Reporting Tim Kephart
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DAVIE (CBSMiami) – Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez has had about as good a rookie campaign as possible in 2013 and will make his final start in 2013 Wednesday night.
Fernandez has been nothing short of dominant this season, especially from May-August. The former 14th overall pick in the 2011 draft was added to the main roster before the season due to injuries, but he pitched so well throughout; the Marlins had to keep him in the majors.
The 21-year-old starting pitcher hit the ground running this year on April 7 when he made his major league debut. He lost his first two decisions in April and then went on to begin to mow down players with overpowering pitching.
Over Fernandez’s last 10 starts, he has a record of 6-1 with a 1.34 ERA in 67.0 innings pitched. He also has 83 strikeouts and just 18 walks during the same 10 game span. Overall this season, Fernandez is 11-6 with a 2.23 ERA, 182 strikeouts, 55 walks, and allows opponents to hit just .181.
Perhaps the most striking statistic for Fernandez is since May 27 when his ERA peaked at 3.78, each start after that has lowered his ERA to the current level of 2.23 entering his final start of the season. He also threw strikes on 69 percent of his pitches thrown in 2013.
He has the fifth highest WAR, wins above replacement, of any position in the National League. He also has the third highest WAR among National League pitchers and is second in the National League in ERA.
Fernandez is third in the National League in walks and hits per inning pitched and first in the league in hits per nine innings pitched. Fernandez also leads the National League in strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
In other words, outside of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, who will win the Cy Young Award, Fernandez has been the best pitcher in the National League.
Fernandez is likely to be named the National League Rookie of the Year, unless something really unexpected happens between now and the end of the season.
If Fernandez can keep up the pace he is setting in 2013 and continues to improve his other pitches, the Marlins have a legitimate ace to man the rotation for the next few years.