Bahamian professional baseball player Jasrado “Jazz” Chisholm hasn’t let record numbers of new coronavirus cases in Florida stop him from returning to camp.
The number three Major League baseball (MLB) prospect of the Miami Marlins according to MLB Pipeline, and number 66 in all of baseball, reported to work at the Marlins’ complex in Jupiter, Florida, on Saturday. MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) came to an agreement on a 60-game regular season, and the Bahamian shortstop is trying to make the Marlins 30-man opening day roster, particularly with a number of players testing positive for the coronavirus as the days go by and others opting not to play because of the danger imposed by the presence of the deadly disease.
Just a couple weeks ago, the minor league seasons for 2020 were cancelled. The majors are expected to begin play on July 23, after a three-week training period.
As for Chisholm, the 22-year-old shortstop was assigned to train with the organization’s top prospects at the complexes at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter. Invited to Spring Training in back-to-back years, Chisholm is regarded as a high-energy shortstop who can hit for power. His 25 home-runs led all minor league shortstops in 2018, and although his batting average took a dip, he still belted 21 home-runs in Double-A Baseball last year and drove in 54 runs.
The Bahamian missed the first week of camp, and now he has two weeks remaining to get ready for the regular season. The Marlins open up on July 24 at Philadelphia.
Even if he doesn’t make the opening day roster, it is likely that Chisholm could be in the big leagues at some point in 2020.
“It’s good to have Jazz back,” said Marlins’ Manager Don Mattingly during a Zoom call on Saturday. “The good thing about Jupiter is there’s lots of reps, so there’s lots of at-bats.”
The Marlins’ big leaguers are practicing at Marlins Park in Miami, along with a few other prospects – some of the favorites to make the opening day roster.
“The guys in Jupiter are real guys,” Mattingly said. “These aren’t just guys you threw there so they could take BP [batting practice]. [Jupiter] guys could get here [major leagues] quickly because of total necessity.”
Chisholm proved his worth in Spring Training, hitting .308 (4-for-13) with one home-run, two stolen bases and three RBIs in nine Grapefruit League games. He was acquired by the Marlins from the Arizona Diamondbacks last July.
“I think the real tragedy this year, and we don’t get to talk about it that much is, the minor league guys and development, because there are no games,” Mattingly said. “That’s tough, especially for an organization like ours, where you’re starting to fill up your system.”
Mattingly said that anyone on the 60-man player pool has a chance to be in the big leagues in 2020. A number of Bahamians are affected by the cancellation of the minor league seasons, and just two are on their respective team’s 60-man player pools for this season – Chisholm and Lucius Fox, who plays in the Tampa Bay Rays’ organization.
In coronavirus cases, Florida is the third-most impacted state in the United States, trailing New York and California. On Saturday a record number of new cases in a single day emerged as that number increased to 15,000-plus. An additional 12,000-plus new cases emerged on Sunday.
Teams were in Spring Training when the COVID-19 pandemic forced everything to shut down in mid-March.
Jump Line – Chisholm proved his worth in Spring Training, hitting .308 in nine games