Fernandez, one of baseball’s most exciting young pitchers, was selected in the first round of the 2011 first-year player draft (14th overall) by the Florida Marlins. He made his major league debut as a 20-year-old against the New York Mets on April 7, 2013, after not pitching above High-A in his minor league career.
Fernandez struck out eight batters and allowed one run in his debut, which was a sign of things to come for Miami Marlins righty.
Excellent in front of the home crowd
Fernandez always put on a show in front of his home crowd. His career ERA at home was 1.49, the lowest by any pitcher who made at least 40 home starts since ERA became an official stat more than 100 years ago.
Fernandez’s 1.49 ERA at Marlins Park is the second-lowest ERA at a single ballpark by a pitcher since 1913 (minimum 25 starts). The only pitcher with a lower ERA at a single ballpark during that time is Sandy Koufax, who had a 1.37 ERA at Dodger Stadium.
Since the start of Fernandez’s first season in 2013, the Marlins averaged 1,127 more fans in home games started by Fernandez than in home games started by all other pitchers.
From 2014-15, the Marlins averaged nearly 6,000 more fans in Fernandez’s 11 home starts compared to Miami's other 151 home games.
Prolific strikeout rate
Fernandez had some of the most electric stuff in the game. His fastball sat between 93-97 mph for his career; it maxed out at 100.2 mph in a July start in Philadelphia this season.
The Marlins ace also had a devastating slider. He held opponents to a .133 batting average in at-bats ending with the pitch. Hitters missed on over 46 percent of swings against Fernandez’s slider.
Fernandez struck out more than 31 percent of the batters he faced in his career, the highest strikeout percentage in MLB history (minimum 50 starts).
Since 1980, only Dwight Gooden (276 strikeouts in 1984 and 268 in 1985), Tim Lincecum (265 in 2008) and Roger Clemens (256 in 1987) had more strikeouts in their age-24-or-younger season than Fernandez’s 253 strikeouts this season.
Among Cuba’s all-time great pitchers
Fernandez might go down as the greatest Cuban pitcher of all time.
Among the 25 Cuban-born pitchers who have made at least 25 career starts in the majors, Fernandez ranks first in ERA (2.58), opponent batting average (.209), strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.2-to-1) and strikeouts per nine innings pitched (11.3).
Fernandez went 38-17 for a win percentage of .691 in his career, also the best among that group.
The incredible numbers are just a small part of what Fernandez brought to the game of baseball. He will be missed.