Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Phillies pick Serritella in fourth round of MLB Draft

By Scott Gierman
SIUSalukis.com

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois first baseman Chris Serritella was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the fourth round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft Tuesday afternoon. Serritella was the 158th overall pick in this year’s draft.

“It’s definitely exciting to be drafted this high among many of the top college and high school players in the nation,” Serritella said. “This is one of the best days of my life, and I can’t wait to start my career in pro ball.”

Serritella was picked by the Kansas City Royals in the 31st round of last year’s draft despite missing the entire season with a wrist injury but chose to return for his junior season at SIU.

The decision paid off for Serritella, who this spring put together one of the greatest offensive seasons in school history. Last week Serritella was named a Louisville Slugger Third-Team All-American. He also earned All-MVC First-Team honors and was selected to the MVC All-Tournament Team. He led the conference in eight statistical categories this year.

Serritella’s .389 batting average was the highest by an SIU hitter in the last 18 years as he won the Missouri Valley Conference batting title. Serritella also set single-season school records with 24 doubles and 156 total bases, and his 91 hits were one shy of the school record. His 30 career home runs are third most in school history, and his .367 career batting average is the fifth highest in school history.

The Salukis slugger is the highest drafted SIU player since pitcher Cody Adams was the Brewers second round pick in 2008. He also becomes the 12th player in program history to be drafted in the first four rounds of MLB’s June First-Year Player Draft.

“Chris has obviously had a great career as a Saluki and we are extremely proud of all that he has accomplished,” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said. “To be drafted in the fourth round is a great honor and a testament to his talent and abilities. We wish him the best of luck and look forward to following his professional career.”

Serritella is expected to meet with the Phillies soon and will be assigned to a minor league team after signing a contract. The deadline for drafted players to sign is July 13 at 4 p.m. Central Time.
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