21-year-old Miami Marlins rising star Jose Fernandez pitched very well this season on a pretty bad team. Fernandez started out this season as an unknown, and it could have been an impulse decision to bring him up to start the season. However, the decision to start Fernandez proved to be one of, if not the best decision that the Marlins made in 2013.
Fernandez led all rookie pitchers with 187 strikeouts this season, which is also a new Marlins’ franchise record. Fernandez was the only Marlins starter with a winning record, finishing the year out at 12-6. He also stuck out 10 or more batters four times this season, three times against playoff-contending teams.
Although his numbers speak for themselves, Fernandez may not be a lock for the NL Rookie of the Year award given the market and the team that he plays for. Miami is one of the worst teams in baseball, and he did not necessarily pitch Miami to a better record than they would have without him.
The others player in contention for the award are Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and left-handed pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu. Both players have contributed wins to the Dodgers this season and have helped the team make the playoffs as the NL West winners.
One could also argue that the Dodgers played a tougher schedule being in the NL West, and were also being under .500 at one point before they got hot. The decision-making by the baseball writers is going to be interesting. It should be known, though, that Fernandez is not the sure-fire winner for the award this year.