Exclusive: Jazz Chisholm Discusses Growing Up, Miami Marlins, and More
Feb 26, 2019; Mesa, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Chris Stewart (37) celebrates with shortstop Jazz Chisholm (82) after scoring in the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Born on the Nassau Island in the Bahamas, Jazz Chisholm was the beginning of a new wing of players being produced by the Bahamas. When he was 12, Chisholm moved to Kansas for high school to pursue higher competition. After high school, Chisholm went back to the Bahamas and signed on with the Arizona Diamondbacks as an international free agent in July 2015.
Chisholm played for the Great Britain National Team in 2017 for the World Baseball Classic qualifiers. In July 2019, he was traded from the Diamondbacks to the Miami Marlins for a right-handed pitching prospect in Zac Gallen. He took off with the Marlins and continued that in the Roberto Clemente League in Puerto Rico during winter ball.
Overall, in his four seasons in the minors, Chisholm has shown some great power and speed as well as great defense. He has slashed .255/.327/.462 with a .788 OPS, 56 home runs, 173 RBI, 50 doubles, 16 triples, and 49 stolen bases.
Chisholm generously granted some time to Prime Time Sports Talk last month while he was in Puerto Rico playing winter ball for a nice chat.
This interview was condensed for clarity purposes. Any modifications made to this interview are listed in brackets.
Yehuda Schwartz: So, you are playing in Puerto Rico. How has the experience been?
Jazz Chisholm: It’s been a great and cool experience.
Yehuda: How has the transition from Arizona to Miami been?
Jazz: It’s like coming home. A different culture. It was very cool because there were lots of players that I played against or with that opened me with open arms like Jordan Yamamoto.
Yehuda: How are the Marlins fans?
Jazz: The fans are great. I went to the stadium when I got traded and everyone was welcoming and just a really great reception.
Yehuda: Are there many differences in the player development side between Miami and Arizona?
Jazz: Miami is more hands-on but there aren’t really that many differences.
Yehuda: What can you tell me about the guys in the pipeline?
Jazz: We have a really strong core and in the next year or two, the Marlins are going to be must-watch baseball because we have guys like Sixto Sanchez, Jorge Guzman, Edward Cabrera coming up.
Yehuda: Is there a limit to the amount of training that players do?
Jazz: It’s more about keeping your body safe and making sure that there isn’t stuff that feels pushed too much. If you feel like you are going to tear something, don’t do it.
Yehuda: What is it like to represent the Bahamas as one of the best players to come out of the Island?
Jazz: I would be the seventh [player out of the Bahamas] and it is kind of cool. I keep telling people that the Bahamas is a nice little place and we can play some ball. We have some good dudes like Anfernee Seymour, Lucius Fox, Ian Lewis, Zain Banister, Kristian Robinson, the Knowles duo, Tahnaj Thomas, and many others.
Yehuda: What was the main thing you were trying to do?
Jazz: I was trying to stay within myself and trust my game. In the beginning, I was trying to be passive at the plate and that is what got me to what I was.
Yehuda: How are the Bahamas recovering?
Jazz: We are actually doing great. Between all the foundations — the Marlins made one, Buddy Hield made one — everything is great, thank God. All the foundations were great and we are really appreciative.
Yehuda: You have this cool home run derby in the Bahamas that you participate in every year. Can you tell me about that?
Jazz: We have some big names like Monte Harrison, Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., Fernando Tatis, Jr., Lewis Brinson, and Lucius Fox [who] all come, although not all play. It’s a fun little thing, it’s more for foundations, it’s free to get in, and you can come out and see some dingers into the ocean. It is to show that the Bahamas have some good players and we don’t just play track and field and basketball.
Yehuda: Three underrated Marlins prospects to come up with you?
Jazz: Lewis Diaz should be higher hit 27 homers, Jorge Guzman is a monster, and Nick Neidert is dominant.
Yehuda: What happened with that trade?
Jazz: It was unexpected and weird. I was happy but felt weird and didn’t think that it happened. I didn’t believe it when I saw my name. I was at the field around 12:00 [p.m.] before guys came to the field and I got called by Mike Hazen and Mike Bell and they [asked] how I was doing. [Then, they said], ‘For a business move, we are trading you to Miami. There are no hard feelings; sorry we had to do it.’ I was happy because the complex is literally 10 minutes from my house. It is the only place I would’ve wanted to get traded to.
Yehuda: That’s awesome; what an adventurous day! … What is your favorite NFL team?
Jazz: The Kansas City Chiefs and my dude Patrick Mahomes. I lived near Kansas City for a while, which is right near Wichita, the new Marlins Triple-A affiliate, the Wichita WindSurge.
Yehuda: Who is your favorite NBA team?
Jazz: I don’t have one. It is wherever Russell Westbrook is. I watched his debut, which was electric, and have been a huge fan since.
Yehuda: Now to the one that matters: what is your favorite MLB team?
Jazz: I was a Marlins and Dodgers fan. I loved Hanley Ramirez, so that was why I loved them. When my little league team won the World Series, I got the chance to meet Dan Uggla and Hanley there, which was awesome.
Yehuda: That’s so cool! I think that should do it; thank you so much for your time!
Jazz: You bet!