Miami Marlins infielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. has turned heads across the league since the day he stepped foot on the baseball field. The blue hair, diamond chains, waffle-cone inspired gloves and euro-step home run celebration have all been a breath of fresh air in a game desperate for new blood.
Chisholm has embraced the spotlight like a natural, and now he looks to get comfortable at a new spot, leadoff hitter. I ran into Jazz during pregame warmups in Atlanta and asked him about his mentality when stepping into his new role in the lineup. Marlins fans should enjoy what the young star had to say.
“I just keep my dog mentality,” said Chisholm Jr. “Just letting people know that there’s no one that can stop me. Going in there and knowing that’s my spot, and I’m going to do my thing every time I step in the box. I’m trying to get back locked in and not give away any at bats.”
That dog mentality was on display in game two of the Marlins’ three-game set in Atlanta. Chisholm stepped into the box and launched Ian Anderson’s first pitch of the game off the scoreboard in deep right center field for a leadoff home run.
The leadoff homer was just the beginning, as Jazz would end the night 4-for-6 with a single, double, three RBI and two stolen bases. Even after having a day most big leaguers would kill for, young Jazz still wanted more.
“The last at-bat I wanted it (a triple),”Chisholm said after the game. “I was going for the gaps. I won’t lie.”
We all know the speed that Chisholm possesses, but it’s his power numbers to start the season that make him especially dangerous as the lineup’s party starter. As of Monday morning, Jazz’s 1.067 OPS ranked sixth in the league, and that number is bolstered by his league leading .727 slugging percentage. A .295 batting average is nothing to mull over either, so if the power numbers can hold, Chisholm may be headed for a true breakout season.
All of his recent success at the plate may allow some to forget that Chisholm rated as a plus shortstop coming into the bigs. Despite such a high grade from scouts, Jazz has spent most of his time in the bigs at second base. One can only imagine how his development at short would have gone under the stewardship of Yankee legend and former Marlins CEO Derek Jeter.
Jazz Chisholm has his sights set on greatness. pic.twitter.com/TV5mtmO033
— MLB (@MLB) April 11, 2021
Most CEOs aren’t involved directly with player development, they just hire the people who handle that aspect of team construction. But with a talent like Chisholm, who expressed his preference of shortstop to me directly, you would think one of the all-time greats would have no issue passing on knowledge.
But as Jeter expressed when he made his shocking decision to step down as CEO and shareholder, “The vision for the future of the franchise is different than the one I signed up to lead.”
The Miami Marlins brought in vets, like World Series MVP Jorge Soler, to help Don Mattingly’s youngsters on the daily, but history has shown us that any Marlins playoff run will be sparked by their young stars. With a budding superstar like our MLBbro Jazz Chisholm Jr. in the fold, that breakout may come sooner than we expected.