Serritella better than ever after injury
Loyola graduate and Philadelphia Phillies farmhand Christopher Serritella played with the Williamsport Crosscutters (Short-Season A) during the 2012 season and led the New York-Penn League with 24 doubles. | Williamsport Crosscutters
Updated: April 8, 2013 7:24AM
CLEARWATER, FLA. — A season-ending injury during a draft year would be disastrous to most baseball prospects.
Loyola graduate Christopher Serritella isn’t like most baseball players.
The Philadelphia Phillies’ first base prospect sat out his entire junior year (2011) at Southern Illinois University with a broken wrist suffered a week before the start of the season.
Serritella, 23, was disappointed at first about the bad timing of the injury, but soon realized he could still get better without actually stepping on to a diamond.
“Looking back at it, sitting out that entire season was the best thing for me,” the Glenview native said while sitting on one of the bleachers at the Phillies’ minor league facility. “It was a big year of learning for me and it helped out a lot.”
Serritella watched opposing pitchers religiously. He would study pitch selection and location while assembling a vast knowledge of a hurler’s mentality — something that he wouldn’t have time for if he was playing.
“When I was sitting out, the game actually looked really easy,” he said. “I think it helped me a lot to take the step back and realize that I had the talent to perform at the level I did.”
When he came back for his senior year with the Salukis, Serritella won the Missouri Valley Conference batting title with a .389 average, the highest of any SIU player since 1994.
That performance caught the eye of the Phillies and he was drafted in the fourth round (158th overall) of the 2012 June MLB Amateur Draft.
After finishing school, Serritella continued his great play with the Williamsport Crosscutters (Short-Season A) of the New York-Penn League. He hit .297 with six home runs and led the league in doubles (24) and runs batted in (47).
Serritella is enjoying his life as a member of the Phillies now, but he had the opportunity to play for the same organization as his father, John Serritella, when he was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2011.
John was a pitcher for two seasons in the Royals’ minor league system before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, Serritella and the Royals could not agree on dollars.
“It was funny when I got drafted to the Royals, I called my dad and he was like, ‘Wow, what are the odds of this happening,’ so I mean it would have been nice, but coming back to school and getting the opportunity with the Phillies was great,” Serritella said. “That was the best decision of my life so far.”
After a great 2012 season with the Salukis and the Crosscutters, Serritella wants to continue his upward swing and make the Clearwater Threshers (High-A).
“If I control what I can control and bust my butt, hopefully they’ll put me where my goal is,” he said.