Despite playing in just 60 games for the Marlins this season, Jazz Chisholm Jr. was outstanding. Jazz quickly established himself as one of the best second basemen in baseball, as he was rewarded for his play and recognized for his popularity by being voted as the starting second baseman for the NL in the All-Star Game.
Unfortunately, Jazz was unable to participate in the All-Star Game due to a lower back injury suffered in late June. That back injury was quite possibly the biggest factor in the derailment of the Marlins’ 2022 season. Jazz Chisholm Jr. was the heart and soul of this Marlins offense, and he was dearly missed.
Jazz’s Season Overview
Jazz began 2022 batting 9th in the Marlins lineup. He showed immediately that he was serious and deserved a higher spot in the order, hitting a go-ahead, 2-run home run in the 9th inning on Opening Day...only to be benched the next day against a left-handed pitcher.
With a chip on his shoulder, Jazz continued to make noise, as he slashed .298/.344/.667 during April. He tallied three doubles, three triples, four home runs, and four stolen bases. He was on fire, and his popularity continued to skyrocket.
The Marlins as a team started off hot in the month of April, finishing the month with a 12-8 record . However, the team suffered a brutal 7-19 month of May, putting them at a rough 19-27 entering the month of June. Jazz still performed at a high level, slashing .250/.301/.447 in May (considerably better than the MLB average).
Jazz started off the month of June very cold, only getting two hits before the infamous team meeting on June 7th. Don Mattingly called a meeting for players to discuss their disagreements and it seemed to solve very little. In fact, it may have hurt the team more than helped it overall. We’ll touch on this more in a bit, but this ignited a flame in Jazz we haven’t seen before, given that he was reportedly called out by teammates for his unconventional behavior.
Jazz only played 18 more games after the team meeting, but he was as impactful as ever. Jazz hit two home runs in the game directly after the meeting and didn’t look back.
Jazz’s final 18 games consisted of a .260/.366/.607 slash line and six home runs. For reference, no Marlin has hit more than five home runs since July 3rd.
Jazz Chisholm Jr. suffered a back injury and was placed on the 10-day IL on June 29th, with the expectation that he’d be back sometime in July. However, an MRI revealed in late July that Jazz had suffered a lower back stress fracture and would be out until late September at the earliest.
Chisholm told the media on September 10th that his season was over. More from Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald:
“The toughest part,” Chisholm said, ”is not being able to help the team..It sucks when you can’t help and you’re hurt. You’re sitting there and you’re helpless basically to your team.
“It’s tough to watch from the bench and knowing you can’t do anything.”
The hope is he’s ready to go for Spring Training 2023.
Jazz played very good baseball this season, but we can’t let his popularity go unnoticed. Jazz turned heads with his bright-colored hair, eye-catching shoes, expensive sunglasses, and the now iconic euro-step home run celebration. In a new era where baseball players are encouraged to be loud and fun, Jazz fits the mold better than anyone.
Jazz is a man of the people, as he’s always signing autographs and taking pictures before games with fans. Even with the rise of Sandy Alcantara this season, Jazz’s jersey is the only non-custom jersey that can be found on the Marlins section of MLB Shop (available in both white and black).
Being someone who watched the Marlins on the road this season, the main Marlins jersey I saw in the crowd was Jazz Chisholm Jr. In Cincinnati, I may have seen more Jazz jerseys in the stands than Joey Votto jerseys—Jazz didn’t even play in that series! His persona is powerful enough to single-handedly to create new Marlins fans. His hard work building a following for himself paid off when he was announced as the NL’s starting second baseman for the 2022 MLB All-Star Game, beating out Ozzie Albies and Jeff McNeil in the process.
While Jazz didn’t get to play in the All-Star Game, he still showed up for the festivities. With the game being in Los Angeles this year, what better place for the celebrity in Jazz to show himself off?
By the Numbers
Slash line: .254/.325/.535
Other individual statistics (Team Rank): 14 HR (1st), 39 R (2nd), 45 RBI (3rd), 12 SB (2nd), .365 wOBA (1st), 137 wRC+ (1st), 2.5 WAR (1st)
Jazz played some awesome baseball this season, but the Marlins were unable to rebound in his absence. They became too reliant on him getting on base and driving in runs, and since his injury, the statistics are bad. Bottom of the league bad.
Let’s compare where the Marlins ranked in hitting from Opening Day through June 28th (Jazz’s injury) vs. June 29th to now.
With Jazz: 80 (14th)
Without Jazz: 44 (30th)
With Jazz: 319 (16th)
Without Jazz: 189 (30th)
With Jazz: .152 (16th)
Without Jazz: .110 (30th)
With Jazz: .298 (7th)
Without Jazz: .267 (29th)
With Jazz: .244/.310/.396 (16th)
Without Jazz: .211/.274/.321 (30th)
With Jazz: .310 (16th)
Without Jazz: .267 (30th)
With Jazz: 100 (15th)
Without Jazz: 71 (30th)
Before June 29th: 33-40
Since June 29th: 25-45
All right, you guys get the idea, but the final mind-boggling stat? Since Jazz’s injury, the Marlins are the only team in the league with negative wins above replacement from position players (-1.1 fWAR).
A team that was legitimately in contention in early July tumbled into prime position for the inaugural MLB Draft Lottery.
The main goal is for Jazz to rehab carefully and be ready to go in Spring Training (which could potentially include World Baseball Classic participation if the United Kingdom were to qualify).
Jazz is already in the conversation for best second baseman in the league. To strengthen his case, his production against left-handers needs to improve (.143/.205/.314 slash line in 2022).
Jazz Chisholm Jr. is irreplaceable. He has shown his value and it’s time to negotiate a long-term deal with him while it’s still possible. Jazz is the best hitter to come out of the Marlins rebuild so far and I suggest they extend him ASAP.