Where will Jon Berti land for Blue Jays in 2015?
Every year certain prospects that force their way into the hearts of fans with dazzling stats, which prompt them to call for the prospect’s immediate promotion. New Hampshire FisherCat second base, sometime left fielder, Jonathan David Berti is a prospect that possesses the skill set to make the noise in 2015.
You won’t find him on many prospect lists, but that shouldn’t eliminate him from competing to one day playing for the Toronto Blue Jays. Berti has a tireless work ethic, one that’s seen him play fall/winter baseball the past two off-seasons. He didn’t just play, but played well and made lasting impressing on his managers.
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As a member of the Canberra Calvary in 2013, Jon Berti earned high praise from Manager Michael Collins. He won team MVP, he almost double the previous league stolen base record, led the league in walks and runs. On top of this he finished in the top 10 of almost all offensive categories. Michael Collins had these kind words to say about Berti
"“the second baseman (Berti) could get to ”the show” (Major League). ”If he can utilise that [speed] and continue to develop his entire game, I think he’s definitely a guy who can go all the way. They say speed never slumps. Sometimes you go into a slump hitting, or fielding, or pitching, but if you can run, that’s there every day. It’s always a threat.”"
In 2014, as a member of the New Hampshire FisherCats, Berti had a very consistent year culminating in his second straight R.Howard Webster award awarded to MVP of the minor league team. Manager Bobby Meacham said this,
"“He definitely gets underestimated,” said Meacham, who also managed Berti in 2013 with the Class A Dunedin Blue Jays. “He’s one of the few guys whose talent is actually getting better. He’s getting faster. His arm strength is stronger. His footwork is getting better. We haven’t seen yet how good he can be.”"
From the same Sportnet article, Assistant to the General Manager, Tony LaCava raved about Berti to the point that he suggests that versatile Bowling Green State alumni is a strong candidate to move up to become a member of the Buffalo Bisons.
"“His speed is a real weapon. But he’s also a grinder, a tough out and guy who comes to play every day. Managers and coaches all want him on their team. He makes offences better,” LaCava said."
mandatory credit: MLBfarm.com http://mlbfarm.com/player.php?player_id=542932&position=2B
Thanks to the guys over at MLBfarm.com for the above heat map, which shows that Jon Berti is capable of hitting to all fields. He’ll ground out to short more often than 2nd, but his above average speed allows him to stay out of double plays, to leg out infield singles and force the infield in making bad throws. Berti hit 217 ground ball with 113 resulting in ground outs, but only hit into 5 double plays. That’s the benefit of speed and hustle.
The Blue Jays haven’t done a good job developing position prospects. They failed to develop Top Prospects Travis Snider, Anthony Gose, Moises Sierra, and even Ryan Goins. This has resulted in an overall lack of everyday/replacement players finding their way to Toronto. This has made it necessary to sign AAAA players like Jonathan Diaz, Munenori Kawasaki, Jake Fox, and Chris Dickerson. Not every minor league prospect need develop into an All-Star or everyday player or play in the league for the next decade.
The future handling of Jon Berti will be indicative of the overall health of the Blue Jays farm system and player development. Jon Berti has a very good chance of playing as a member of the Herd in 2015, which is one step closer to reaching his dream of playing in the major leagues.
2015 Prognosis: Jon Berti has nothing left to offer in Double-A after hitting .270/.323/.373 with .696 OPS, 7 triples, 7HR and 40 stolen bases, but with Devon Travis added to the system in the Anthony Gose trade, Berti best chances for advancement lay in the outfield and as a super utility bench guy. His competition at second is Ryan Schimpf and Devon Travis. In the outfield Jon Berti has to compete with a group of aging minor leagues in Chris Dickerson, Brad Glenn, Melky Mesa, and Ezequiel Carrera. It’s time to see what the 25-year-old, 5 foot 10 Michigan native can do in Upstate New York.