Jazz Chisholm has won the 2nd base competition, according to Miami Marlins GM Kim Ng. The tools-y Marlins prospect has put together a solid Spring Training, hitting .268 with three home runs and four steals. Isan Diaz, the other Marlins prospect gunning for the 2B job at the start of Spring Training, struggled mightily, hitting .059. Jazz didn’t exactly face stiff competition for the keystone, but regardless, he excelled.
After a brief stint last season, the Jazz Age has officially begun in South Florida. Low-hanging fruit of a headline? Absolutely. But it just happened today so that’s what we’re going with. Shut up.
What we have seen
Chisholm’s cup of coffee in the bigs last season didn’t really work out for him. It was a very small sample size, to be fair, but Jazz struggled across 62 plate appearances (.161/.242/.321). This has been a troublesome trend for the Marlins over the past few years, as their top hitting prospects just haven’t been able to produce in the Majors. That will need to change if they expect to contend in the loaded NL East.
Nevertheless, Jazz has shown what he’s capable of throughout his professional career. He has elite speed, 25-30 HR upside, and plays good defense. He might not hit for a high average, but he has plate discipline that will help him maintain a decent OBP. Jazz has been a top 100 prospect for the last three years, and deservedly so.
What we will see
Maybe I’m foolish for saying this, because every Marlins hitting prospect has suuuuuucked recently. But I think Jazz will be a legitimate contributor this season. One of these young bucks will have to hit eventually, right? Jazz seems to have all the confidence in the world, he has plenty of lineup protection, he is surrounded by experienced leaders, and he isn’t being counted on to save the franchise. Those elements should contribute to him playing loose, which is always the best way to feel on a ball field.
What will his numbers look like? Hard to say. But if Jazz gets 550 plate appearances this year, I think it’s reasonable for him to flirt with 20 bombs and 20 steals. His abilities are undeniable. The issue will be his hit tool. If he can stay above the Mendoza Line, though, his power, speed, and defense will make him a valuable player. Would you take your second baseman hitting .230/.320/.450 with 20 homers and 20 stolen bases, while playing good defense? Most teams would. That’s a 3- to 4-win player.
Jazz Chisholm turned 23 in February. This man has the skills and the swagger to be the face of the Miami Marlins. Here’s hoping this season is the start of an illustrious career for Jazz in Miami Blue and Caliente Red.