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Yasiel Puig has gotten a lot of well-deserved attention this season, but when it comes to National League Rookie of the Year honors, it is another Cuban phenom that has had the better season.
Jose Fernandez wrapped up his season on Wednesday with another well-pitched game, beating the Braves with both his bat and his arm. Fernandez is being shut down by the Marlins due to an innings limit.
Entering play Wednesday, Fernandez had a WAR of 6.1, a number that will likely bump up a little bit after this start.
That total doesn’t just lead all NL rookies this season; it is the fifth-best total in the entire National League and nearly a win-and-a-half better than Puig’s 4.7.
What else was impressive about Fernandez's season?
Fernandez finished with a 2.19 ERA on the season. Only three other rookie pitchers to qualify for the ERA title have finished with an ERA under 2.20 since the Rookie of the Year Award began being given out in 1947.
Two of those (Stan Bahnsen in 1968 and Dave Righetti in 1981) went on to win Rookie of the Year (the other, Jerry Koosman, lost out to Hall-of-Famer Johnny Bench for the NL award in 1968).
A little help?
Wednesday’s win for the Miami Marlins got them to a meager 54-90 this season, but where would they be without Fernandez?
The Marlins are 18-10 this year with their rookie on the mound, meaning he has been on the mound for a third of their wins.
As for the 10 games the Marlins lost with Fernandez pitching, he allowed two runs or fewer in six of them.
Keeping the home crowd happy
Fernandez finishes the season a perfect 9-0 at home with a 1.19 ERA.
Lowest Home ERA in 2013
That rated by far the best in baseball.
The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that the only pitcher in the Live Ball Era to have a lower home ERA in which he went at least 9-0 was Orel Hershiser in 1985 (1.08 home ERA)
The best breaking ball in baseball?
Fernandez has been the toughest starting pitcher in baseball to get a hit off of this season with an opponent’s batting average of .182. Next closest is Yu Darvish at .191.
Fernandez’s most effective pitch though has been his breaking ball which he threw about one-third of the time. Opponents hit .116 against Fernandez’s breaking ball and chased it nearly 40 percent of the time, making it one of the best putaway pitches in the sport.
And he can hit too
Fernandez is the only pitcher this season to have hit at least one double, one triple and one homer this season.
He finished with a .220 batting average on 11 hits in 50 at-bats.