New Hampshire Fisher Cats Jon Berti (24), selected by the Toronto Blue Jays (18th round) as a 21 year old out of Bowling Green State as an infielder/outfielder, was named to the 2014 Eastern League All-Star game to represent the Eastern Division. This will mark the fourth time Jon will be honoured as a minor league All-Star since being drafted by Toronto in 2011.
Jon Berti is not a name recognized by the casual Blue Jays fan nor will you find his name on any of the Top Prospect Lists. Jon’s numbers won’t jump off the stats sheets, but this is a guy who is making a name for himself in 2014…..once again. Berti’s biggest assets are his above average speed, base running skills, and versatility.
Jon Berti’s Minor Stats
Last season, Berti stole 56 bases and was caught 19 times, for a solid 75% success rate. So far in 2014, Jon’s speed has allowed him to steal 28 stolen bases (3rd in the Eastern League) and hit 5 triples (tied for 3rd in the Eastern League). Berti has been successful 74% of the time in 2014, but I expect this number to increase as he continues to figure out Double-A pitching. Jon has struggled to get on base in the first half with a 5.8% BB% which is more than half his career norm of 11%. Berti has an impressive K% of 14.1%, which is an improvement when compared to his career norm of 18.1%.
I like Berti as an second baseman, but the problem is the Blue Jays have several higher ceiling SS and 2nd base prospects currently making their way through the system and not very many options in the outfield in the upper minors. So out of necessity Jon Berti is continually shifted from leftfield (18GP) to 2nd base (63GP); However, this might end up being his ticket to the major leagues. Since Jon hasn’t demonstrated an ability to hit for average or power he will have to rely on his speed and versatility. He might not have high octane speed of a Billy Hamilton, but if Berti is able to pick his spots and get the ball to gap with consistency he see time on a major league bench.
Keep up the good work Jon Berti…..I look forward to seeing you as a member of the 2015 International League All-Star as a member of the Buffalo Bisons.
ps. this guy hits LHP to a tune of .288/.343/.392…we need a guy like this on the bench in Toronto.