By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
FOLLOWING what many pundits considered a breakout season in the minor leagues, Jazz Chisholm signed with one of the fastest rising sports agencies in America.
Chisholm joined the roster of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports and will be represented by Kyle Thousand and Mike Rodriguez within the agency.
Roc Nation Sports is a sub-division of Roc Nation, launched in spring 2013 by music mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter.
The organisation lists one of its chief objectives as “supporting athletes in the same way Roc Nation has been working alongside and advocating for artists in the music industry for years.”
According to its website Roc Nation Sports focuses on elevating athletes’ career on a global scale both on and off the field including facilitating marketing and endorsement deals, community outreach, charitable tie-ins, media relations and brand strategy.
Roc Nation Sports’ roster includes premier athletes such as Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors), Saquon Barkley (New York Giants), Robinson Cano (Seattle Mariners), Skylar Diggins-Smith (Dallas Wings), CC Sabathia (New York Yankees), Juju Smith-Schuster (Pittsburgh Steelers), Ndamukong Suh (Los Angeles Rams), Yoenis Cespedes (New York Mets), Todd Gurley (Los Angeles Rams), Wilson Chandler (Philadelphia 76ers), Danny Green (Toronto Raptors), Justise Winslow (Miami Heat), Willie Cauley-Stein (Sacramento Kings), CJ Prosise (Seattle Seahawks), Henry Ellenson (Detroit Pistons), Caris LeVert (Brooklyn Nets) and many others.
For Chisholm, the No.3 prospect in the Arizona Diamondbacks organisation, his season of accolades followed an injury shortened 2017.
Chisholm had a postseason of accolades recognised twice by the Diamondbacks as its Minor League Player of the Year and named an organisational All-Star.
He spent the season between the Single-A Kane County Cougars and the Single-A Advanced Visalia Rawhide. On the season between two clubs, he hit .272 (124-for-456)/.329 OBP/.513 SLG with 23 doubles, six triples, 25 home runs, 70 RBI, 39 walks, 17 stolen bases and 79 runs scored in 112 games.
A Midwest League midseason All-Star, Chisholm led all D-backs farm system players in home runs, and ranked among the leaders in runs (3rd), triples (T-5th), RBI (7th), slugging pct. (8th) and walks (T-9th).
He then went on to play for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League.
In 11 games, Chisholm, 20, hit .442 for Salt River with a .489 OBP, an 1.257 OPS in 11 games. Chisholm had 19 hits including one triple, three doubles, three home runs, collected nine RBIs, seven stolen bases and 12 runs scored.
The Arizona Fall League attracts many of the top prospects in the minor leagues.
Late in the minor league seasons, MLB clubs hold a position draft to determine the players who will participate in the AFL. Most are Double-A and Triple-A players. The league is designed for these prospects to refine their skills and perform in game settings in front of major and minor league baseball scouts and team executives, who are in attendance at almost every game.
The league featured 17 players on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list, 10 in the Top 50.
Overall, there were more than 80 members of the respective teams top 30 lists participated in the six-week league.
Approximately 60 per cent of all AFL participants have reached the major leagues. The league has produced 278 All-Stars, 17 Most Valuable Players, six Cy Young Award winners and 29 Rookies of the Year.