Chisholm thrills with speed on the bases

April 4th, 2021

MIAMI -- When you rock Grand Theft Auto-inspired cleats, you're destined for speed.

, whose blue hair grabbed headlines on Opening Day, showcased his elite wheels during a thrilling trip around the bases in the fourth inning of the Marlins' 12-7 victory in the series finale against the Rays on Saturday night at loanDepot park.

MLB Pipeline's No. 66 overall prospect told Bally Sports Florida during a pregame interview that he played the Vice City edition growing up, so he decided to put "Prince Jazz" with the popular video game's font on his footwear. Chisholm considered it a way to show love for Miami. But for his dash around the bases on Saturday, his cleats had graphics from the Japanese manga series Black Clover, with one shoe representing talent and the other hard work. The Bahamian-born Chisholm likes to think of himself as a mix of the two, he told Bally's Kelly Saco.

"I just feel like it's just so me, that's why, everything about baseball," Chisholm said. "That you could be yourself on the field and you can play as yourself and do whatever you want as yourself. I just feel like that’s how the Miami Marlins are built like. I don't think there's another team in baseball with swag like the Miami Marlins. I can tell you that."

The 23-year-old second baseman led off the fourth with a walk before lefty Rich Hill threw to first three times during Jon Berti's at-bat. After another pickoff attempt with Chad Wallach at the plate, Chisholm got such a big jump that he stole the base despite Hill stepping off the mound and throwing to second. The rookie wasted no time racing for third, recording a sprint speed of 29.5 ft/sec on the next pitch. 

Face down on the dirt and laying on top of the bag, Chisholm spread both arms out to signal safe as his helmet fell off to reveal his blue hair. When he got up, he proceeded to do a little wiggle to the delight of his teammates in the dugout.

Later in the at-bat, Wallach sent a shallow fly ball to right field and Chisholm turned it up another gear -- reaching 30.6 ft/sec to score on the sac fly. According to Statcast, 30 ft/sec is considered elite, 27 ft/sec average.

"We have aggressive runners, we've got Jazz in the lineup," All-Star outfielder Starling Marte said via an interpreter. "Thank goodness we have him. He's a young guy, very few days here in MLB, but you can see the talent that he has. He has so many tools. We're very happy just having him."

Chisholm also proved to be the catalyst for a dormant lineup Friday night, when his two-out triple set off Miami's three-run seventh to snap 15 straight scoreless innings to open the season. On Saturday, he equaled his 2020 stolen base total in a span of one pitch.

But it wasn't just Chisholm using his legs. His teammates put the running game in motion from the get-go, executing a double steal with their first batters, Miguel Rojas and Marte, off to the races. Without sluggers up and down the lineup, Miami will need to find ways to manufacture runs. In 2020, the club finished second with 51 stolen bases. Through three games in '21, it paces the Majors with six.

"Part of the vision I think [Marlins CEO Derek Jeter] has is he wants an exciting club that's athletic and has speed all over the place," manager Don Mattingly said. "We're headed in that direction. Obviously it's not up and down the lineup totally, but speed is just one of those things that it's hard to defend and puts pressure on the pitchers and everything else. So yes, it's nice to have it."