Remember when the Miami Marlins traded Zac Gallen for Jazz Chisholm?
I’m embarrassed to say I was in the majority when I aired out my criticism of the Marlins ownership group for making the deal. Just a week into Spring Training, and everyone (myself included) is quickly realizing that Jazz Chisholm could be the next “must see” at Marlins Park.
Zac Gallen did, in fact, continue his solid rookie-campaign after joining the Arizona Diamondbacks. He pitched a total of 80 innings between the two franchises, with a 2.81 ERA, a .212 opposing batting average, a solid 1.23 WHIP, and struck out 96 batters.
When Chisholm came into the fold here, he hit .284/.383/.494 in 23 games for the Double-A level Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the Southern League, with nine extra base hits, including three of his 21 home runs last season.
Chisholm is currently ranked fourth on the MLB Pipeline for the Miami Marlins, and the number 54 prospect in all of baseball. His 50 hit tool is his lowest rating, bettered with a mark of 55 in power, arm, fielding, and speed. Although he’s just five-foot-11 and 165 lbs., sometimes good things come in small packages.
Chisholm generates a lot of power with his swing, although his strikeout rate is a lot higher than we like to see at the major league level. Although he’s currently tooled to someday be a 20ish home run hitter, he has all the makings of the next member of the Miami Marlins 30-30 club. According to MLB Pipeline:
Chisholm posts impressive exit velocities from the left side of the plate with an explosive swing that has natural loft. He showed in 2018 that he not only could tap into his plus raw power, but also apply it across the entire field, as some of his longest home runs were hit to straightaway center. His power does come with swing-and-miss tendencies, so he’ll need to refine his aggressive approach as he develops. He’s an above-average runner who receives praise for his instincts on the basepaths.
Since the beginning of Spring Training, Chisholm has turned heads with his major league ready-level defense. He’s taken 11 chances without an error in 16 innings of work, turning three double plays in the balance.
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Offensively, Chisholm has yet to produce an out, with a three-game slashline of 1.000/1.000/1.333. To wit, he’s three-for-three with three walks, a double, two RBI, and a pair of stolen bases. There’s some who think that he’ll never produce an out, but that’s just crazy, right?
Whatever the case, Chisholm is projected by ZiPS over at Fangraphs to put up a .200/.271/.369 slashline in 116 games if he spends the season at the major league level, with a 37 percent whiff rate. At any rate, he’s unlikely to break camp with the club now, but he’s showing that he’ll likely be ready sooner rather than later.
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