After Jose Fernandez’s first two marvelous starts this season, it is quite clear the 20-year-old is a rising star for the desperate Miami Marlins. Without any MLB experience prior to this season, Fernandez’s performances prove that he is the real deal.
Fernandez had quite the debut on April 7 when he became the youngest player in Marlins franchise history to start a game on the mound. He also finished the day with the most strikeouts (eight) in franchise history by a pitcher making their first appearance in a big league game. If his debut was not already good enough, Fernandez allowed only one earned run on three hits in five innings against the New York Mets.
The Cuba native followed up the phenomenal outing with another outstanding appearance. In the second start of his career, Fernandez gave up only two hits while striking out five batters in six scoreless innings in a no-decision against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Obviously, it is no fluke what Fernandez has been able to accomplish. In fact, his rare feat goes down in the Major League record books. The right-hander is the second player since 1920, along with Rudy May, who is 20 years old or younger to allow one earned run or fewer and three hits or less in his first two career starts. If that does not scream future superstar, I am not quite sure what does.
The fact that Fernandez almost did not even get an opportunity to play baseball in the United States is a crime all in its own.
He arrived in the United States on April 5, 2008 after he defected from Cuba on March 20 of the same year. Fernandez survived gun shots being fired at him as he fled Cuba, the uneasiness of being in a new country and two years in the Minors before finally getting his chance in the big leagues a mere five years later.
The Marlins are obviously thankful that their fate crossed with Fernandez as the starter has the opportunity to take the franchise to the next level. He is a player Miami can build around over the next few years, and hopefully get the organization back to the promise land once again.
Fernandez’s next start will come Thursday against the Cincinnati Reds.