Jon Berti isn’t young. He will be 30 years old in January. So, the first thing I did for my Jon Berti sleeper was look up how many guys stole 25 or more bases at the age of 29 or older last year. Four players. That’s out of a total of 11. Yes, MLB turned the players with 25 or more steals to 11. Those four were Tommy Pham, Starling Marte, Jarrod Dyson and Elvis Andrus. What do these players make you think? Okay, I mean, I love ya, but let’s be real, this is just a way for me to get out what I think. These four players are speed-forward players. At 30 years of age, Lorenzo Cain, Marte and Dee Gordon stole thirty bags in 2018. The year before there was another four players at 30 years of age. 31-year-olds get a little less frequent, but there’s guys there in the last few years too. Players who primarily steal bases still steal (almost stutterer!) in their early 30s. Without a ton of evidence (because I’m too lazy to figure it out), the players who stop stealing at the ages of 29-31 are the ones who are not speed-forward players. Think of Paul Goldschmidt’s 15-20 steal years vs. Rajai Davis’s. Think of Ryan Braun’s 20+ steal years vs. Jarrod Dyson’s. Players who are not speedsters can scrap and eek out 15+ steals until the age of 29. Players who are fast don’t stop being fast until around the age of 32. Therefore, ergo, vis-a-vie, Jon Berti isn’t young, but it doesn’t matter for 2020. So, what can we expect from Jon Berti for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Jon Berti’s sprint speed (29.8 ft/sec) is elite, essentially same as Billy Hamilton and Adalberto Mondesi. He’s about as fast as Acuña from 1st to 2nd base. If Berti gets 500+ ABs, he’s getting 30 steals pretty easily. You may have noticed most of my sleepers this year provide some speed. It’s important to get steals from everyone on your team, but SAGNOF like Berti isn’t bad either. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I’ve seen a handful of 15-team mock drafts and Berti wasn’t even been drafted. Not just late. I mean that after 420 picks, Jon Berti wasn’t even drafted. Now, I see him going around 175th overall at NFBC, and there’s still value there. 0/0/0/0/30 has value. So, can he be more than that? Last year Mattingly seemed to enjoy hitting Berti leadoff. No idea if that sticks, but even if he hits leadoff for half the year, he’s going to get plenty of runs to make his 30 steals digest a little easier. His .360 BABIP was possibly a tad high last year that produced a .273 average with a 25.4% strikeout rate. His 50+% ground ball rate will need to find some holes — hey now! — but .255 should be doable, and his expected batting average last year was .256. So, 70+/0/0/.255/30. Now for RBIs, um, well, okay, terrible, moving on.  So, 70+/0/terrible/.250/30 leaves us with his power to figure out. In 2018, he hit eight homers in Double-A; he hit ten homers between Triple-A and the majors last year. That doesn’t sound like a total zero in power. His 5.5 Launch Angle is goofy low. Yo, Berti, you a flat earther that’s drawing the horizon with your swing? Tommy Pham’s about the only one with a Launch Angle that flat who hits 20 homers, and I’d say he’s more the exception to the rule, and I never really trust his power either. Ten homers feels like an optimistic projection for Berti. Maybe between 10-13 homers if he gets lucky and the ball is juiced again. So, 70+/10/terrible–Actually, I’ll give Jon Berti 2020 projections of 74/10/46/.253/32 in 567 ABs with a chance for more steals. For his price, which is currently zero dollars in some drafts and between 175-225 in other drafts, I’m absolutely grabbing him.

  1. Woolly the Mammoth says:
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    Perhaps I’m wrong, but so far it seems like most of the sleeper posts focus on speed as the primary factor that makes a player a sleeper.

    • Dave D says:
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      Yeah, Grey is pretty upfront about that in the article when he states: “You may have noticed most of my sleepers this year provide some speed. It’s important to get steals from everyone on your team.”

      I don’t think its a “primary factor” as he’s looking at all 5 scoring categories in a standard 5×5. He is espousing a philosophy here of “get(ting) steals from everyone”. Maybe if you have a healthy Mondesi and Treat Urner on your team you can ignore steals, but he’s stating here that, as of 2019, power is rampant and steals are scarce. He’s only pointing out what is obvious to many of us, and is but one of the factors he’s considering that when determining sleepers.

      There, Grey, maybe my rant saved you thirty seconds.

      • Hernan says:
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        Hey Dave, over/under we make picks again today?, I say less than zero…., it’s like watching paint dry , or worse, and since I’m a Painter, is double awful….damn, I also wanted Victor Reyes, triple awful, all that wait, see my guy taken…

        • The Great Knoche says:
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          Our corner seems to move fairly quickly

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            It’s the middle, it’s my fault, it was the holiday!

            • Dave D says:
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              It was a lot more than just you! Don’t worry, we are now accustomed to watching molasses drip.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                I’m back in during the week, paying attention now… It was hard this weekend

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Hernan, I’ve been bad — I had family in town for the holiday so it was hard for me to check in as much this weekend…And I can’t believe I missed on Josh Rojas

          • Hernan says:
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            Not really Grey, it’s not you, lol, I think the west coast/east coast is a big factor too, but we’re having fun, lol, Rojas , Rojas, Rojas!!!!, plus Family is always first!!!, Happy Holidays to all in Razzball, specially Donkey Teeth,

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Thanks, Hernan! Yeah, I had Rojas at top of my queue, but went Matz (Or Cueto)

              • Harley Earl says:
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                Speaking of Rojas,

                What pick would you have taken him at? Trying to get a gauge on his value here. Any chance he gets moved back to the infield or will he strictly be an OF this year?

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  I like Rojas, think he’s a last round flyer in a 12 teamer — so around 250

            • Donkey Teeth

              Donkey Teeth says:
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              Happy Holidays, Hernan!
              PS our draft is just making the turn to round 30

        • Dave D says:
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          Yeah, the other end is pretty bad. My first DC was in round 43 at this same point and finished early on Wednesday AM. 11 days. I hear you on Reyes. Liked him too. At this rate we’ll probably in round 35 when winter meetings start on Sunday and you know some of the guys on the other end are gonna stall as long as they can in hopes of vulturing players affected by trades. Zzzz.

          • Hernan says:
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            Yeah Dave, specially with all these closers being OTB, lol, it’s a nightmare investing in guys like Neris and Taylor Rogers, for example, with teams looking for bullpen help, now Hader and Giles on the block

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Closers are the worst part of drafting this early

              • Dave D says:
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                Yeah, I refuse to overpay for “maybe” guys. There are about a dozen closers out there and about 50 maybes. I got one bona fide closer and I will buy my lottery tickets later with loose change.

                I think Taylor Rogers went about 480 ADP last year. I got Robles last year 700ish. I’d rather take a gamble after I get a dozen SPs and ten OFs.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, not even 100% sure on who the closer is on about ten teams, then factor in possible trades and signings, and there might be 15 total set closers right now

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Yeah, if that. I sat down and made my own closer chart before drafting started and identified about 18 teams as unstable on closer. I’d even include some “stable” guys on the iffy list such as Yates, and your Jensen. Yates fould easily be a set up man in NY or ATL by August and Jansen wasn’t even trusted by his manager in October. WASH, SEA, BAL, MIA, BOS, KC, TEX, PIT, SF, COL, TB, PHI are all very iff IMO. Throw in a few trades and some DC managers could have 4 closers, others zero.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Yeah, that doesn’t sound far off… I’d say Jansen always looks iffy for stretches, but Roberts not going to him in April would be shocking, unless Jansen is hurt… I just drafted another bleh closer possibility

                  • Hernan says:
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                    Yeah, I feel like a fool for clicking “draft” on tuivalala, lol, following the rosterresource/steamer trail…, no bueno

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      I’ll be honest, I had to look around at depth charts to find him even in a mix

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Well, in my view you guys are overpaying for “maybe”s. Just sayin.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Prolly but if Jairo stays in Colorado, I can’t see anyone else getting more than 10 saves there… I see Oberg as favorite, but Oberg? Really?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Yeah, I mentioned it… They won’t all be steals guys, but I am going thru middle infielders right now, so that is a focus for them — or a lot of them

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Wooly, this guy is more speed than anything, Dansby Swanson was more power than speed, but they’ve all had some speed so far…

      • Berti can be a difference maker for sure. Super busy lately myself Grey, hope you and yours had a great holiday!
        Now focusing on our anniversary (42nd) while trying to patch some decent picks in there. Being sniped from all sides – ha

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          That’s awesome, man! Congrats! Happy holidays too!

  2. Tom says:
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    Gray any thoughts on Tyler O’Neill for 2020?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I’ll have plenty of thoughts on O’Neill at some point, but for now I’ll say super cheap power, but I’m not 100% confident he’s a starter right now

  3. Bill says:
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    At that price…Berti sounds like an expensive DeeGordon.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Berti — leadoff; Gordon platooning in 8th or 9th slot — Gordon old and losing all ability — Berti less so

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      I’m with Grey on Berti’s upside being much higher but also wouldn’t be at all shocked if the two put up similar statlines. Dee seems way too cheap (took him 278th in my NFBC draft) considering his 20 steal floor. He could easily hit .280 with 30 steals.

      • Dave D says:
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        You’re making me wish I was playing against you, Donkey, rather than the 14th place finisher from our 2019 NFBC DC league.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          You are playing against me!

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:
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          Are you saying you don’t like Dee at 278?

  4. Squat Cobblers says:
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    Great post as always Grey!

    Can you rank these three in order of most ABs for 2020:

    Dubon, VanMeter, Victor Reyes?

    Thanks! You’re the titzengrubeniere!

    • Squat Cobblers says:
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      Oh And is your AB rank also your order of preference for 2020? Thanks Lothario!

    • The Great Knoche says:
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      Reyes, Dubon, Vanmeter for me.

      • Squat Cobblers says:
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        Thanks Great Knoche! Lemme followup:

        If you found yourself in the middle of an NFBC 15-team with only Madrigal at 2B and with all 5 OF spots & UT filled, would you lean Dubon or stick with Reyes and get one of Cano/Galvis/Alberto/Schoop/ShedLong/Kendrick later? Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, thanks! Dubon, Reyes, VM

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Could be Reyes, Dubon, VM… The 1st two are super close

      • Dave D says:
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        I could see Dubon leading off. If he does I will be very happy, most likely, with where I picked him.

        I’m glad I grabbed him too since somebody grabbed Shed Long super early already.

          • Dave D says:
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            I missed that article somehow. I think it came out just after my pick but I don’t check on weekends usually.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Think Dubon has a chance to be what we used to get from Brandon Crawford, which is solid, if not quite remarkable

              • Dave D says:
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                Yeah, the article seems spot on. I’ll take that from a #300 MI pick.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, prolly safe more than sleeper, but totally worth 300

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Yeah not enough upside for “sleeper”. More technically, a “high-floor, undervalued guy.”

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Yup

        • Big time snipe on Dubon double D

            • Dave D says:
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              Thanks, lol. Not sure it’s big time, but I’m just trying to fill the stat sheet mostly from pick 300 on…

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      I’ll be the dissenting opinion: VanMeter, Dubon, Reyes.

      I like VanMeter a lot.

      • Squat Cobblers says:
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        Thanks DT (and Knoche and Grey and Dave)…was thinking similarly. Reds could be solid if Winker and Senzel can stay on the field and if Aquino hits .230 or better. Their staff isn’t bad either.

        Rosterresource has VanMeter in a strong side platoon at 2B with Peraza…This doesn’t make sense to me. And playing time for VM should be there given Votto’s age and brittle nature of some OF.

      • Hernan says:
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        Yeah, VanMeter reminds me of Tommy Pham…, Power/Speed combo relies heavy on plate discipline and hard contact, but like Cobblers mentioned, the presence of senzel, winter, Aquino, even resigning galvis, having Peraza and talks on Didi, clouds his playing time …, although, I think you’ve given me my next pick

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:
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          I took him at 353 in mine

          • Dave D says:
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            Looks like Moose has other ideas about the situation.

            • Donkey Teeth

              Donkey Teeth says:
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              Dang! At least VanMeter is versatile!

  5. Curious George says:
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    Love berti – just queued him up in my best ball league.
    Here’s my question: who scores more fantasy points this year (or more simply is a bigger contributor): lux or Adell? I can’t wrap my mind around who will have more playing time.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Gonna lean Lux, but it’s still so early to say playing time

      • Curious George says:
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        17th round of my best ball draft. Have my OF and MI starters locked in. Who do you like?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Out of Adell or Lux? Lux

  6. Gary Z. says:
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    Hey Grey! It sounds like the Brewers are shopping Hader, and a ton of teams are interested. I don’t think his value will be any higher than right now, but I don’t think it’s wise to cut bait with a talent like this. IWe have to be in win now mode with Yelich in camp for at least the next couple of years…I get we have next to nothing in our farm system, what do you think the Crew will get for him? I’m guessing similar to what the Yanks gave up for Chapman?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      If they really trade Hader, I’d guess it’s a solid haul, but who knows to which team or for what… Maybe Phils for a prospect SP?

      • Dave D says:
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        I’d be really suprised if they really tried to deal him. If they did, I’d think something shows up on his physical that kills the deal.

        He is so vital to them for contending with a thin bullpen that it makes no sense to me and seems just to be offseason BS-fake news.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I don’t know…I can see it… He wasn’t great last year; gave up a ton of homers, and just didn’t seem as shutdown… Plus, I think teams should treat closers like fantasy, use them to trade for better pieces and just figure out the 9th later

          • Dave D says:
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            The real question is what effect will this have on Manny Pina!!!???

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Haha, just give me 300+ ABs from Pina and I’ll be happy

              • Dave D says:
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                And I’ll take 175 IP from Merrill Kelly while benching him @COL, @MLW, @CHC to save my ratios.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  He doesn’t do much for me, but in the right matchups he’s prolly no different than most #5-6 SP

                  • Dave D says:
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                    He doesn’t do much for me either but his numbers at home were very good. As my 8th SP he seems pretty solid as a fall back or streamer.

                    3.49/1.15 at home. 93K/95IP.

                    I’ll take that for17 starts.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      That’s fair, those are solid home #s

  7. Scott Kimmel says:
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    Grey,

    Would you trade Luis Urias for Bo Bichette? I would give up Urias to get Bo. Hope u had a great Thanksgiving.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yup…You too!

      • Scott Kimmel says:
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        ok im making the deal thanks.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          No problem

  8. Harley Earl says:
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    Damnit!

    I read this whole article just knowing that somewhere within would be the “astute” comparison I made between Berti and Whit Merrifield back in August. But it wasn’t there, and now I’m very sad.

    Maybe Berti is Whit Merifield Light? Haha!

    Good stuff G-Money!

    I’ve got Mr. Berti and I’ll be playing him mucho-smoocho as long as he’s thieving bags!!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha, thanks! Lightt Merrifield!

  9. FrankGrimes says:
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    Moist gets 4/64 mil. Goo for him!

  10. Llango says:
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    Happy Monday, Grey!
    12 team keeper league. We keep 10. H2H.
    Was offered Staton 4 Snell.
    What are your thoughts?
    Current Roster:
    1st Abreu
    2nd Hiura
    SS Bichette
    3rd Moncada
    OF Alvarez
    OF Betts
    SP Snell
    SP Buehler
    SP Soroka
    SP Severino

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Sounds fair, I’d hold

  11. slew says:
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    Villar just crashed the party!

    • Curtis W. Jones says:
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      Roster Resource agrees. Went from leading off with full time ABs this morning to a platoon in the 8 hole with Isan Diaz. Granted, lineup construction is super fluid right now, but ugh.

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