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Dwight "Doc" Gooden: "Sky's the limit" for Jose Fernandez

NEW YORK -- Dwight "Doc" Gooden, whose outstanding rookie season as a 19-year-old with the New York Mets in 1984 is considered one of the benchmarks for young pitchers, said Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez has what it takes to become one of baseball's great ones.

"If he stays healthy, the sky's the limit for him," Gooden said Friday during a book signing at Citi Field. "He has great stuff. He's only going to get better, and that's the scary part."

20130913_172435-2Gooden won the '84 Rookie of the Year award after going 17-9 with a 2.60 ERA and striking out a league-leading 276 batters in only 218 innings. Fernandez, who is considered a frontrunner for the N.L. Rookie of the Year award this season, has a better ERA (2.19) but not nearly the number of strikeouts (187 in 172 2/3 innings).

Gooden said there's a lot to like about Fernandez, who he has seen pitch on several occasions. For one, Gooden joked that he likes the fact that Fernandez lived in Tampa -- Gooden's hometown -- after defecting from Cuba, and that he wears the same uniform number -- No. 16 -- the former Mets' star wore in his playing days.

"I like that," Gooden said, smiling.

But, most of all, Gooden said he likes Fernandez's presence on the mound.

"I think the thing that sticks out more than anything is his mound presence," Gooden said. "I mean, here's a guy, he pitches like he's been there for a long time. He's not afraid of hitters. He likes pitching inside. He has a lot of confidence. I don't think he's cocky. I think it's a lot of confidence. So that's what really sticks out to me."

Advice for Fernandez?

"On the field, continue to work hard, remember what got you there," Gooden said. "Stick around the veterans. Always try to be a student of the game. There's always something you can improve on. You know you've had a great year, but there's always something you can challenge yourself to improve on. As far as off the field, understand that a lot of people approach you. A lot of them might not have your best interests. Just be aware of that."

Overall, Gooden said Fernandez is simply "fun to watch. He has a lot of energy."

"I think he's going to put up great numbers for years to come," Gooden said.

Comments

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escobar

Gooden 4got to say "stay away from the white lines".

Frisaroito

Two teams owned by Ponzi scum play meaningless games

FJEFF

Old man LaTroy Hawkins can still school the weak Feesh

pity the starting pitchers

Marlins vs Mets-Marlins scored 7 runs in 4 games, that's about average for this year. So, the Marlins are not getting worse. They have established a base from which to build.

manny

Hey Clark ..any truth to Ken Rosenthals piece today about Loria firing the FO with a couple yrs left on their contracts? Whats the real deal? Come clean with your peeps.

Captain Ahab

No truth to Bowties filler pulp about Loria dusting Beinfest,et al. Loria wants his capitan to go down with the ship,as contracted.Every man for himself.Except Samson.

Goldberg

What's the point on yet another episode in the book of Loria? Same old story about the meddling owner that's been regurgitated for the umpteenth time. Marlins are irrevelant on the local sports scene,let alone nationally and their owner and team is an afterthought,down on the list,right above FIU. Next.

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