Jose Fernandez (1992-2016) was a former pitcher who played for the Miami Marlins from 2013 until his death in 2016. He was named the NL Rookie of the Year in 2013 and was a two-time All-Star.
He could have achieved even more, had it not been for the Tommy John surgery on a torn UCL which kept him out for large sections of 2014 and 2015.
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Jose Fernandez Rookie Year Stat Line: 12 W – 6 L | 2.19 ERA | 187 SO | Rookie of the Year
We’ve come up with a list that has a trio of the top Jose Fernandez rookie cards, along with investment advice for 2020 and beyond.
Top 3 Jose Fernandez Rookie Cards
His prospect cards were released in 2011, in Bowman Draft, Bowman Sterling, Leaf Metal Draft, and Leaf Valiant sets. He has more prospect options from 2012, while his RCs were released in 2013.
There’s a mix of options on the list, but we’ve come up with three top cards, and there’s something to suit almost every budget.
2011 Jose Fernandez Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects RC #BCAPJF (buy on eBay)
Fernandez’s 2011 Bowman Chrome is undoubtedly his top collectible from the early years. This prospect card features an image of the pitcher in his Marlins jersey, with a great on-card auto-filled in blue ink at the bottom.
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It’s his ‘1st Bowman Chrome Card’, which is one of the main reasons why it’s so popular at auction. Then there are the various colored parallels, which are also serial numbered.
Parallels: Refractors, Blue Refractors (/199), Gold Refractors (/50), Orange Refractors (/25), Red Refractors (/10), Printing Plates, Super-Fractors (/1), Canary Diamond (/1)
2012 Jose Fernandez Bowman Prospect Autographs RC /500 #JF (buy on eBay)
A more affordable option, the 2012 Bowman Prospect Autos is essentially an inferior version of the card seen above. The auto is stickered, and the action shot of the player pitching isn’t as crisp. This is reflected in the asking price, but it’s still a decent entry-level card overall.
There’s a trio of parallels to keep an eye on, although they’re fairly plentiful, aside from the red version which is a one-of-one.
Parallels: Blue (/500), Orange (/250), Red (1/1)
2013 Jose Fernandez Finest Refractor RC /50 #RA-JFZ (buy on eBay)
Rather than the official RC, we’re looking at an autographed insert from the 2013 Finest set. It’s worth more, and it’s a far better investment piece.
It has an image of Fernandez with his hands clasped together, along with a unique background design and a solid set of parallels. (The base edition shows Fernandez as he prepares to pitch, so you’ll be able to tell the difference instantly.)
Parallels: Refractor, X-fractor, Green Refractor (/199), Orange Refractor (/99), Gold Refractor (/50), Red Refractor (/25), Atomic Refractor (/5), SuperFractor (1/1), Printing Plates (1/1)
Jose Fernandez Rookie Card Value
- Most Expensive: Jose Fernandez Marlins 2011 Bowman Chrome Refractors
- Most Common at eBay Auctions: 2011 and 2012 Bowman Chrome
Jose Fernandez Rookie Cards: Investment Outlook
Fernandez was named as the Rookie of the Year in 2013, while he was a two-time All-Star before his career was cut short following a pre-dawn boating crash, in which he was later found to be the driver.
It was a shocking end, while he was only 24 at the time. It also begs the question, just what could he have achieved if he did enter his prime, given his obvious talents and his importance to the team?
Fernandez was irreplaceable, and it could be argued that the Marlins have yet to recover from the tragedy, even four years on.
Given his untimely passing, the majority of Fernandez’s RCs have remained affordable, and the same goes for his prospect options. He’s yet to be properly replaced, while he’ll always be remembered for what could have been.
It’s dark, but it’s not like he’s going to be able to add to his CV now, which is one reason why his RC prices haven’t spiked compared to others from the class of 2013.
It’ll take some time, but it’s likely that Fernandez’s best rookie cards will rise in price over the next few years, especially as we begin to look back over his career with a nostalgic eye. The 2011 Bowman Chrome is the pick of the bunch and is the most likely to see a good ROI as long as you’re willing to hold onto it for a while.
Investment Rating: 8.1 out of 10
Best Jose Fernandez Rookie Card: 2011 Bowman Chrome RC
Rookie Card Ramblings Ownership: None