Signed by the Diamondbacks for $200,000 out of the Bahamas in 2015, Chisholm emerged as a blue-chip prospect three years later when he topped all Minor League shortstops with 25 homers and tore up the Arizona Fall League. He continued to hit for power with 21 homers in Double-A in 2019, but he also batted .220 with a 32 percent strikeout rate and went to the Marlins in a July trade for Zac Gallen. He made his big league debut last September, hitting .161 with two homers in 21 games, and doubled and walked in his lone playoff start.
Chisholm generates more power than the typical shortstop because his left-handed stroke features explosive bat speed and natural loft. Yet rather than letting his home runs come naturally, he utilizes an aggressive, pull-happy approach that advanced pitchers have been able to exploit rather easily. His career-best 11 percent walk rate in 2019 offered some hope that he can develop some plate discipline, and he did a better job of using the entire field in his first brief exposure to the Majors.
An efficient basestealer with solid speed, Chisholm is a potential 20-20 player if he can polish his offensive game. His actions, range, hands and arm are all solid or better at shortstop, and he looked smooth at second base with the Marlins despite having just one inning of Minor League experience at the position. While he still has a long way to go to reach his lofty ceiling, his tools and start of his pro career are similar to Javier Báez's.
Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 55 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55
The Bahamas produced two shortstops of note for the 2015 international class, with Lucius Fox signing with the Giants for $6 million and Chisholm inking with the Diamondbacks for $200,000 and emerging as the better long-term prospect. He broke out by leading all Minor League shortstops with 25 homers and starring in the Arizona Fall League in 2018, but struggled in his encore. Though he slammed 21 homers in Double-A, he hit .220 with a 32 percent strikeout rate and went to the Marlins in a July trade for Zac Gallen.
Chisholm has more power than most shortstops because he has explosive bat speed and natural loft in his left-handed swing. Rather than let home runs come naturally, he employs an overly aggressive approach that depresses his batting average and leads to a ton of strikeouts. He was more pull-happy in 2019 than he had been in the past, though a career-high 11 percent walk rate offers some hope than he can adopt a more disciplined plan at the plate.
A potential 20-20 player, Chisholm has solid speed and is an efficient basestealer. He has all the tools necessary to stay at shortstop, as his actions, range, hands and arm all grade as at least above average. While there's currently a large gap between his floor and ceiling, his game and early Minor League career are reminiscent of Javier Baez's.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 55 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55
The 2015 international class produced a pair of Bahamian shortstops in Lucius Fox and Chisholm. But while Fox was the more touted amateur prospect and signed with the Giants for $6 million, it's been Chisholm who has blossomed into the better pro prospect since signing with the Diamondbacks for $200,000. He led all Minor League shortstops with 25 homers in 2018, starred in the Arizona Fall League after the season and has continued to hit for power in Double-A this year, during which he got traded to the Marlins for Zac Gallen in July.
Chisholm posts impressive exit velocities from the left side of the plate with an explosive swing that has natural loft. He showed in 2018 that he not only could tap into his plus raw power, but also apply it across the entire field, as some of his longest home runs were hit to straightaway center. His power does come with swing-and-miss tendencies, so he'll need to refine his aggressive approach as he develops. He's an above-average runner who receives praise for his instincts on the basepaths.
There is little question Chisholm can stay at shortstop, with good hands and actions to go along with a strong arm and a knack for making highlight-reel plays on a nightly basis. Those loud tools on both sides of the ball in turn give him an exceptional ceiling as a big league shortstop, but he'll need to tighten up his overall game along the way.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 40 | Run: 50 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45
The last Bahamas-born player to reach the big leagues was Antoan Richardson. Chisholm, who got $200,000 from the D-backs to sign in July 2015, will be racing Rays prospect Lucius Fox to be the next. However, after a strong U.S. debut in 2016, Chisholm's progress was slowed by a torn meniscus in May.
Chisholm makes hard contact consistently from the left side of the plate and has some loft in his swing. That can be dangerous, as the organization does not want him to focus on power, believing it will come naturally as he develops. He does need to refine his pitch recognition and strike zone discipline, which will make him an even more effective hitter. He has all the tools to stick at shortstop long-term, with great hands and enough arm and range to perform well defensively.
The D-backs didn't hesitate to send him to the Pioneer League for his debut, and they didn't shy away from pushing him at age 19 to full-season ball in 2017 because of his tremendous maturity and confidence, which will help him bounce back from his knee injury. Finding a balance of discipline and aggressiveness at the plate will be key to his offensive growth.