By, Victor Franco, Staff Writer
David Bermudez, a transfer from Rider University and a current Manhattan College graduate student, has been put on the watchlist for the Brooks Wallace Award. The highly prestigious award given by the College Baseball Foundation (CBF) aims to recognize the top college shortstop at the national level.
Bermudez has helped MC Baseball compete with other top schools in Division I baseball. During an interview with Bermudez, the Quadrangle gained more insight into who Bermudez is and his goals with the team.
Bermudez’s earliest recollection of when he began playing was by the age of five when he began following his older brother’s footsteps.
“Being the younger brother I always wanted to do what he was doing, so I picked up a baseball,” Bermudez said.
Bermudez did not know it at the time, but following his brother and picking up a baseball led to him finding a passion that would stay in his life forever.
“Baseball has had a huge impact on my life, it is who I am as a person and also has taught me to balance more in my life,” Bermudez said.
Before coming to play for Manhattan College, Bermudez made a name for himself at Rider University in New Jersey where he was consistently a player who could lead and perform in critical moments. This same ambition has crossed over in his educational career in MC. Bermudez is in progress to complete his MBA with a concentration in Business Analytics.
Coming into a new team, Bermudez admits that the transition was not an easy adjustment at first, but he soon found his place and started to build chemistry with his new team.
“I adapted very well because the coaches and teammates were a great environment to be a part of,” Bermudez said.
Christopher Cody, the Assistant Coach for the Jaspers baseball team acknowledges that Bermudez’s mindset is what makes him stand out at the Division I level.
“Bermudez brings intensity every day, whether it be to practice or in games,” Cody said.. That translates to results. Dave’s stats speak for themselves.,” Cody said.
Bermudez’s current stats consist of 39 runs scored, 54 hits, 13 doubles, 8 home runs, 91 total bases, a .664 slugging percentage. Along with this Bermudez holds a 12-game hitting streak. These stats have led Bermudez to be the top player in all these categories in the MAAC. Against St. Peters earlier this month Bermudez alone had 22 RBI’s, 22 scored runs, and a home run which led the team to victory.
Michael Cole, head baseball coach for Manhattan College has also seen the work that Bermudez has put to maintain an educational and athletic career simultaneously.
“Being able to juggle athletics and academics at the Division I level is very difficult. David has been able to do it at an elite level both in the classroom and on the field,” Cole said.
Bermudez predicts the team to accomplish great things once they get to the playoffs.
“I don’t think as a team we’ve played our best baseball, which is good because I think we are going to hit our stride going into the playoffs,” Bermudez said.
Bermudez believes there are many ways to personally improve so that he can contribute more to the team.
“I think as a whole there are always improvements to be made on all aspects such as speed and hitting,” Bermudez said.
Throughout the season playing for MC, the coaches have also observed positive changes in his game that can lead the team to more wins.
“David was such a great addition from day one. As the year has gone on, I have noticed his voice taking charge when the rest of the group needs it,” Cody said.
Being a leader has become natural to Bermudez because he ultimately wants his team to excel and persevere through the season. Bermudez has always been ambitious not only in the field but in the classroom too, he has continuously been nominated MAAC All-Academic Team honoree due to his grades and performance on the field.
“The way Bermudez goes about his business on a daily basis has really rubbed off on his teammates. He is a blue collar kid that does things the right way on and off the field,” Cole said.
Being the ideal student athlete has always led him to be recognized by his teammates, coaches, and on a national level. The MAAC has also recognized Bermudez’s talents as they named him “Player of the week” earlier this month. Not only this but Bermudez has outperformed many other players in the conference. As the season continues, Bermudez keeps a level headed mind as the team continues to compete in the MAAC.