Fantasy Baseball: Need steals? You should add Jon Berti

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When the fantasy baseball season opened, the Marlins didn’t view Jon Berti as an everyday player. But life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.

With teammates hurt and slumping, Berti has turned into a regular over the past few weeks. He’s started 15 of the past 17 games, hitting in a variety of spots. When the Marlins face a lefty, Berti often percolates to the top of the lineup. Against a righty — and they faced a righty Monday — Berti generally slots sixth or seventh.

Berti offers minimal power — two homers on the year, and a .412 slugging percentage — but his other skills earn his keep. He’s hit .263 over the past 15 games, with a .344 OBP, both plus numbers in today’s game.

His fantasy worth, however, is enhanced by aggression and skill on the bases; he’s swiped 10 bags over these glorious 15 games.

Jon Berti #5 of the Miami Marlins has increased fantasy value
A common fantasy sight in Miami these days: Jon Berti securing second base. (Eric Espada/Getty Images)

Berti came through against the Phillies, posting two hits, two runs, and another steal. Mark that territory.

If you prefer to look at the entire season, the picture gets rosier. Berti has a .798 OPS, which hashes out to a 128 OPS+ when you compare it to the league and factor in the park adjustment. This is a useful player.

Every bag matters, especially in the shape of today’s game. Berti’s the top thief of the month and only Marcus Semien (seven bags) is within hailing distance. Berti is also easy to slot for Yahoo fantasy purposes; he qualifies at second, third, and the outfield.

Berti offers occasional DFS juice in the coming 11 games when the Marlins face four left-handed starters. And he’s still widely available in traditional formats, rostered in a modest 16 percent of Yahoo leagues. I’ve added him for a couple of my clubs, looking for versatility and a boost in the stolen base column.

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