Jazz a star student of the game

April 20th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Christina De Nicola’s Marlins Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

If you ask , he was a good student in school. Math came easy to him, so he would read ahead and get the exercises done.

Even though he's a star in the Major Leagues, the learning continues. Earlier this week, manager Skip Schumaker handed Chisholm a notebook -- one that the likes of prospect  uses -- to write down observations about pitchers. Everything in blue ink was written the night before. Everything in black ink was written in the dugout during the game.

It's already paying dividends. Chisholm watched how right-hander Jakob Junis attacked left-handed-hitting  in the fourth inning of Tuesday's 4-2 win, following a sinker with a changeup.

Thanks to his pregame prep, Chisholm knew Junis' favorite pitch was his slider, which he buried in the dirt to open the at-bat. So Chisholm sat on the changeup, and he deposited an elevated one into the stands for the go-ahead three-run homer.

"It's helped tremendously, especially the past week when I got this notebook from Skip to use, just to keep myself ready," Chisholm said. "It basically helps me every night. Every night I go in there and I watch all the pitchers that I'll potentially face the next day, and I write notes on him.

"I literally just started doing that two days ago and two days of success so far doing it, writing everything down, every at-bat, everything they've done to me in the past, and just focusing on it. I just feel like when you write something down you remember it better. So it's kind of sick."

Chisholm isn't just using the notebook to his advantage. On Monday, Schumaker gave the center fielder the book "Daily Wisdom: 365 Days of Motivational Thoughts, Quotes, and Stories" by Julie Fournier.

Toward the tail end of Schumaker's playing career, he read books that provided inspiration and motivation. It continued into his coaching career, as he made an effort to research good coaches' foundations and non-negotiables. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Schumaker also listened to podcasts while walking his dogs every morning.

"It was like something that I could learn from somebody, that really quick hitter of daily devotional stuff," Schumaker said. "You don't have to read 10 pages. It's just like one page, and there's some really good stuff.

"There's certain things that might mean something to him, it might not mean anything. That's just how that book is. I've really been enjoying these daily devotionals -- whether it's Tony Dungy or that one. The Tony Dungy [one] probably is my favorite one."