The numbers don't always confirm what the eye sees. Such is the debate between scouts and sabermetricians. In Marlins' right-hander Jose Fernandez, the two sides agree he's an ace. Monday, Fernandez will learn if he is the National League Rookie of the Year. He's already received several top rookie nods this offseason from his peers (Players Choice award), Baseball America and Sporting News among others. Fellow Cuban Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers is another worthy candidate, but in the players' vote Fernandez won in a landslide. "It's almost unconscionable to believe you could have a rookie like Yasiel Puig do what he did and not be the unquestioned rookie of the year," Fangraphs managing editor Jeff Sullivan said. "Fernandez was that good." Scouts and sabermetricians alike took note of arguably the second best season ever by a pitcher age 20 or younger. What is more impressive, Fernandez accomplished his achievements with a team which lost 100 games. Dwight Gooden in his 1985 age-20 season (Mets won 98 games) set an astronomically high bar, but Fernandez wasn't far off in many traditional and sabermetric categories. From a scouting perspective, Fernandez is the complete package. When the Marlins drafted him 14th overall out of Tampa Alonso High School in 2011, he already was physically mature. This wasn't a kid they had to project 20 pounds heavier three years down the road. He threw hard then and in his first major league season continued to light up radar guns. According to Baseball Info Solutions (BIS), only Matt Harvey (95.8) and Stephen Strasburg (95.3) among qualified National League pitchers logged a higher average fastball velocity than Fernandez (94.9). He totaled 911 pitches at 95-plus miles per hour, ranking him eighth in the NL. Scouts love big arms, especially those attached to pitchers who know where the ball is going. Fernandez found the strike zone with 66 percent of 2,609 pitches, per BIS. Scouts also look for out pitches. Fernandez can boast several.
Scouts, sabermetricians agree on Marlins' Fernandez
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Nov 11