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Healthy 'Jazz' looking forward to new season

Fri, Feb 3rd 2023, 08:19 AM

The last time Bahamian professional baseball player Jasrado 'Jazz' Chisholm Jr. was in action in an official baseball game was on June 28 due to injury. Now, he says he is fully healthy entering his second full season in Major League Baseball (MLB), and the sky is the limit for him.

Chisholm was initially to be out for a few weeks with a lower back strain. However, on July 21, after a CT (Computerized Tomography) scan, it was revealed that he had a stress fracture in his lower back and he was forced to shut down his 2022 season. He said that is behind him now, and he is ready to go to camp to put in the work. Lately, he was putting in work at home here in The Bahamas.

"My body feels great every day. It feels like it's getting stronger and stronger, getting ready to play 160 games," Chisholm said. "My plan is just to stay on the field. That's the only thing I feel like I've got to work on the most - staying available. Everyday, I'm on the field, even when I'm home like now. I'm still going to the field, training, working out every day, getting my work in, getting my reps in. I could be here for one day and I would still get my reps in on the field. Whenever I fly back the next day, I'm getting my reps in, wherever I'm at, so I never stop working. I'm always ready."

Chisholm is looking to improve his performance from the 60 games he played in last season. Last year, he had a batting average of .254 with 14 home runs, 45 RBIs (runs batted in) and 39 runs scored. He had 12 stolen bases, finished with an on-base percentage (OBP) of .325 and an on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) of .860.

While home, Chisholm said he has been getting in his reps, along with a few other Bahamian baseball players at the new Andre Rodgers National Baseball Stadium. He said he always wanted to play in the new stadium, whenever it was completed, so he is embracing the opportunity to work out there now.

Chisholm's coach from childhood to now, who he calls his father, International Elite's (I-Elite) Sports Academy's Geron Sands, said Chisholm has Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Hall of Fame status on his checklist after being voted in as an all-star last season.

"When he talks about MVP, I believe him because every single thing he said he was going to do, he has done so far in the sport of baseball. So, mainly, this is the only thing left. His accomplishments included him signing, winning MVP in the minor leagues, having 30 home runs in the minors, making the all-star game, make it to the big leagues and recently making it on the cover of a video game. There are two things left - MVP and Hall of Fame and that's what I'm expecting. I'm looking forward to that. It's amazing to be here on this journey. It's been a long and great journey."

Chisholm, who was recently moved to center field by the Marlins after they acquired American League batting champion and all-star infielder Luis Arráez, said that he is working hard every day and is looking forward to the switch to center field.

"It's just going to be a lot more running for me," Chisholm said. "That's all what I feel is the only difference. I'm not going to be as used to running as much as I'm used to as a shortstop or second baseman. Now, it's more like I got to condition myself and get myself ready to have all that running up and down."

Chisholm's other childhood coach, Albert Cartwright, who is also with I-Elite Sports Academy, admires Chisholm's drive to do anything he sets out to do.

"I'm the one in 'Jazz' life who would say, 'Come on Jazz that ain't realistic'. After one of our games we went to a Marlins game and he told me that he would hit a home run on a slider, I said, 'Come on Jazz'. The next game and first at-bat he hits a home run on a slider. He points up in the stands and ever since then I was like I have to believe everything he says now. So, when he goes out and says he's going to win a Gold Glove in center field, I believe him," Cartwright said.

Spring training for Chisholm and the Marlins begin on February 25.

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