"The infusion of young talent this season, that wave has been as impressive of a wave as I've seen in a long time," Hurdle said. "Off the mound, in the field. Not just in our league, in the other league.
"We talked about the number of players that were 25 years or younger on the All-Star team in the National League. I didn't even try to count the ones in the American League."
Fernandez was one of those young All-Stars, making his first appearance in the Midsummer Classic as a 20-year-old rookie. He became only the third pitcher younger than 21 to strike out two or more batters in an All-Star Game.
The two batters he fanned were MLB home run leader Chris Davis and former AL MVP Dustin Pedroia. Fernandez also retired Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera on a popup in foul territory.
"There's an intensity that seems to jump out a little bit watching film," Hurdle said of Fernandez.
While Cole has not enjoyed the same level of success as Fernandez, he is coming off his strongest outing of the season after giving up only one run on two hits with one walk and four strikeouts in seven strong innings against the Nationals on July 23.
Hurdle has been impressed with Cole this season and was excited to see the two future aces battle it out on Sunday.
"I'm looking forward to seeing him pitch," Hurdle said Sunday morning. "No doubt."
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.