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]The Miami Marlins (then the Florida Marlins) selected Jose Fernandez with the 14th overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft. He played at Alonso High in Tampa after defecting from Cuba.
Fernandez moved quickly through the minors, making his MLB debut in 2013. He logged 12 wins (vs. six losses), an impressive 2.19 ERA, 187 Ks, and a WHIP of .98
Jose Fernandez Rookie Year Stats: 12 wins, 6 losses, 2.19 ERA, 172.2 IP, a mind-blowing .979 WHIP, and with those stats, won the NL ROY.
Fernandez’s tragic passing in 2016 leaves a specter over the Marlins and MLB more broadly. His flair for the dramatic, blistering fastball and immediate MLB success projected for a long, heralded career.
Jose Fernandez Vitals:
- 2013 Rookie of the Year (NL)
- 2x All-Star
- 1st Round Draft Pick
Jose Fernandez’s trading cards are a reminder of his greatness. They also pose the inevitable question: were he still alive, what could Jose Fernandez have become?
2011 Jose Fernandez Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects (Auto) RC #BDPP29/#BCAPJF
The 2011 Jose Fernandez Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects RC #BCAPJF is the leader of its class. The class of Jose Fernandez rookie cards, that is.
The card features Fernandez in the original, pinstriped Florida Marlins uniform. Fernandez’s face is taut as he releases a pitch. His left index finger peaks out of a tightly-tucked black Rawlings glove.
The card’s modern Bowman Chrome design features a reflective blue-silver backdrop. An on-card signature is written in blue ink on a translucent white auto plate.
This is one of the earliest Fernandez pro cards with an autograph, an appealing design, and the Bowman branding. For these reasons, it’s among the top Fernandez base rookie card.
Notable parallels include Red Refractor (/10), Printing Plates, Superfractor (/1), and Canary Diamond (/1).
2011 Jose Fernandez Bowman Sterling Prospect Auto RC #JF (/500)
The 2011 Jose Fernandez Bowman Prospect Auto RC #JF has become increasingly popular among collectors. Prices have risen to a point where some might consider it a contender for the top Fernandez RC.
On the card, a hefty-looking Fernandez in his Florida Marlins greys. After completing his delivery, the ace hunches over with teeth exposed, leg raised, and eyes intent on home plate.
A rounded, teal border surrounds Fernandez’s image. The space between the teal border and the card’s edge varies from one parallel to another.
Below the image is a white plate on which Fernandez’s autograph is scrawled.
Colored refractors are numbered parallels that fetch higher prices than the base autograph card. The Purple Refractor (/10), Black Refractor (/25), and Gold Refractor (/50) are all worth owning.
2013 Jose Fernandez Topps Chrome RC #32
Topps Chrome is a staple for those who collect MLB rookie cards. Jose Fernandez’s Topps Chrome RC #32 is a must-have with several notable parallels.
The card shows Fernandez from the abdomen-up. He wears a black Miami Marlins uniform with orange trim. The hurler folds his glove downward as his right arm hides out of frame, ready to release a heater.
The card’s design is simple enough. A border, the color of which varies by parallel, morphs into a semi-rounded shape at the bottom. Within that border is the Marlins’ “M” logo and a nameplate.
The blue-ink autograph sits on a translucent white nameplate between the lower border and the image of Fernandez. A Topps Chrome logo and “RC” emblem complete the front design.
The Gold Refractor (/50), Black Refractor (/25), and Sepia Refractor (/75) are notable parallels that are generally available for purchase.
Jose Fernandez Rookie Card Value
The most valuable Jose Fernandez rookie card is the 2011 Bowman Chrome Jose Fernandez Autograph Refractor Rookie Card /500.
With Fernandez’s untimely passing, you might expect his rookie cards to be more expensive than they are.
The prices for the top Fernandez rookie cards do not come near the price points for top overall rookie cards—Mike Trout, Ronald Acuna, Jr., Bryce Harper, and the like.
Investment Rating: Pass (2.8 out of 5)
Ownership Disclosure: None
This presents lots of room for growth. In time, the collecting community may see Fernandez as something of a mythical figure due to his quick spike and sudden demise.
However, it appears more likely that Fernandez’s passing has hurt his card value. If he had continued to put up All-Star/Cy Young-level numbers, his rookie cards might be worth far more than they currently are.