With a logjam of infielders in Double-A and Triple-A, the Blue Jays decided to send veteran and versatile minor league infielder Jon Berti to the Cleveland Indians for cash.
Jon Berti was an 11th round pick of the Blue Jays in the 2011 draft and has re-signed with the club at least once on his way to the 2018 Buffalo Bisons. The native of Troy, Michigan, Berti has had a number of successes and frustrations along his minor league career path but has blossomed into a speedster who can play multiple defensive positions and has been a great teammate.
Berti made his pro debut in Vancouver in 2011 and season highlight (aside from hitting .291/.387/.376 with 23 stolen bases) was getting into a fight with Rougned Odor.
Climbing through the ranks, according to Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, Berti’s brother worked in the box office in Lansing when Berti was a Lugnut and he earned a couple of R. Howard Webster awards for his play and leadership in Dunedin and New Hampshire. Berti stole 40 bases or more in a season twice including 56 in Dunedin in 2013 and 40 in 2014 in New Hampshire while adding 36 in 2016 between Buffalo, New Hampshire and the GCL, playing in only 86 games. Berti also stole 31 bases in just 46 games in the Australian Baseball League in 2013/14.
Berti missed most of 2017 with an injury but came back healthy, playing in four games and hitting .250/.250/.250 before the trade.
While he was never the most toolsy of players, Berti always worked hard on the field (choosing @jonny_hustle as his Twitter handle) and played shortstop, second base, third base, left field and center field over the course of his career. We wish Berti all the best as he looks to finally get a chance to crack the major league roster with Cleveland.
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