Tampa Bay Sports Day

MARLINS: Pitcher Jose Fernandez, 24, Dies in Boating Accident

Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, 24, was one of three people who died in a boating accident in Miami Beach early this morning.

“The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez,” the team said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.”

Fernandez made his debut in 2013, when he won the NL Rookie of the Year. His following two seasons were cut short due to Tommy John surgery. In 2015 Fernandez made a rehab start for the Jacksonville Suns. He went five innnings and allowed four runs in a losing decision.

His 16-8 record this season, 2.86 ERA and 253 strikeouts, second in MLB, made him a NL Cy Young candidate.  Today’s Marlins-Braves game at Marlins Stadium was canceled following the news, the team statement announced. Fernandez was originally scheduled to pitch on today, but had his start pushed back to Monday.

After being slated to begin the 2013 season in Jacksonville, Fernandez made the Marlins’ Opening Day roster due to injuries and went on to become a National League All-Star and the N.L. Rookie of the Year after going 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA in 28 starts for Miami.

That year he set rookie records in ERA, strikeouts (187), average against (.182)., and WHIP (0.98). Finished with second-lowest ERA and WHIP (min. 162.0 IP) in Club history for any pitcher, behind only Kevin Brown in 1996 in both categories (1.89 and 0.94, respectively).

Fernandez was selected by the Marlins in the first round (14th overall pick) of the 2011 draft out of Alonso High School in Tampa, Fla.. Fernandez, was a native of Santa Clara, Cuba, and attempted to defect unsuccessfully three times, with each failed attempt followed by a prison term in Cuba.

He and his mother did defect in 2008, although on that attempt his mother fell hit in turbulent waters, and Jose had to dive into the water to save his mother’s life.

Miami, authorities were notified of the accident at about 3 a.m. Officials reportedly found the 30-foot vessel upside down and crashed into rocks.