The result is in, and the Baseball Writers Association of America named Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez the 2013 NL Rookie of the Year.
As they should have.
At 62-100, the Marlins had the worst record in the National League, but also had one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. Any rookie who makes the All Star team gives themself a huge boost. Add to a 176 ERA+, 187 strikeouts and 0.979 WHIP, it shows just how dominant this kid truly was. If that doesn’t say enough, Fernandez is also a finalist for the NL Cy Young.
Thankfully, the voters noticed. Fernandez got 26 out of the 30 first place votes. The four other first place votes went to Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller also was a finalist.
In terms of what Puig did his rookie season, he was much more in the headlines than Fernandez and Miller, both in good ways and bad. His call up is credited by people with taking the Dodgers from a last place team in June to two victories shy of the NL pennant. He lit the baseball world on fire. Watching him at the plate and the base paths was nothing short of pure excitement. Despite that, his behavior also drew criticism from the opposing players and fans. Not to mention his selection would’ve been controversial since he played in only 104 games and for some people, that’s not enough. If he had played 162 games or close to it, this thing could’ve gone down to the wire.
In other years, Miller may have won the award, but with the buzz saw of Fernandez and Puig, it would’ve been very hard to for him to have been above both of them.
Congratulations to Fernandez on winning Rookie of the Year. Dodgers’ lefty Clayton Kershaw almost certainly is going to win the NL Cy Young and perhaps unanimously, but it’s a testament to the year he had to be a finalist for that award and as the clear deserving winner of this one.