Baseball: Phillies select Glenview’s Serritella in fourth round
Updated: July 8, 2012 6:37PM
A broken wrist sidelined Chris Serritella his entire junior season at Southern Illinois.
It turned out to be a blessing for the Salukis first baseman.
Serritella’s second chance at a big-league career came Tuesday when the Philadelphia Phillies drafted the 6-foot-3, 205-pounder with the 158th pick, the last selection of the fourth round.
Although Serritella had thought about starting his pro career this time last year, he wasn’t selected until the 31st round.
The 2008 Loyola graduate decided to go back to the Carbondale campus for his senior season.
“Best decision I ever made,” the Glenview resident said. “I took the last season to really learn the game, all the little things. I also got my swing back. I was able to better my talent.
“I became more mature as a baseball player and as a person.”
Serritella was one of the best hitters to ever play for the Salukis. He set single-season records this spring with 24 doubles and 156 total bases.
Serritella led the Missouri Valley Conference in batting average (.389), on-base percentage (.461) and slugging percentage (.667). He tied for first with 13 homers. The power-hitting infielder also drove in a team-best 61 runs in 58 games.
“That was my best year,” he said. “In the past, I had been inconsistent with my swing. I would have it one weekend and lose it the next. I felt like it was there throughout the season.”
Serritella said he planned to sit down Tuesday night and start negotiating his contract. He said he hopes to be on the road somewhere next week.
“This is something I dreamt about as a kid,” he said. “Once I got to high school, it was about getting a college scholarship. Then, the possibility of playing pro ball came along. The last two years it became more of a reality.
“This is an exciting time for me and my family. I’m excited about the next phase of my career.”