Marlins Jose Fernandez The Next Dwight Gooden

On Sunday, Miami’s Jose Fernandez became the eighth youngest pitcher since 1980 to make his debut as a starter in April, dominating the New York Mets for five innings (8 Ks, 1 run). Only a bullpen collapse prevented him from joining CC Sabathia, Bret Saberhagen and Dwight Gooden in a select group of pitchers that won their debut before their 21st birthday.

Fernandez’s arsenal and veteran-like command suggests not even the Marlins can prevent him from quickly becoming a winning pitcher. He mixed a 97-mph fastball with a knee-buckling curve, similar to Gooden’s when he captivated the baseball world as a 19-year-old New York Mets rookie in 1984.

Source: Michael Salfino, The Wall Street Journal