Jazz Chisholm Keeps An Even Keel
When it comes to Double-A Jackson shortstop Jazz Chisholm, there’s still no questioning the 21-year-old's tools and ability.
It’s just been a matter translating raw ability into results on a consistent basis in the Southern League, something that has yet to happen in his first taste of Double-A.
"There’s been some adjustment periods with him, but to his credit he’s worked hard on a lot of things,” Jackson manager Blake Lalli said. "I really think it’s one of those things where you’re so close to it clicking. And when it clicks it’s going to be, ‘Look out,’ and it’s going to be dangerous.”
For Chisholm, who entered the year as the organization's No. 1 prospect, his season has been a mix of good and bad. Through 87 games, he was hitting just .199 with a strikeout rate of 34 percent. Yet he also had hit 18 home runs, stolen 13 bases and drawn 40 walks.
He has strong batted-ball data to support his power numbers. According to a source, Chisholm’s average exit velocity of 92.1 mph was well above the Double-A average of 87.7 mph. He had put 47.9 percent of balls in play at 95 mph or harder, way above the average of 34.8 percent.
"I’ve never been big on the term ‘bad luck’ because I don’t like the mental side of it,” Lalli said. "I don’t want to preach, ‘Poor you.’ But I would say he has run into some bad luck this year.”
Part of it, though, could be an issue with his approach. The lefthanded-hitting Chisholm’s balls in play have gone heavily to his pull side, leading to balls getting hit into the shift. Lalli said there have been times Chisholm has tried too hard to manufacture power rather than staying up-the-middle with his approach, something that's contributed to his high strikeout rate.
"We’ve seen that, for sure,” he said. "At times, he’s trying to do a little too much.”
Lalli sounded encouraged by the way Chisholm has handled his struggles.
"Obviously, no hitter is going to tell you they’re ecstatic with his results,” Lalli said. "His attitude and work ethic hasn’t changed a bit.”
— Righthander Josh Green was promoted to Double-A Jackson after posting 1.73 ERA in 78 innings in high Class A Visalia. Green had a 2.77 ERA through two starts in Double-A.
— Short-season Hillsboro outfielder Kristian Robinson continued to perform in the Northwest League. The 18-year-old hit .322/.396/.584 with nine home runs and eight stolen bases through 39 games.