Miami Marlins fans stop to pay their respect at a memorial for pitcher Jose Fernandez outside of Marlins Park in Miami, Florida, September 25, 2016.The game between the Marlins and the Atlanta Braves was cancelled after Fernanedez died in a boating accident in Miami. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo
Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, an All-Star starting pitcher who escaped Cuba to become one of the best young arms in baseball, was killed in a boating accident early Sunday morning at the age of 24.
"The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time," the team said in a statement.
The Marlins canceled their scheduled game Sunday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves.
"All of Baseball is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez," Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "He was one of our game's great young stars who made a dramatic impact on and off the field since his debut in 2013. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, the Miami Marlins organization and all of the people he touched in his life."
Fernandez was one of three people killed in the boat crash near Miami Beach, police said early Sunday. The Coast Guard discovered an overturned boat around 3:30 a.m. Fernandez was on a 32-foot vessel that had a "severe impact" with a jetty, according to authorities. Fernandez was killed as a result of the impact of the crash and did not drown.
The boat carrying Fernandez and two others was traveling at a significant speed when it struck rocks, authorities said.
Fernandez twice attempted to defect from Cuba unsuccessfully and was thrown in jail on a third attempt before finally reaching the United States and attending high school in Tampa, Fla.
A two-time All-Star, Fernandez was drafted in 2011 and rose to the Marlins' starting pitching staff by 2013.
Fernandez was named National League Rookie of the Year in 2013 and was 38-17 with a 2.58 ERA in 76 career starts for the Marlins. He was 16-8 with a 2.86 ERA this season.
Fernandez announced on Instagram last week that his girlfriend is pregnant.
After Sunday's tragedy, the Tampa Bay Rays canceled a scheduled pregame ceremony to recognize retiring Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, per his wishes.
The Miami Dolphins plan to hold a moment of silence for Fernandez before their game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, a team official told ESPN's Adam Schefter.