Written by: Jon Giles
Follow him on Twitter: @PumaRevived
Follow Prospects Worldwide on Twitter: @ProspectsWorldW
Jazz Chisolm SS – Miami Marlins (AA)
22 Years Old – Throw: R – Bat: L – 5’11″ 165lbs – ETA 2021
|35 / 45||55 / 60||50 / 55||55 / 55||55 / 55||55 / 55||55|
The 2019 MLB trade deadline was quite an important one for the future of the Miami Marlins. With incoming top prospects like Lewin Diaz and Jesus Sanchez, there’s no wonder the excitement was as high as ever. The trade that stuck out the most to many Marlins fans was, however, for an even greater prospect: elite athlete Jazz Chisolm.
From a tools perspective, he’s a gold mine. Chisolm combines high-efficiency defense with an incredibly rare blend of power and speed. His above-average power was even a bigger plus when you consider his position. Shortstop is heavily influenced by a player’s defense—a bat is just a luxury. His quick-twitch explosion is incredibly intriguing in the long term, and he has four of the five necessary tools to thrive in the big leagues.
Four out of five tools are in fact not five out of five tools. That is a clumsy and odd sentence to write out, certainly, but it is necessary to understand that this glorious Adonis of a shortstop prospect has one fatal flaw: contact.
Jazz simply speeds the bat through the zone with so much uncontrolled power, he loses any contact ability, relying nearly entirely on pitch recognition.
As a prospect, Jazz has relied on sheer strength and athleticism, using his lofty left-handed swing to carry balls long and far. Then pitchers started realizing his free-swinging, overly aggressive pulls were incredibly easy to take advantage of by simply pitching away. His career K% has remained steady at around 30%, a BB% just under 10, and a career minor league batting average of .255. All this, compiled with his athleticism, would compare him roughly to the likes of Niko Goodrum—a replacement level Tiger. With a batted ball rate that patterns closely to All-Star and Silver Slugger Alex Bregman (45% FB, 25% LD, pull hitter) you start to get a tad more excited. The problem is, you only get those ‘batted ball’ numbers, when you actually hit the ball…something Chisolm has extreme problems with.
When Chisolm makes contact, the ball absolutely flies out of the park. With 40% of his career hits being for extra bases, Jazz finds both the gaps on the field and the seats off it.
Specifically, he has some extreme exit velocity when he makes contact, and will consistently top the charts in the majors in that category
From a pure scouting level, more than box score skin deep, Jazz compares more to players like Javier Baez or current Marlin Jonathan Villar: a 20/20 guy with potential for more, and elite defense. His swing is loud and lofty, though a bit unbalanced. He’s still learning pitch recognition and has been able to spray the ball to all fields in previous years. Defensively, he has the tools, range, and natural ability to play shortstop without question. His footwork has been improving in his throws across the diamond, as well as in his receiving; he now has much more fluid strides while tracking the ball.
If Chisolm can work on his plate discipline (bettering his K/BB%, thereby bettering his hit tool), then we can officially declare him the future king of the Miami infield. Until then, I’ll call him a place holder in a long line of potential Marlins shortstops. We can expect Jazz Chisolm to arrive in the big leagues in 2021, but be aware that his hierarchical reign may be short. Jose Devers (2022 ETA), Osiris Johnson (2023 ETA), and Jose Salas (2024 ETA) all possess the hit tool Chisolm lacks—to go along with matching tools in the field and with the glove.