“I Want To Get Back To My Game” | Marlins Second Baseman Xavier Edwards Hoping To Make 26-Man Opening Day Roster

“I Want To Get Back To My Game” | Marlins Second Baseman Xavier Edwards Hoping To Make 26-Man Opening Day Roster

The Miami Marlins have accrued some young talent over the last couple of years with reigning Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara and All-Star second baseman/centerfielder, Jazz Chisholm AKA “Bahamian Blur” leading the pack.

In fact, Chisholm became the first Bahamian-born player to make an All-Star roster in 2022. While those are the cornerstones of the rebuild going down in South Florida, manager Skip Schumaker is looking to add more talent to the roster. That may come in the form of the sweet-hitting Xavier Edwards, who’s looking to make the 26-man opening day roster at second base.



The 23-year-old, versatile player
was traded by the Tampa Bay Rays and shipped off to South Beach on November 15th, after his first stint in Triple-A saw him hit a career-high five homers. While his deep-ball accuracy got better his batting average dropped from a career .300 hitter to .246, not all that alarming when you consider hitters usually see a drop in batting average when they become more locked-in on going yard. But for the five-foot-ten, 175-pound Edwards, that’s not who he is as a hitter. Now, he wants to revert back to his former approach at the plate.


Xavier Edwards Is Going Back To What He Knows

In a January interview with Baseball America’s Marlins correspondent Walter Villa, Edwards addressed that very thing.

“I want to get back to my game,” said Edwards.

That means hitting for average and spraying the baseball to all parts of the field. Not just swinging for the fences.



Edwards Is A Switch-Hitting Base Thief

One of Edwards’ other attributes is his ability to get on-base, and then wreak havoc on opposing pitchers and catchers. In his career, he’s been successful in 82 of his 109 base-stealing attempts for a 75 percent clip.

That’s eight percent better than the MLB average of 67 percent. While that percentage might drop a bit against better pitchers, catchers and infielders at the MLB level, it shouldn’t change too drastically with Edward’s innate ability to identify the opportune moment to attempt a swipe.

Edwards is also a switch-hitter and has experience playing shortstop and third base. The one thing he prides himself on is his defensive versatility.



Edwards Is Attempting To Make A Talented Marlins Infield

Earning a spot on the talented Marlins infield won’t be easy, but the belief is Edwards has what it takes to make the 26-man roster. Edwards who’s familiar with the South Florida area — having played for the Rays after spending his junior and senior seasons of high school at North Broward Prep — has many rooting for his success.

One of his biggest supporters is his high school coach Brian Campbell who lauded Edwards as a player with leadership qualities that he exudes through hard work and dedication to the craft.

“He’s an amazing leader, an incredible worker and the most special I’ve player I’ve ever coached,” Campbell said. “But I’m even more proud he’s giving back to the community.”

Edwards has held a baseball camp at North Broward Prep for the last five years. It’s a free two-day experience for over 120 kids yearly.




Edwards knows how important it is to give back and grow the game amongst the melanated brothers.

“I’ve been given a lot of opportunities. It’s important for me to try to grow the game, especially among African-Americans.“

That’s vital with only 7.2 percent of MLB players being Black in 2022.

Hopefully, this talented MLBbro will find himself in the show in 2023. He can start by taking advantage of his spring training starts.

Is All That Jazz Too Much For The Marlins? | Perception Carries More Weight In The Marlins Clubhouse Than Performance

Is All That Jazz Too Much For The Marlins? | Perception Carries More Weight In The Marlins Clubhouse Than Performance

With offbeat personalities and a penchant for improvisation, Jazz musicians have been misunderstood for decades despite creating music which stands the test of time.  Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk left a body of work that has matured over the years, creating fans of all generations. The Miami Marlins already have their choice of the new generation, but it seems some in the organization have tuned out.

Jazz Chisholm has been Don Mattingly’s best player and the only reason worth watching the Marlins over the first quarter of the season. He’s the Bleek Gilliam from Spike Lee’s “Mo Better Blues” of baseball these days. However, after last week’s well -chronicled, 90-minute, private team only conversation, it’s clear that perception carries more weight in the Marlins clubhouse than  performance.

There’s something to be said when a team is struggling and they call a meeting to air grievances.  It’s another thing altogether when the most productive player is at the epicenter of the controversy. In this case, when parts of the team don’t fit, that has more to do with management than the employee.

Chisholm is balling out for Mattingly, but his teammates are clearly hating on him.  He’s the only reason to watch anything going in the National League East division’s bad fish isle. When fish goes bad, it stinks, which is why they are struggling to stay out of last place. 

Jazz was reportedly criticized by his teammates for bringing more attention to himself in an hour-and-a-half session to purge the Marlins of what ails them. Mattingly reportedly was – at the very least – concerned about the team talking privately about Chisholm behind his back, so he brokered the meeting to clear the air.  

It appears the underachieving overpaid 30 somethings who have stolen money under Donny Baseball’s watch don’t get the style of a new generation in Miami.  John Heyman of the New York Post reported that “teammates apparently aren’t always as enamored as fans who love the style and sizzle.”

Heyman also reports that some in the generationally divided clubhouse see Chisholm as a “Dennis Rodman”- type character who is constantly bringing attention to himself, which doesn’t endear him.  However, Rodman is a Hall of Famer who won five NBA titles and is considered by many as the greatest rebounder in NBA history. So if that’s the case, Chisholm could be the fish that saves baseball in south Florida. Baseball needs some attention in Broward County and a player with all that Jazz should be a perfect fit. 

Miami won four straight games after the meeting and suddenly all is wonderful in Crockett and Tubbs’ old neighborhood — at least temporarily. The success is, however, misleading because they “own” the Washington Nationals and caught the Houston Astros in the midst of a slump.

These are no longer the days of romance and reverence that defined the game of yesteryear.  Fans are not returning to the ballpark in droves following the shutdown of the pandemic. Young fans aren’t developing a reverence for the game that created a base to sustain itself as an entertainment product for years to come. Jazz Chisholm is a five-tool player who has must-see talent and should be appreciated.  He can turn the masses of fans dressed as empty seats into paying customers who buy overpriced concessions at the stadium if the Marlins franchise catches his vibe. 

Veteran MLBbro Niko Goodrum’s versatility continues to pay off as he makes his second consecutive start at second base on Sunday for Houston Astros.