Sports

Jazz showing star potential with the Marlins

Bahamian pro player said he’s just having fun and trying to produce everyday

Whether it’s his improved hitting, his recent power surge, speed on the basepaths, or ability to make plays defensively, Jasrado “Jazz” Chisholm’s jovial spirit and infectious smile is proving to be a welcomed addition to the clubhouse of the Miami Marlins. The team is feeding off his enthusiasm and is producing.

The regular starting second baseman of the Marlins had another productive day yesterday, hitting safely in his fourth straight game, including an extra-base hit for the fourth straight time. Chisholm finished with a double in four-at bats and scored a run, raising his batting average up to .258 – the highest it’s ever been. He’s batting 5-for-14 (.357) in his last four games.

Chisholm and the Marlins came within two outs of sweeping the reigning division champions Atlanta Braves on their home field at Truist Park in Atlanta, Georgia. They lost 7-6 on a walk-off single from Braves’ shortstop Dansby Swanson in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Chisholm said he’s just having fun out there, and that enthusiastic approach certainly appears to be catching on with his teammates and could be a huge reason for their recent success. Prior to yesterday’s tough loss, the Marlins had won four straight and are third in the National League East of Major League Baseball (MLB) with a 5-7 win/loss record, trailing just the front-running New York Mets (5-3) and the Philadelphia Phillies (6-6). The reigning division champs Braves, who just lost three out of four to the Marlins, are fourth at 5-8.

On the Ringer Podcast Network with former Cy Young Award winner CC Sabathia and radio sportscaster Ryan Ruocco, the 23-year-old Bahamian professional baseball player said he’s just being himself.

“I’m a part of this group that loves to go out there and have fun. We’re going to let our presence be felt,” he said. “This game is fun. Kids have to love the game in order to keep wanting to play. This is a sport that everyone could have fun playing. I want them (youngsters) to take away anything they can to better their game – the high energy and the love for the game. You can’t just go out there and play this game – you have to go out there and love this game. I want them to see that I’m playing this game with a passion. I love this game.”

Going into yesterday’s game, the Marlins’ breakout star came off a performance on Wednesday in which he blasted his second home run of the season – a three-run shot off Braves’ starter Charlie Morton which gave the Marlins a 5-0 lead in the top of the third, Euro-stepping across home plate. The Marlins went on to win that game, 6-5, in 10 innings. The following day, they took a 6-5 into the bottom of the ninth but the Braves scored twice in that frame to win the game.

Chisholm now has eight hits in 31 at-bats this season, two of which are home runs, has five RBIs (runs batted in) and has scored five times. He also has three stolen bases and seven bases on balls. He has a .385 on-base percentage (OBP), a .613 slugging percentage (SLG.) and a .998 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS).

His first home run about a week ago was off two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets – a towering 402-foot blast to the upper deck at Citi Field in New York City, New York. The Mets’ ace pitcher had never before given up an 0-2 home run, but Chisholm turned on a 100.4 miles per hour (mph) four-seam fastball from him and deposited it into the upper deck seats.

Chisholm said during the podcast coming into this season, the two pitchers he desires to hit home runs off the most are deGrom and the pitcher he was traded for Zac Gallen. He got his wish with deGrom, and now is looking to do the same to Gallen. Chisholm and the Marlins host Gallen and the Arizona Diamondbacks at LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida, for a three-game set from May 4-6. The following week, they travel to Phoenix, Arizona, to play the Diamondbacks in a four-game set at Chase Field.

“I said from Spring Training that I was going to face deGrom, he’s going to throw me 100, and I’m going to take him deep, and everyone in the world is going to be like ‘how did you do that?’,” said Chisholm. “You have to bring that energy and that swag, and now everyone is like baseball is swaggy too. That’s just my personality. I’m just being me.”

On his arrival in Miami, Chisholm said he just tried to take ion as much as possible from the people around him, particularly Marlins’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Derek Jeter, the legendary shortstop with the New York Yankees who retired in 2014.

“He told me to try to be the best player everyday – take it one day at a time, do it one day and the next day just do it again. That’s what I try to do,” said Chisholm. “I try to get my mind right for the game everyday and just come out and execute everyday. Being the best player out there means you helped your team win in some win. That’s what you have to do be a Hall of Fame player everyday and I embrace that.”

In the game yesterday, Chisholm got his second start of the season at shortstop and switched to second base in the bottom of the ninth. He batted sixth in the Marlins’ lineup and had another errorless day in the field.

Chisholm and the Marlins begin a three-game set against fellow Bahamian Antoan Richardson and the San Francisco Giants at LoanDepot Park in Miami today. Richardson is a first-base coach with the Giants and was the sixth Bahamian to play in the majors. Chisholm was the seventh. He and Richardson are the only two living major leaguers from The Bahamas.

Meanwhile the word is out on Chisholm. He is being regarded as an electrifying talent, unlike any other position player that the Marlins have had since their rebuild began with Jeter’s arrival in 2017.

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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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