Relive all of the ups and downs of the 2023 Miami Marlins with our Fish On First Season Review, containing detailed articles about a wide variety of players. The FOF staff analyzes the individual impact that each of them had and what it means for their future with the organization.
This installment focuses on center fielder Jazz Chisholm Jr.
- January 20—Kim Ng announced move from second base to center field following the acquisition of Luis Arraez
- May 13—left game early after running into outfield wall
- May 16—placed on the 10-day injured list (right turf toe)
- June 20—sent on a minor league rehab assignment (Triple-A Jacksonville)
- June 26—activated from the 10-day injured list
- July 3—placed on the 10-day injured list (left oblique strain)
- July 30—sent on a minor league rehab assignment (Low-A Jupiter)
- July 31—activated from the 10-day injured list
- October 10—undergoes successful turf toe surgery
Season Stats: 97 G, .250/.304/.457/.761, 19 HR, 51 RBI, 103 wRC+
Prior to this year, Jazz Chisholm Jr. had zero experience playing the outfield. That was easy to see throughout spring training based on his misreads, bad throws and overall struggles with his transition to a new position.
As the season went on, however, Chisholm showed improvement. By Statcast’s outs above average, he ranked as one of the better center fielders in baseball and finished in the 87th percentile among all major leaguers (second among Marlins players behind only Jon Berti).
Offensively, it was once again difficult to gauge. Chisholm did not come close to playing a full season due to two stints on the injured list.
Chisholm set a new career high with 19 home runs and he led the Marlins with 22 stolen bases (88% success rate). He ended the regular season on a high note, which included a mid-September series sweep of the Atlanta Braves where he became the only player in franchise history to hit grand slams in back-to-back games. Those were the only grand slams for the 2023 Marlins.
That being said, Chisholm still struggled to get on base with a .304 OBP (same as his career average). He struck out more often than ever (30.8 K%). During his 2022 All-Star campaign, he elevated the ball more consistently, but like many of his teammates, he grounded out a lot this season (47.8 GB%). He also grounded into four double plays after doing so only three times from 2020-2022 combined.
With the managerial change from Don Mattingly to Skip Schumaker, Jazz received more playing time when facing left-handed pitching. There were a few individual moments of growth, but for the most part, it’s still a weakness in his game. Chisholm slashed .172/.226/.253/.479 with two home runs and four RBIs in those 95 plate appearances.
Jazz was a non-factor in the NL Wild Card Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. In one at-bat, he showed bunt despite there being two outs in the inning. In another, he didn’t run down the line on a grounder. Overall, he didn’t get a single hit and struck out 50% of the time.
Chisholm helped the Marlins win when he was on the field, but you have to say it was a disappointing season for the MLB The Show cover athlete considering the high expectations placed on him.
Future with Miami
The plan is for Jazz to be Miami’s starting center fielder again in 2024. He got more comfortable there as the season went on and it would be a difficult hole for the Marlins to fill. He’s projected to be fully recovered from turf toe surgery in time for spring training. Entering his age-26 season, it would not be a surprise if he improved as a player simply from continuing to gain experience.
However, if the Marlins are getting frustrated with his frequent injuries, they might at least listen to trade offers for Chisholm while he still holds a lot of value. They had a .505 winning percentage with him in the starting lineup compared to .536 without him.
Cody Bellinger is available in free agency and they reportedly showed interest in him last offseason. When Chisholm was out, Jonathan Davis and Garrett Hampson emerged as useful fill-in options. In the minor leagues, Victor Mesa Jr. and Jake Mangum are worth mentioning.
Ultimately, it would make the most sense to spend another season evaluating Jazz. Entering his first year of arbitration eligibility, he could be a great bargain for the Marlins if he can stay healthy.
Photo by Danis Sosa/Fish On First