Picerni is the 1st member of the modern-era NYU Violets Baseball Team to be drafted, as the program is only in its 2nd year, after suspending operations in the mid-1970s. The last player to be drafted from NYU was Kevin McNichol by the Yankees in the 20th round of the 1974 draft.
Picerni is a native of Calabasas, California. As a child, CJ had a small acting career in the early 2000s in bit roles. He appeared in the movies Big Fat Liar, featuring Frankie Muniz, & Gone in Sixty Seconds with Nicholas Cage. CJ did stunt work in Dude, Where’s My Car?
CJ attended the now defunct Montclair Prep High School. After 2 years at Cal Lutheran University, where he did not see much playing time, Picerni transferred to NYU, where he became a sports management major.
During the 2015 season, Picerni appeared in 42 games, doing 48 for 145 hitting .331, scoring 22 runs with 7 doubles, 5 triples and 3 homers. He drew 13 walks and struck out 21 times.
For the 2016 season, Picerni hit .258 in 35 games, scoring 12 runs, driving in 15 runs and hitting 7 doubles.
In his 2 seasons at NYU, Picerni totals come out to a batting average of .297, 80 hits, 54 RBIs, 14 doubles, 5 triples, 3 home runs (including one at MCU Park), 34 runs scored, 51 strikeouts and 20 walks.
Picerni was named to the University Athletic Association (UAA) Second Team in 2015. He also served as a team captain for the past two seasons.
Picerni issued a short statement to Brooklyn Baseball Banter.
“I’m just truly honored and blessed for this to happen and I look forward to what’s next. This is truly a blessing and a dream come true. This is what every kid who grows up playing the game dreams of.
Violets Manager Doug Kimbler had nothing but praises for his former Catcher in a statement to Brooklyn Baseball Banter:
It is a great day for CJ. He has worked his whole life for an opportunity to play professional baseball. CJ brought a professional attitude to NYU and I know he will continue it to the Washington Nationals Organization. Years and years of hard work contributed to this, and I think his game acquaints to the professional level.
If Picerni signs, get assigned to the Auburn Doubledays & plays against the Cyclones in August, he will the first player to have played a college baseball home game at MCU Park to later play in the NYPL. (This excludes neutral site tournament games).