Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Now that his season is complete, it’s clear that Miami Marlins rookie pitcher Jose Fernandez just put together one of the greatest rookie seasons in Major League Baseball history.
On a historically bad team, Fernandez put up a 12-6 record over 172.2 innings pitched. He gave up 111 hits, 47 runs, 42 earned runs, struck out 187 batters and walked just 58 hitters in 2013. Overall, 177 different hitters faced Fernandez and 100 of them never got a hit.
Fernandez put up one more dominating performance on Wednesday night when he beat the Atlanta Braves both on the mound and at the plate. His home run, and subsequent trot that almost started a brawl, helped push the Marlins to a rare victory.
But his statistics and advanced statistics barely do justice to how dominating he was in 2013.
Fernandez was third overall in WAR (wins above replacement at 6.7) in the National League. He was second in pitching WAR at 6.3, just a shade behind the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers’ ace is the likely Cy Young Award winner, but even his phenomenal season is just slightly better than Fernandez.
He finished the season allowing opponents to hit just .182, which tied the rookie record set by Hideo Nomo for the best mark since 1900.
Jose finished the season with a 2.19 ERA, just a few tenths of a point behind Kershaw who is sitting at 1.92 on the season. Fernandez is third in the National League in walks and hits per inning pitched, first in hits per nine innings pitched and first in strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
Fernandez is also just behind Kershaw in home runs allowed per nine innings pitched at 0.5212 to Kershaw’s 0.428. The Marlins rookie also had an adjusted ERA+ of 177, just behind Kershaw at 185.
Fernandez was also second to Kershaw in adjusted pitching runs, adjusting pitching wins, base-out runs saved, win probability added, situational wins saved, and base-out wins saved.
Plus, if you faced Fernandez inside the confines of Marlins Park, it wasn’t pretty. Fernandez finished with a perfect 9-0 record at home plus a 1.19 ERA and allowed opponents to hit just .164 in Miami.
The Marlins rookie has energized, as much as possible, a completely downtrodden fanbase and given them hope heading into next season.
While owner Jeffrey Loria has not said he will invest anything into helping the team’s offense, at least on days when Fernandez is pitching; Marlins fans will have something to cheer about.