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Our Noticias, 5/6/20: Home Run Rewards update; Berti’s journey

The Marlins have made it easier for fans to earn rewards from home. Plus an extended interview with speedster Jon Berti.

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Miami Marlins v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Home Run Rewards, revamped

With a sizable chunk of the scheduled 2020 MLB season already lost and no firm plans for when the league will resume, the Marlins announced several new twists to their fan rewards program on Wednesday.

As Fish Stripes has been covering on a weekly basis, Baseball-Reference is using Out of the Park Baseball 2021 for their season simulation, publishing the results in rich detail. Using the Marlins’ Pick A Player feature, you can earn daily reward points based on how they perform in those simulated games. Also, team-affiliated media content such as podcasts, game rebroadcasts, social posts and Sev & Geff Live will reference points codes that you can only get by tuning in. Full breakdown on these point values here.

Then there’s “20 Rewards in 20 Days,” which will introduce ways for Home Run Rewards cardholders to redeem their points. Offerings include game-used equipment from Jorge Alfaro, Jon Berti or Caleb Smith and video chats with Sandy Alcantara, Jazz Chisholm, Isan Díaz or Jordan Yamamoto.

Berti’s road to The Show

Episode 12 of Sev & Geff Live—hosted by Marlins broadcasters Paul Severino and Glenn Geffner—featured an hour-long conversation with Jon Berti. The Michigan native was quietly one of Miami’s most valuable players during the second half of 2019. Overall for the season, he slashed .273/.348/.406 (104 wRC+) with 17 stolen bases in 287 plate appearances. Berti reflects on his entire career in pro ball and what motivated him to grind through so many years in the minors.

As you can see, his facial hair has been growing in thick since the Marlins’ final Spring Training game on Mar. 12.

Among the many topics of discussion, Berti explains why he spent the 2013-14 offseason in the Australian Baseball League. His stats from that campaign were otherworldly—the speedster shattered the ABL single-season record with 31 stolen bases in only 46 games! He also led the league in runs scored and walks.

This was, in my opinion, the most interesting excerpt, as Berti says he felt validated by his stint as the regular Marlins shortstop last August while Miguel Rojas nursed a hamstring injury:

“I grew up a shortstop my entire life—that’s one of my favorite positions to play. But for whatever reason, the Blue Jays saw me as a second baseman for the longest time, and then later in my Blue Jay career, they started developing me into more of a utility guy, but not allowing me to play short as much. But I’m thankful that I had started that versatility while I was with them.

“I always felt like, in the back of my mind, I had confidence that I could play shortstop at the big league level, but until you get an opportunity to do so, you can’t prove yourself right or wrong. It was very unfortunate obviously to lose Miggy, one of our team leaders and one of best players. That was super unfortunate. But obviously I got an opportunity to play short and took advantage of it.”

Defensive Runs Saved, Ultimate Zone Rating and Outs Above Average all rated Berti as an above-average defensive shortstop during that small sample (241 23 innings).

KBO Opening Day results

The Korea Baseball Organization began its regular season on Tuesday with a full slate of games. Three former Marlins pitchers are competing there, and each of them started the season openers for their respective teams.

Here are their pitching lines from those 2020 debuts, which link to the full box scores on MyKBO:

Walk-off links

  • Take your electronic communications to the next level with a subscription to our new Marlins GIF database! More GIFs will be uploaded every Friday, regardless of whether there’s a 2020 MLB season.