1. SP JOSE FERNANDEZ
I remember September 25, 2016 very well to this day. I checked the news as I woke up, and saw something that seemed too shocking to be true: "Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez has been pronounced dead". I had to re-read it multiple times as it seemed too horrifying to be true. Unfortunately it was. The young ace was dead at just 24 years old.
It's a very unique situation considering how exactly he died. He was intoxicated and under the influence as he suffered his tragic fate in a boat accident. All that said, he was a 24 year old who was suddenly rich and famous. I'm certainly not excusing his behavior, it's a controversial subject that I'm not going to discuss any further.
On the field Jose Fernandez was amazing. He never had an ERA above 2.92 in his entire career, which is unheard of. In 2013, he had a 2.19 ERA/2.73 FIP, with 9.7 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 28 games and 172.2 innings pitched. That debut won him the National League Rookie of the year award and was worth an astounding 6.2 WAR.
Fernandez followed up his 2013 season, with a 2.44 ERA/2.18 FIP with 12.2 K/9 and 2.3 B/9 in 2014, in 8 games and 51.2 innings pitched. The season was cut short due to Jose's elbow injury, that ultimately led to the dreaded Tommy John Surgery. Fernandez returned late in the 2015 season to produce a 2.92 ERA/2.24 FIP, with 11.0 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 11 games and 64.2 innings pitched. This was nothing short of remarkable.
Jose Fernandez pitched his final season in 2016. That season he produced a 2.86 ERA/2.30 FIP, with the Major League leading 12.5 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9, in 29 games and 182.1 innings pitched.