Jazz Chisholm: Future Marlins Standout?
The Marlins young, toolsy 2B/SS prospect made his Major League debut this season. The Marlins showed they loved the potential that Chisholm offers by making a rare prospect for prospect trade at the 2019 deadline that sent Zac Gallen to Arizona and Jazz Chisholm to Miami. Upon his arrival in Miami, the teams hitting coaches really began to work with him on his contact skills, and the results showed. In 364 plate appearances with Arizona, Chisholm hit .204 with 18 home runs and 13 stolen bases. Upon arrival in Miami, he made strides by cutting his strikeout rate eight percent and slashing .284/.383/.494.
Jazz Chisholm has all the tools to be a power/speed monster for Fantasy Baseball, but his hit tool remains suspect. Chisholm’s small Major League sample flashed his ability, but what can we learn from his performance? This deep dive will look into Jazz Chisholm’s profile to forecast his 2021 and dynasty value.
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Meet Jazz Chisholm
MILB and MLB Stats
Playing time will be a huge factor in projecting Jazz Chisholm for 2021. After seeing regular playing upon his call up, Chisholm played in just four of the team’s final 11 games, which is concerning. Fortunately, he finished the regular season strong by going 2/4 with a home run and three RBI. He can play second base or shortstop, which are currently occupied by Jon Berti and Miguel Rojas. He has more upside than both players, so it will be interesting how they use him moving forward.
Currently, it is hard to project playing time for Chisholm in 2021. If he has a strong spring, it is hard to imagine the Marlins keep him out of the lineup. It is also possible that Chisholm gets some more work in triple-A, considering he never played above double-A before making his debut. I know you are probably looking for answers, but at the moment, playing time will need to be monitored up into the spring.
Batted Ball Data
At first glance into Jazz Chisholm’s batted ball data, his small Major League sample looks like an outlier. Compared to his MILB samples, Chisholm had a meager line drive rate in 2020. This was possibly the cause of an extremely low BABIP at .200, hitting a ton of balls on the ground and in the air. Again, looking at the Minor League samples, you will see an extremely different line drive rate and BABIP.
It is also worth noting that Jazz has also been a heavy pull hitter throughout his Minor League career. In his Major League debut, he pulled just 29.7 percent of his batted balls. Over a full season, that number would likely move toward his career normal, which is between 45 and 50 percent. It is also worth noting that Chisholm has struggled upon promotion at each level, and 62 plate appearances in the MLB is such a small sample. It is important to look at Chisholm’s larger body of work.
The plate discipline metrics are compared to MLB league averages to show that Jazz Chisholm held his own as a young, 22-year-old rookie. Again, the samples are small, but Chisholm showed why he has elite OBP upside thanks to his patient approach at the plate. He only swung at 26.4 percent of pitches outside of the zone(Z-Swing), which is better than league average.
The unfortunate thing about Chisholm is he does not swing at a high percentage of pitches in general. If he wants to hit his full potential, he needs to swing the bat more. A 38.4 percent swing rate may draw you a decent amount of walks, but a hitter like Chisholm needs to be more aggressive.
The good news is that when Chisholm swings at pitches in the zone(Z-Contact), he makes elite contact. A 91.4 percent Z-Contact rate is quite impressive for a young rookie in his first taste of the Majors. His overall contact rate of 75.2 percent is right in line with the league average but could see improvements as Chisholm matures as a hitter.
His swinging strike percentage of 9.5 percent is a very respectable number and showed much improvement from his Minor League numbers. After examining Jazz Chisholm’s plate discipline, I am extremely encouraged and see signs that he could continue to improve as a hitter based on his approach.
|PA||HR||Barrel%||Exit Velocity||Exit Velo(LD/FB)||Max Exit Velo||Hard-Hit%|
|62||2||10.8%||87.1 MPH||92.9 MPH||106.2 MPH||29.7%|
When looking at Jazz Chisholm’s power projection, it is important to remember his MLB sample was tiny at 37 batted ball events. These statcast numbers did not have time to stabilize, but they are worth noting.
First, Chisholm had a strong barrel rate of 10.8 percent. With 15 percent being considered elite, Jazz finds himself in good company. His exit velocity and hard-hit rate are lower than you would like, but it is important to remember this was Chisholm’s first taste of the MLB. In a small sample like this, max exit velocity is a good thing to look at. Unfortunately, Jazz does not stand out in that category at just 106.2 mph. I would not be overly discouraged by his low exit velocity and hard-hit rate, though. He has shown he is more than capable of hitting the ball very hard in the Minor Leagues thanks to his elite bat speed.
Looking at Jazz Chisholm’s spray chart above, he had a lot of loud outs. The more impressive thing, he showed the ability to hit the ball deep the opposite way. Several of Chisholm’s deep outs could have easily turned into home runs in some stadiums, which is encouraging. In a peak season, Chisholm has the upside to hit 25-28 home runs.
Jazz Chisholm was graded as a 60-grade runner as a prospect, which is plus speed. In both Chisholm’s full seasons in 2018 and 2019, he showed the ability to use his speed to steal bases efficiently. He stole 17 and 16 in those seasons, respectively. Upon his debut this season, Chisholm was clocked at a 27.8 feet per second sprint speed, placing him 74th percentile among players. The sprint speed placed him right in line with players like Bo Bichette, Xander Bogaerts, and Bryce Harper, who are more than capable base stealers. I feel safe projecting to steal 15 bases regularly throughout his career.
Several of Jazz Chisholm’s statcast data has been discussed when looking at his power output. There are some encouraging signs, as well as some discouraging. While Chisholm’s overall stat line was not overly impressive, the expected stats suggest that he deserved a little better. The expected slash line is still nothing impressive but ended up at .174/.254/.340.
The better news, Chisholm had a healthy average launch angle of 15.6 degrees and a sweet spot percentage of 27 percent. It would be interesting to see how the statcast data would have played out if Jazz played an entire season. But for now, take this data with a grain of salt.
Much of Jazz Chisholm’s 2021 outlook will be based on playing time. Right now, playing time is a question mark for him. If he comes out hot in Spring Training, he could also earn an everyday starting spot. It is also possible he gets more development time in the Minor Leagues.
It is extremely early to try and project ADP, but Chisholm will likely be a late-round dart throw. If you can get him at the back end of drafts, it is a good spot to take a chance on Chisholm. If he hits, you could get a guy who plays a premium position in second base and give you a .250 batting average and a nice power-speed combo. Remember, the Marlins are still working to refine Chisholm’s approach at the plate, so there is room to grow.
Long term, I love the potential that Jazz Chisholm brings to the table. Having duel eligibility at second base and shortstop is huge for Fantasy purposes. The power/speed combo that he brings to the table far outweighs the potential low batting average. In a peak season for Chisholm, I see 25-28 home run power with 15 steals annually.
Chisholms hit tools could lead to a fluctuating batting average, but he should settle in around a .250 hitter with the ability to hit .260. Chisholm’s plate discipline also gives him a huge plus in OBP leagues. There is a reason Jazz Chisholm has been a top prospect throughout his time in the Minor Leagues, and he is a player that you want to own in dynasty leagues for the upside.
If you enjoyed this deep dive, be sure to check out Eric Cross’s piece on “Alec Bohm.” Can he be the next Freddie Freeman? Read to find out!
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