Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who quickly became one of the biggest stars in Major League Baseball, died early Sunday in a boating accident, Florida officials said. He was 24.
The Miami team issued a statement on the news later on Sunday: “The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of José Fernández. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.”
Fish and Wildlife Commission public information officer Lorenzo Veloz told CNN that Fernandez and two other men were found dead after their boat crashed near the entrance of Miami Harbor. The identities of the two other men, also in their 20s, are being withheld from the public until their families are informed of the news.
Coast Guard personnel found the boat, which was flipped upside-down, at about 3:15 a.m. Officials deduced from impact evidence that the boat, a SeaVee console model, was going at full speed at the time of the crash.
Drugs and alcohol do not immediately appear to be at the center of the accident, though autopsies have not yet been performed. Two bodies were recovered from under the boat, with another found on the rocks.
Fernandez was born in Cuba, and moved to the United States in 2008. He was drafted by the Marlins in 2011, and quickly became a star pitcher in the league. He’s a two-time All-Star and was named Rookie of the Year in 2013.
The Marlins’ game against the Atlanta Braves has been canceled Sunday as a result of the news.
Fernandez’s death has rocked the baseball world, and fans and fellow members of the baseball community alike took to social media to share their condolences. New York Mets outfielder Justin Ruggiano wrote, “I am so sick right now as I wake up to hear this terrible news. Jose you will be missed by so many and I will never forget you as a teammate.” Former MLB pitcher Dan Haren wrote, “Jose Fernandez is one of the most genuine guys I’ve ever played with.”
“All of Baseball is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernández,” MLB 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 this life.”