Jazz Chisholm Finds New Life With Marlins
Bahamian shortstop Jazz Chisholm moved from home at age 12, living with a host family in Wichita while he pursued his dreams in basketball, football and baseball.
Ironically, it was back home on summer break two years later when he first got on a baseball scout’s radar.
"My coach called me as soon as I landed,” Chisholm said. "I went straight from the plane to the field, and I went 4-for-4. A scout from the Texas Rangers told me, ‘I’ve got my eyes on you, kid.’ ”
The D-backs must have been watching, too, because they signed Chisholm for $200,000 in 2015. Three years later he led all minor league shortstops with 25 home runs.
In 2019, Chisholm's power-speed potential inspired the Marlins to acquire him in July for promising rookie righthander Zac Gallen.
In 112 Double-A games this season, the 21-year-old Chisholm hit 21 homers and stole 16 bases in 20 attempts.
"Every year, I try to go 30-30,” Chisholm said, "but this was not my best year in any aspect.”
Chisholm hit just .220 and struck out 147 times, second most in the Southern League. But he also drew a career high 52 walks, and the Marlins were intrigued by his tools, especially after he hit .284 with an .877 OPS after the trade.
"I wouldn’t call .284 great,” Chisholm said. "I want to hit .350, win batting titles and be MVP.”
The Marlins would love that, too. But in the meantime, Chisholm, who has uncles, aunts and cousins living in Florida, plans to go back home to the Bahamas in November to visit the islands badly damaged by Hurricane Dorian, which struck on Sept. 1 and is considered the worst natural disaster in the country’s history.
"It was a tragedy,” Chisholm said.
Although Chisholm’s family members were spared, the Category 5 storm with maximum winds of 185 mph caused at least 61 deaths with 400 people still missing. Thousands of homes were destroyed.
When the hurricane hit, Chisholm was consumed with worry because he couldn’t reach his family by phone—power lines were down—but he was relieved when he finally heard their voices.
In the aftermath, the Marlins were one of many entities who raised funds to help the Bahamas.
"I’m super proud of the Marlins,” Chisholm said. "The community here—I can’t thank them enough.”