By John J. Werner III
This season, the Bloodhounds finished with an even .500 record in conference play, with five wins and five losses, but don’t let the record deceive you; this team is on its way up. This record was achieved with many younger players on the team. Some of the players that were a factor in this year’s third place finish will be eligible to come back. What makes that a key component of the potential resurgence is that these players are young and stand to only get better with experience. A big part of the youth movement was freshmen pitchers Braylin Perez and Mark Marte.
Pitcher Perez pitched ten strong innings in John Jay’s upset win over Baruch in the CUNYAC tournament, highlighting a season where he got better throughout the year. He lost his first conference start in a game against Yeshiva University, where he gave up nine hits and five runs in five innings pitched in what turned out to be a six to four loss for the Bloodhounds. However, he showed a glimmer of hope striking out eight of the batters he faced. During his next start he received a no decision in the Bloodhounds eight to six win against Baruch. Perez threw five and a third innings and struck out six. His next two games showed his potential to become the staff ace as he pitched two complete games and got the win in each. Finally in the CUNYAC he pitched an incredible ten innings in John Jay’s win over Baruch. Using the game score method used by Major League Baseball, which starts with an average score of 50 and uses a formula to judge a pitchers performance, with higher being better, he scored a 66.
To put his performance against the conference into perspective, the use of FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) can help. FIP measures variables that the pitcher controls, such as home runs allowed, walks allowed, and strikeouts, to measure how effective he was on his own. Should a FIP be higher than a pitchers ERA (Earned Run Average, how many earned runs he gives up for every nine innings), it generally means that his defense made him look better than he was. For example Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia’s current ERA is 2.89, an incredible number, however his FIP is 2.84, meaning he’s pitching slightly better than his defense is playing. Braylin had an ERA of 4.02, but his FIP was a 3.97, meaning he slightly outplayed his defense. The best part of this: he’s only a freshman. With experience, he is bound to find better control of his pitches, leading to less walks, less hits, and ultimately less runs allowed.
Mark Marte, another freshman, put up excellent numbers for a freshman, though most came out of play. He made seven appearances during the season and posted a 4.75 ERA, however his FIP was a 4.06. Like his freshman counterpart Perez, he struggled with giving up too many walks. Similar to his counterpart, he has room to grow into a dominant pitcher.
In collegiate athletics, teams are at their strongest when they have a core of experienced players. The Bloodhounds this year discovered some of the cornerstones of what could be the strongest team in the CUNYAC of the future.
Next year The Bloodhounds have some solid players that under normal circumstances stand to only get better. With their improvement, Head Coach Dan Palumbo stands to lead a squad that is ready to contend for a CUNY title, and bring John Jay home another trophy to add to its already impressive list.