In this year’s amateur MLB draft, catcher CJ Picerni became the first player in 40 years to be drafted out of New York University. The Washington Nationals drafted him in the 31st round, with the 934th pick overall. The last player to be drafted from this prestigious university was Kevin McNichol by the New York Yankees back in 1974. NYU has not had a player drafted due to the stoppage of the school’s baseball program from 1974 to 2015. The catcher recorded 80 hits, 54 RBIs and three homeruns during the span of his two-year career at the university. Not only a talent at the plate, Picerni also knows how to use his glove and is a leader on the field.
Named to the Second team University Athletic Association (UAA) in 2015, this California native graduated from Montclair Prep in 2011. After playing at Junior College, CJ was named captain of the NYU team and led them to two 20-win seasons.
When he isn’t behind the plate, Picerni studies sports management. Now he looks to make a splash in the big leagues, although the task certainly will not be easy. With only about 10 percent of minor league players making the step into the pros, Picerni will have a tough road ahead of him. Unlike most, however, he does get the chance to continue following his dreams playing the sport he loves. Regardless where he ends up in his baseball career, this feat of being the first player drafted in four decades is an honor.