Bahamian professional baseball players Kristian Robinson and Jasrado “Jazz” Chisholm have climbed up the Major League Baseball (MLB) Top 100 Prospects List latest rankings.
The Arizona Diamondbacks’ Robinson moved up to a Top 40 prospect after moving up eight places from number 47 to number 39. Robinson is also the number one prospect on the Diamondbacks and is number nine among outfielders.
The Miami Marlins’ Chisholm moved up from number 72 to 61. He is the number four prospect on the Marlins.
Robinson was added to the D’backs’ 60-man player pool and was assigned to their alternative training site at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Arizona. That move came after he was surprisingly left off the list back in July.
Earlier this month, D’backs Farm Director Josh Barfield gave a positive review of Robinson when he arrived at the training site.
“Everyone else was already in mid-season form and it took him, like, two days to look like he’d been playing there all year,” Barfield said. “He had a few games where he’d do something to make you think, ‘We don’t have anyone else who can do that.’ He hit three homers – three opposite-field home runs – in back-to-back-to-back at-bats over at Chase Field. One in the pool, one over the pool and one on the concourse. He does some things that not many people can do.”
Robinson, who came through the Junior Baseball League of Nassau (JBLN), earned mid-season All-Star honors in the Class A Short Season Northwest League last year before advancing to the Class A Midwest League, where he was more than three years younger than the circuit’s average player.
Last season, the towering player hit .282 with 14 home runs and 51 RBIs (runs batted in) between two teams in the minor league system. He has shown that he can hit for power and average. Robinson also had a .514 slugging percentage (SLG) a year ago. His average fell off a bit when he was promoted to the Single-A level as he averaged .217, but he managed to hit five home runs in 25 games for the Kane County Cougars.
Although he is regarded as a power hitter, like most Bahamian athletes, he also has speed. Robinson stole a career-high 17 bases last season.
He has produced triple-digit exit velocities. Robinson is known for his ability to hit the ball with power, and since Spring Training, he added 25 pounds of muscle by time he went to the D’backs’ training site. Before putting on that muscle, the 6’ 3” towering power hitter weighed 190 pounds.
Chisholm, who plays shortstop or second base, depending on what the team needs, was called up to the MLB to play for the Marlins this season. He became the seventh Bahamian player to play in the MLB. The lefty batter appeared in 21 games this past regular season and finished with a .161 batting average. He finished with nine hits in 56 at-bats. He was able to come away with two home runs and six runs batted in (RBIs). He started 17 games – 11 at second base and six at shortstop.
However, Chisholm had 19 strikeouts during the regular season. Plate discipline is something that Marlins Manager Don Mattingly said he needs to keep working on.
“I think he’s going to have to make sure he continues to mature in his work, especially at the plate [and in] his discipline and work more than anything else,” Mattingly said. “He sees the ball really well. He sees it early, which is a trait of guys that really end up really hitting that are able to [see] balls so quickly and recognize. So, his energy’s been great, he works extremely hard. We’ve just got to make sure it works consistently, works smart.”
The Freedom Farm Baseball League product was able to show off his athleticism in his baserunning when he stole two bases on the season. That same athleticism was shown in the field as he made some near impossible grabs, including an improbable catch backtracking from second base to near center field to catch the Tampa Bay Rays’ first baseman Nate Lowe on September 6. That was the number one play on ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10 Plays.
Chisholm helped lead the Marlins to a 31-29 win-loss record in this COVID-19 60-game shortened season – their first winning season since 2009. Last year, they finished a National League (NL) worst 57-105 and became the first NL team, and second in all of baseball, to make the playoffs after a 100-loss season.
The 22-year-old played in one postseason game against the Atlanta Braves on October 8. He was able to record his first postseason hit to finish that game 1-for-3, to end with a batting average of .333. He was able to register a double with that hit that went off the left center field wall in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Once there is a full season next season, there is a possibility that Robinson will join the D’backs’ active roster and give The Bahamas its second straight player to be called up to an active MLB roster and its eighth MLB player.