Young voting. Despite that, the 187 strikeouts he racked up in 172 2/3 innings gave him what would remain a career-low 9.7 K/9.
Limited to 19 starts through 2014 and 2015 due to Tommy John Surgery, Fernandez nevertheless went 10-3 with a 2.71 ERA and 149 K’s in 116 1/3 innings. 2016 would see his triumphant return to the rotation. All signs pointed to Fernandez having something even a little more extra than he had previously displayed, with a 12.5 K/9 representing 253 whiffs in 182 1/3 innings and his second All Star appearance. Fernandez’ career and life were cut short on September 25th of that year, on the worst day in Marlins history.