Sports

Chisholm is a frontrunner for Rookie of the Year Award

Bahamian electrifying infielder with the Marlins expected back at the end of May

Despite being on the injured list (IL) for a week, the impact of Jasrado “Jazz” Chisholm is clear and obvious as he is already a frontrunner for the National League Rookie of the Year Award in Major League Baseball (MLB).

The Bahamian professional baseball player with the Miami Marlins had a tremendous first month of the season, with a slash line of .290/.375/.551, four home runs, seven RBIs (runs batted in) and 11 runs scored. Despite missing the Marlins’ last four games with a strained left hamstring, he is second on the team in batting (.290) and slugging percentage (SLG) – .551, tied for second in home runs with four and bases on balls with nine, third in on-base percentage (OBP) – .375, fourth in hits with 20, in a three-way tie for fourth in runs scored with 11, and is in a three-way tie for sixth in RBIs with seven.

Chisholm leads all Major League Baseball second basemen in on-base, plus slugging percentage (OPS) – .926, and is tied for the lead in the National League and tied for third in the majors in stolen bases with seven.

According to Score Media and Gaming (theScore), a digital media company based in Toronto, Canada, that analyzes sports scores, data and news in major professional leagues, Chisholm is out front in the race for the National League Rookie of the Year Award. If successful, he will join a list that includes Hall of Fame players Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Willie McCovey and Johnny Bench just to name a few. 

In sizing up the 23-year-old talented infielder, theScore stated: “He’s fast, he’s brash, and he’s incredibly fun to watch. Chisholm may be on the IL, but that doesn’t change how exciting and productive the speedy infielder was before straining his hamstring. Stolen bases are becoming increasingly rare, but Chisholm has showcased an ability to run wild while also flexing his muscle, and a 30-30 season seems to be within his grasp. If he doesn’t miss too much time, he could still run all the way to the NL’s top rookie prize.”

Chisholm suffered the leg while running the bases in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers last Tuesday. After beating out an infield hit on the first pitch of the game, Chisholm stole second, which is when he appeared to suffer the 

injury, advanced to third on a groundout by Miguel Rojas and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jesús Aguilar. He was taken out of the game after scoring.

The speedy infielder, who is regarded by Statcast and MLB.com as one of the most exciting young stars in the majors, is expected to return to action around the end of May. Isan Díaz, who was beaten out for the starting second baseman job in spring training by Chisholm, has been filling in his absence.

The Marlins are certainly feeling the pinch, losing four out of five in Chisholm’s absence, and dropping to the bottom of the NL East Division with an 11-16 win/loss record, but just two and a half games behind the frontrunning Washington Nationals. The Marlins were swept by the Nationals over the weekend. Chisholm, a consistent and legitimate speed-power threat, has a 1.0 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) stat, a calculation by online site FanGraphs in determining how valuable a player is in comparison to a replacement level player.

Listed second on theScore for early season contender for the National League Rookie of the Year Award is Chisholm’s teammate Trevor Rogers, who is leading the Marlins’ pitching rotation with three wins, a 1.91 ERA (earned run average) and 44 strikeouts. St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Dylan Carlson is third on the list, Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Ian Anderson is fourth, and Rockies catcher Dom Núñez is fifth.

Receiving honorable mention on the early-season list is Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson, Brewers outfielder Tyrone Taylor, Philadelphia Phillies infielder Nick Maton, Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Pavin Smith and Braves starting pitcher Huascar Ynoa.

Leading the list for the award in the American League is Chicago White Sox catcher Yermín Mercedes. A trio of pitchers, Michael Kopech of the White Sox, Emmanuel Clase of the Cleveland Indians and Garrett Whitlock of the Boston Red Sox, in that order, follow Mercedes on the list. Texas Rangers outfielder Adolis Garcia is fifth on the list.

As for Chisholm, the electrifying young infielder is turning heads this season. Before going on the injured list, he broke out of a dreadful 0-for-12 slump – his longest of the season – and had three hits in his last six at-bats. His batting average was as high as .341 on the season, before settling at .290.

Chisholm was plugged into the lead-off role in his last seven games, going 7-for-27 over that span (.259). His slash line of .290/.375/.551 is among the best in the majors among starting second basemen.

Defensively, Chisholm has 58 assists and 21 putouts in 81 total chances, splitting time between second base and shortstop. He has just two errors on the season and has been a part of 16 double plays.

The Marlins prepare for a six-game homestand against the Diamondbacks and Brewers, starting today. First pitch against the Diamondbacks is set for 6:40 p.m. today at LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida. 

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Sheldon Longley

Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.

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