Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Interview with Lansing Lugnuts All Star Second Baseman Jon Berti

Berti exits the cage after a successful round of BP
earlier this year at Spring Training.
The Lansing Lugnuts have had an amazing season thus far in 2012. They have clinched the playoffs already, had 7 players named to the All-Star team, and their coaches had the chance to coach the Eastern Division team. One of their All Stars, Jon Berti, has a wOBA of 0.396 (a great mark), and a WAR of 2.0 already. Berti, at age 22, is one of the most underrated prospects in the Jays system in my opinion, as ever since he has signed last season, he has done nothing but perform. He does hit a lot of ground balls (64.1%), but as shown by his .288 AVG, they find holes. I had the pleasure of interviewing Berti again (the first time was for Jaysprospects.com and could be found Here) and talking to him about his successful year so far and some other stuff.

To start off, how is your ankle feeling after being activated off of the DL a few days ago?

My ankle is feeling pretty good and I am excited to be back in the lineup again playing with my teammates.

You won the championship last season with the Canadians, and have already clinched the playoffs this season with the Lugs, what has it felt like to come into the Blue Jays organization, and never lose for a lengthy period of time?

My experience so far has been awesome in the Blue Jays organization. It has been a lot of fun with all the success we have had and I'm looking forward to more of it in the future.

Berti taking a swing during a BP session at
the Bobby Mattick  Training Center in March 2012.
Obviously your game has improved a ton this season, as you are stealing more, getting on base more, and playing defense better. What did you work on in the off-season that has made the biggest difference for you this season?

I think going to the Instructional league following the 2011 short season was a big help. I was able to work with our coordinators one on one to get a head start on my off season training. I was able to learn how to create a plan for each at bat at the professional level, and I also worked with our infield coaches a lot to help transition over to 2nd base.

You were selected to be an All Star in the Mid West league, but unfortunately you did not play. When did you decide that it was best not to play in the game?

It was nice that our coaching staff in Lansing was our coaching staff in the All Star game. We decided that it would be best to not push it for the game and just enjoy being part of the experience. I was glad I was able to go.

You have been witness to one of the best pitching staffs in pro baseball this season in Lansing. Do you think you and the rest of the offense feels less pressure to score runs because you know how dominating the pitching has been?

Our pitching staff has been outstanding all year. It makes it much easier on us as an offense knowing that we don't have to go out there and try to put up a lot of runs in order to win.

Berti, stretching before he plays in a game
for his Lansing Lugnuts!
This season your BB% is up, and your K% is down. Have you changed your stance, or have you done something to your swing that has let you see the ball longer or better?

I haven't changed a whole lot this year. I'm Just trying be more patient at the plate, waiting for a good pitch to drive somewhere.

Realistically, where would you like to be by the end of this season in the Blue Jays organization?

I don't try to think about where I'll be at any point. I feel it distracts me from the daily goals that I have to work hard and improve to try and help the team I am playing for win each day.

I'd like to thank Jon for taking the time once again for partaking in this interview, and all of us here at BlueJaysPlus wish that you continue tearing up pitching down there in Lansing!

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