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Pitching prospects look to follow Fernandez

JUPITER, Fla. -- Out of necessity last spring, Jose Fernandez made the transition from Class A to the big leagues look easy.

Has Fernandez's success changed the Marlins' thinking about when to promote their young prospects?

Andrew Heaney, Justin Nicolino, Anthony DeSclafani and Nick Wittgren are a few of the pitchers who could find themselves knocking on the door at the end of Spring Training.

The difference between these pitchers and Fernandez is they have pitched higher than Class A. But still, each is considered a long shot right now to make the Opening Day roster.

"I think last year was sort of a unique situation, because of the injuries," manager Mike Redmond said. "We had so many guys get hurt the last week of the season. It sort of became a no-brainer that we had to bring Jose up. He went out and had just an unbelievable year."

Fernandez actually was sent down a midway through March last year, but he was called back up the day before the season opened due to injuries to Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez.

Fernandez became an All-Star and took home National League Rookie of the Year honors.

Like Fernandez, Heaney was a highly touted first-round pick.

"It's probably more of an individual case," Redmond said. "You look at guys and try to figure out if this guy can make the jump. At the end of the day, you just don't know. You don't know if some guys can have the impact like Jose did last year. That's kind of an unknown out there for those pitchers.

"I know at the end of the day, if you have good stuff and you command the strike zone, you can have success at any level."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter Read More: Miami Marlins, Justin Nicolino, Andrew Heaney, Anthony DeSclafani, Nick Wittgren