The Marlins made a surprise move at the 2019 trade deadline, by swapping RHP Zac Gallen for Diamondback’s prospect Jazz Chisholm. This trade took many by surprise in the baseball community. Gallen had been recently promoted to the big-league club after tearing up the Pacific Coast League. Chisholm on the other hand, was in the middle of a down first half, but was still regarded as a top shortstop prospect.
Zac Gallen was named the 2019 Triple A pitcher of the year by Baseball America. After going 9-1 with a 1.77 ERA over 91.1 innings pitched in Triple A, he soon graduated to the major leagues with Miami. There, Gallen continued to dominate veteran hitters, posting a sub-three ERA over seven starts before being shipped to Arizona. A third-round pick by the Cardinals in the 2016, Gallen had been traded to the Marlins in a package for Marcell Ozuna. Gallen quickly rose through the minors, showing little difficulty adjusting levels. Initially many saw him as no more than a potential third starter. However, Gallen continued to improve, and he was able to break into many top 100 prospect lists.
Jazz Chisholm, a native of the Bahamas, signed with the Diamondbacks for $200,000 as an 18-year-old in 2016. He quickly saw success as one of the youngest players in the minors. Chisholm, now 22 years old, sits at Triple A waiting for a promotion to the majors. Known for his sweet left-handed power, Chisholm posted back to back 20 plus homer campaigns as well as close to 20 stolen bases in each season. Chisholm’s defense may not look amazing at firsts glance, the misplays have happened but this is due to his impressive range that allows him to get to more plays than the average shortstop.
Why it was a win for the Fish
Although Gallen is no doubt an impressive arm to have in any rotation. A Marlins farm system ranked in the top ten by many in the MLB, is extremely deep in starting pitching. With the likes of Sixto Sanchez, Edward Cabrera and recent graduate Sandy Alcantara. The Marlins will have no shortage of options for a deep rotation. This made Gallen expendable and it was the perfect opportunity to sell him while his stock had peaked. Trading for Jazz does carry some risk with it as many prospects with similar abilities have failed before, but the potential to succeed is just as much there. If Chisholm reaches anywhere near his ceiling the Marlins will have a franchise shortstop for years to come.
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