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Could José Fernández win the Cy Young Award? There's a case to be made.

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José Fernández's death left the baseball world a bit colder this week, as fans and players remembered a young man whose joy and passion for the game were unparalleled.

The only thing, perhaps, that could measure up to Fernández's personality was his talent.

Baseball didn't just lose an incredible human. It lost an ace, one that would have dominated for years to come.

So, in the wake of Fernández's death and as the 2016 season comes to a close, many are asking the same question: Could Fernández — the 2013 Rookie of the Year and a two-time All-Star — be the first player in history to win the Cy Young Award posthumously?

Members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America vote on the Cy Young, which is awarded annually to the top pitcher in both the National League and American League. Voting is intended to be based on performance alone, though "general character, disposition, loyalty and effort" can be considered.

"Tragedy" is not on that list, but the weight of Fernández's sudden death will surely creep into the minds of voters.

Some say a little bit of sentimentality couldn't hurt.

Others say Fernández should be honored in other ways, and his passing shouldn't affect the voting process.

But here's something to chew on — sentiment aside, Fernández's last season might be good enough to warrant a Cy Young Award. At the minimum, he'll likely tally up some second- and third-place nods (voters are given five spots on the ballot).

A handful of Cy Young contenders still have one start remaining in the season's final weekend, but let's take a look at the major pitching statistics, and how Fernández stacks up against the competition.

Strikeouts — 2nd (253)

Fernández had electric stuff, and strikeouts speak to his pure dominance on the mound, his ability to single-handedly retire batters.

Though the strikeout leader Max Scherzer has another start this weekend and will surely add on to his 277 punchouts, Fernández's absurd 12.49 strikeouts per nine innings leads the league. The Diamondbacks' Robbie Ray is next with 11.25 strikeouts per nine, and Ray is nowhere near a top contender in other categories.

Image: SB Nation

Fielding independent pitching (FIP) — 2nd (2.30)

FIP is a more advanced baseball statistic. It measures a pitcher's ability to get strikeouts while preventing home runs, walks and hitting batters. Essentially, it judges a pitcher based on all of the things he has complete control over. Ground balls and fly balls, for example, are beholden to a pitcher's defense, and therefore not included in FIP.

Fernández is only a hair behind the Mets' Noah Syndergaard (2.28), who pitches Sunday. The San Francisco Giants' Johnny Cueto (3.03), in third place, isn't even close.

Home runs per nine innings — 3rd (0.642)

When the ball goes out of the park, it's the pitcher's fault. Fernández's ability to prevent that illustrates his individual value. Still, he's a ways behind Syndergaard (0.539).

See photos of Fernandez:

31 PHOTOS
Jose Fernandez through the years
See Gallery
Jose Fernandez through the years
Sep 9, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez (16) celebrates their 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Jose Fernandez #78 of the Miami Marlins poses during Photo Day on Friday, February 22, 2013 at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 14: Pitcher Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins looks on during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Park on April 14, 2013 in Miami, Florida. The Phillies defeated the Marlins 2-1. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 08: Pitcher Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins smiles against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park on April 8, 2013 in Miami, Florida. The Braves defeated the Marlins 2-0. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 4: Pitcher Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins delivers a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies in a MLB baseball game on May 4, 2013 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Marlins defeated the Phillies 2-0. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MAY 16: Pitcher Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins laughs during a MLB game against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park on May 16, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JULY 13: Rob Brantly #19 of the Miami Marlins and teammate Jose Fernandez #16 celebrate a 2-1 win over the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park on July 13, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Steve Mitchell/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 15: David Wright (R) of the New York Mets walks off the field with Jose Fernandez (C) of the Miami Marlins and Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies after Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on July 15, 2013 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JULY 8: Pitcher Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins looks on during a MLB game against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park on July 8, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 19: Pitcher Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning at Marlins Park on August 19, 2013 in Miami, Florida. The Marlins defeated the Dodgers 6-2. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 06: Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins pitches during a game against the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park on September 6, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 24: Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez throws his hat off during batting practice prior to a game against the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park on August 24, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jason Arnold/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 25: Pitcher Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins hugs a dinasour on the field prior to the Colorado Rockies playing against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 25, 2013 in Miami, Florida. The Rockies defeated the Marlins 3-2. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 13: Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins hands the keys back to the Phillie Phanatic after stealing them before the start of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on April 13, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 23: Pitcher Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins jokes with teammates prior to his team playing against the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Park on September 23, 2013 in Miami, Florida. The Marlins defeated the Phillies 4-0. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandezs mother Maritza Fernandez and his grandmother Olga Fernandez attend Opening Day, as Miami faces the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park in Miami on Monday, March 31, 2014. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 08: Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins laughs during the fourth inning of the game against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park on April 8, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park on July 9, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins after the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park on July 9, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 02: Pitcher Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins pitches during a MLB game against the San Diego Padres at Marlins Park on August 2, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 22: Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins reacts at second base after hitting a RBI double against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 22, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 02: Adeiny Hechavarria #3 fist-bumps Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins after the game against the San Diego Padres at Marlins Park on August 2, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Family of Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins hold up signs with his face during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park on September 25, 2015 in Miami, Florida. Fernandez is trying to improve to 17-0 at home, a Major League record. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MAY 04: Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins looks on during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Marlins Park on May 4, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 11: Giancarlo Stanton #27 is congratulated by teammate Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins after the final round during the 2016 T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Petco Park on Monday, July 11, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Andy Hayt/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)
Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez and second baseman Dee Gordon celebrate after they scored on a two-run RBI single by left fielder Christian Yelich in the sixth inning against the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016 at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 24: Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins reacts during the game against the Kansas City Royals at Marlins Park on August 24, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins celebrates in the dugout with hitting coach Barry Bonds during the game against the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park on September 20, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 29: Pitcher Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins delivers a pitch against the New York Mets during the third inning of a game at Citi Field on August 29, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 2: Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins sits in the dugout after being removed in the sixth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on July 2, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
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Earned Run Average (ERA) — 7th (2.86)

This is the average number of runs a pitcher allows over a nine-inning span. An ERA around 3.00 is considered great.

While 7th place might seem low, stats like ERA incorporate more than just a pitcher's individual ability to prevent runs. FIP is a more accurate depiction of Fernández's dominance.

Jose Fernandez was an All-Star in each of his two full major league seasons.

Image: Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Walks & hits per innings pitched (WHIP) — 10th (1.12)

The number of walks and hits a pitcher allows, divided by the total number of innings he's pitched. The nine pitchers in front of Fernández all fall within 0.18 points of each other — it's pretty close. Scherzer, the league leader, has notched a 0.94 WHIP this year.

Wins — 10th (16)

Wins are becoming a less relevant stat in Cy Young voting, mainly because a pitcher's offense plays such a big role in whether or not he wins. Still, the fact that Fernández won 16 games while pitching for the Marlins — who rank third-to-last in runs scored per game — is impressive.

Scherzer and the Cubs' Jon Lester lead the National League with 19 wins, but get a lot of help from their prolific offenses. The Cubs rank second in runs scored per game, while Scherzer's Nationals rank fourth.

Fernandez was named the National League Rookie of the Year in 2013.

Image: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Cy Young ballots are due next week, and the results will be released in November. Fernández's name will appear on many of those ballots. He's earned that. But it will be interesting to see the number of first-place votes he racks up.

Fernández was on the brink of building a legacy, one that would have kept him in Cy Young conversations for years to come. He pitched only two full seasons in the major leagues, but that small sample size was enough to confirm — Fernández was one of a kind.

Even if Fernández doesn't win the 2016 Cy Young, he might have eventually.

We'll always wonder just how good he could have been.

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See league-wide tributes to Fernandez:

16 PHOTOS
Tributes around sports for Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez
See Gallery
Tributes around sports for Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez
Sep 26, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Hats of the Miami Marlins lay on the pitchers mound after the game to honor teammate starting pitcher Jose Fernandez at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
A fan signs the memorial mural as he mourns the death due to a boating accident of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, outside Marlins Park prior to a game against the New York Mets in Miami September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity
Sep 26, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins teammates gather around the mound to honor Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez before the game against the New York Mets at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: A jersey hangs in the New York Mets dugout in honor of late Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez before the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on September 26, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: The Tampa Bay Rays hang a jersey in their dugout honoring Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins during a game against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on September 26, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Miami Marlins' Adam Conley, pitches in the first inning wearing a number 16 shirt in honor to pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died on a boat accident Sunday morning, against the New York Mets on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016 at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: A fan holds a sign in honor of late Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez before the game between the Miami Marlins and the New York Mets at Marlins Park on September 26, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox reacts during a moment of silence in honor of deceased Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 25, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Fan's stand for a moment of silences for Miami Marlins Pitcher Jose Fernandez prior to a game between the Miami Dolphins and the Cleveland Browns on September 25, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Fernandez was killed in a boating accident early this morning. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: The Chicago Cubs place a jersey in their dugout in honor of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez who died early this morning on September 25, 2016 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: A memorial to honor Marlins player Jose Fernandez who died in a boat crash at Marlins Park on September 25, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Johnny Louis/WireImage)
Sep 25, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly reacts at a press conference announcing the death of starting pitcher Jose Fernandez in a boating accident. The game between the Atlanta Braves and Marlins was cancelled at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; A memorial of flowers and photos are placed outside a gate at Marlins Park in honor of Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez who was killed in a boating accident. The game between the Atlanta Braves and Marlins was cancelled. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; A moment of silence is observed for Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez pictured on the video board who was killed Sunday morning in a boating accident before the game between the Miami Dolphins and the Cleveland Browns at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins relief pitcher Kyle Barraclough kneels at the mound in honor of teammate starting pitcher Jose Fernandez who was killed in a boating accident. The game between the Marlins and the Atlanta Braves was cancelled at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
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