In 20 games this season, Chisholm has been as good as any baseball player. He’s hitting .329/.380/.657, with four homers, five stolen bases as well as improvements in the walks and strikeouts departments. In terms of fWAR, Chisholm ranks 8th in all of baseball at 1.5 fWAR, despite playing fewer games than six of the players ahead of him.
Twenty games is a small sample size – only around 12% of the season – so whether Chisholm can sustain anything close to the caliber of performance we’re seeing is more than fair. While the powerful infielder probably won’t be a threat to the batting title, Marlins fans should get used to Chisholm being a threat to them at the top of the order.
Chisholm has already become the player other athletes want to see play, because just like Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc, Chisholm plays fearlessly at top speed. That reckless giving up is something the Marlins will happily accept on base paths and on the field, but in a tough chess game of a sport, Chisholm realized he needed to be more calculated in the batter’s box. .
In his first 83 plate appearances in 2022, Chisholm has gone from a youngster taking hacks to a hitter with a plan. His strikeout rate was reduced by almost 6% and his walk rate jumped by 2%.
It’s not that Chisholm is any less aggressive, he’ll still let him eat, but he’s been much more particular with the terrain he chooses to swing on. Chisholm’s swing percentage is almost the same as last season, but his chase rate is down 8% while his zone swing percentage is up 5%. It’s a pretty simple equation, the 24-year-old traded the bad swings for the good ones.
Specifically, Chisholm improved by removing high stuff. He did a lot of damage on fastballs high up the box, but he wasted even more neutral counts and hitting counts pulling the trigger on high ground.