Sports

Jazz hits first home run of the spring; Fox hitting .267

Bahamian Jasrado “Jazz” Chisholm got the start at shortstop and led off for the Miami Marlins on Sunday, and he made the most of it, drilling his first home run of the spring.

Chisholm ended a nine at-bat hitless streak, drilling a 0-1 pitch over the right center fence, pulling the Marlins to within 3-2 of the St. Louis Cardinals at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter, Florida – the spring training home of both the Marlins and Cardinals. The Marlins went on to lose the game, 7-3, and Chisholm finished with that solo home run in two at-bats. He struck out swinging in the first inning.

Chisholm’s solo shot came off Cardinals’ left-handed reliever Génesis Cabrera with no outs recorded in the top of the fifth. The lefty off lefty connection came with an exit velocity of 112 miles per hour (mph). In a defensive substitution, Chisholm was pulled a half inning later for José Devers who had a single in his only at-bat.

In nine spring training games, the Bahamian 22-year-old infielder is batting .308 with a home run and three RBIs. He has gone 4-for-13, has scored four runs, has two extra base hits and has stolen two bases. Chisholm has proven to be a patient batter as well. He leads the team in bases on balls with five and has a .500 on base percentage and a .615 slugging percentage.

The former Arizona Diamondbacks minor league player of the year is the No. 3 prospect in the Marlins organization and is No. 66 in all of Major League Baseball (MLB) according to MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects List for 2020.

Having already made the Marlins’ 40-man roster, Chisholm could make a quick rise to the big leagues at some point in 2020, if he is not on the opening day roster. On Sunday, he got his third start of the spring.

In an earlier interview, Chisholm said he’s primarily focused on

shortening his swing this spring. He is putting in a lot of work in trying to reduce a high strikeout rate from a year ago (32.1 percent). He said he has swung and missed at a pitch in the zone just once this spring, and he has only swung at a pitch out of the zone once.

“I feel like I’m in a good spot right now, because I’m not really hitting the ball in the air right now,” said Chisholm to Joe Frisaro, who is covering the Marlins for mlb.com. “I’m feeling good about that, because it’s easier to work from down, up. I feel my at-bats have been really good. I’m seeing the ball well – taking balls and swinging at strikes.”

Chisholm and the Marlins are tied for second in the 2020 Grapefruit League Standings with a 10-5 win-loss record, just a half game behind the league-leading Philadelphia Phillies (11-5). They will host the New York Mets at 1:05 p.m. today before taking on the World Series Champions Washington Nationals on Tuesday and the New York Yankees on Wednesday.

The Marlins will open their 2020 regular season on March 26, hosting the Phillies in the first of a four-game set at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida.

The other Bahamian shortstop in spring training, Lucius Fox, got his first start on Friday. In 11 spring training games, he is batting .267 (4-for-15) with four RBIs and one run scored. He has a one base percentage of .353 and a slugging percentage of .267.

Fox and the Tampa Bay Rays have a 9-5 win-loss record this spring. They tied the Pittsburgh Pirates, 2-2, at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida, yesterday. Fox finished 0-for-1 in that game. Fox and the Rays will play the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:07 p.m. today and will host the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday.

They will host the Pirates in the first of a three-game set at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, in their season opener, on March 26.

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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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