Jazz Chisholm Shows Power And Speed
After missing most of 2017 with a torn meniscus, shortstop Jazz Chisholm finally got a chance to showcase his explosive tool set at a full-season level. He did not disappoint.
He played well at low Class A Kane County, then broke out over the season’s final six weeks following a promotion to high Class A Visalia. All told, Chisholm hit .272/.329/.513 with 25 home runs and 17 stolen bases.
Assistant general manager Amiel Sawdaye said Chisholm showed improvement in his approach at the plate, though he still has a ways to go, evidenced by his 29.7 percent strikeout rate.
"I think he’s more cognizant of what he needs to do,” Sawdaye said. "He can still get big and try to hit the 500-foot home run, but he has really easy raw power and it can clearly translate in games when he gets a good pitch to hit.”
The 20-year-old Chisholm also was charged with 27 errors, but the organization and rival scouts still view him as a future shortstop.
Acquired from the Yankees in February as part of the three-team deal that also included outfielder Steven Souza, righthander Taylor Widener turned in the most consistent season of any pitching prospect in the system.
With Double-A Jackson, Widener struck out 11.5 batters per nine innings, walked just 2.8 and allowed 99 hits in 137.1 innings, doing so by leaning heavily on his fastball. The pitch, which ranges from 90-95 mph, generates swings and misses, particularly up in the zone.
Double-A Jackson pitching coach Doug Drabek said Widener had some ups and downs throughout the year with his stuff. While he struggled to maintain consistency with his slider, he improved his changeup by turning it into more of a power pitch.
"I think toward the end of the year,” Drabek said, "he had a better idea of what he wanted to do or needed to do with each pitch.”
Widener still elicits split opinions on his future big league role, with some seeing a potential late-inning reliever.
GM Meetings Notebook: Nolan Gorman Impresses Cardinals Brass With Play At Second Base
Plus notes on MacKenzie Gore, Oneil Cruz and Geraldo Perdomo.
KEEP AN EYE ON
Shortstop Geraldo Perdomo built on the plate discipline skills he showed in the Dominican Summer League last year and put together a strong first season in the U.S., hitting .322/.438/.460 across three levels. He finished with short-season Hillsboro.
With his advanced plate discipline, the ability to stick at shortstop and a frame that can add significant bulk, Perdomo could have a high ceiling.