Miami Marlins scout, Brian Kraft, penned a letter in remembrance of Jose Fernandez.
Kraft signed Fernandez in 2011 after the Marlins signed Fernandez out of Braulio Alonso High School in Tampa, Florida with their first round draft pick. Fernandez was found off the coast of Miami beach on Sunday, apparently killed in a boating accident.
“I always knew that getting into this profession would allow me a chance to see talented players. A select group would get an opportunity to play in the big leagues, and even fewer would get to impact games at the major-league level. But it never crossed my mind that there was potential to sign a player who would impact the lives of so many, from so many different walks of life, in and out of baseball,” read the letter from Kraft.
“Originals, those who transcend the game cannot solely be described in numbers and text. They are the rarest breed of people. They are referred to by their first name only. Their breaking ball is nicknamed. Life stops when it’s their day. They are icons. Their legacy, love and passion for life, baseball and competing will be written about, told and passed down forever.
“I never would have thought the Marlins making the right pick in the 2011 draft would change an organization, the sport and my life. I’m honored that my family got to be a small part of your career and grateful for giving us the chance to witness the start to one of the greatest careers in baseball history.
“Once in a lifetime. Pick 14. Forever 16.
“Rest in peace.”