DURHAM, NC – Mark Serrano (pictured) only made five starts for the Laredo Lemurs, but those starts were impressive enough to attract the attention of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Arizona purchased Serrano’s contract earlier today and is expected to send the right-handed pitcher to Double-A Mobile, Ala.
Prior to joining the Lemurs, Serrano spent four seasons in the Cincinnati Reds organization. The Reds had drafted Serrano in the sixth round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Oral Roberts University, but they were not the first organization to notice potential in the young pitcher. Serrano had been drafted twice before, both times by the Kansas City Royals, in the 47th round in 2004 and the 44th round in 2005.
After signing with Cincinnati, Serrano began his professional career in 2009 with the Billings Mustangs of the Rookie Level Pioneer League. After just three appearances out of the bullpen with Billings, Serrano was promoted to Low-A Dayton. Between those two stops, the right-hander went 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA, accompanied by 65 strikeouts in 55.1 innings. His success continued the next year, as he made the jump from High-A Lynchburg to Triple-A Louisville. The following season, Serrano went down to High-A Bakersfield, but he bounced back up to Double-A Pensacola in 2012.
In his time with the Lemurs this season, Serrano went 4-1 with a 2.41 ERA. Between five starts and one relief appearance, the righty never allowed more than three earned runs in an outing. In addition, Serrano pitched seven or more innings in each of his last three starts.
His best performance of the year came last Monday (June 3) against Grand Prairie. Serrano finished just one out from a complete game in a 2-1 win on the road against the AirHogs. The Laredo starter surrendered just one run on two hits, while striking out nine batters. Serrano would pitch just once more for Laredo before Arizona purchased his contract. The Oral Roberts product is expected to join the Mobile BayBears of the Southern League this week.