Sensational Serrano

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson catches up with Arkansas baseball signee Joe Serrano, who has had a record-setting senior season for Tucson (AZ) Salpointe Catholic and has the Razorbacks coming to him this weekend. This story is free and sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. Click on the Arkansas Toyota banner.

Arkansas baseball signee Joe Serrano of Tucson (AZ) Salpointe Catholic won't be able to make the Razorbacks' Friday NCAA Regional game with Charlotte in Tempe, but it's not because he doesn't want to.

He's just got a busy day with a morning workout for the Houston Astros – one of many clubs considering taking him in Monday's Major League Baseball draft - and then an all-star game on Friday night.

"Hopefully every thing will go okay and I can see them on Saturday, especially if they are playing the late game," Serrano said. "But Friday is going to be pretty busy for me. (Arkansas head) Coach (Dave) Van Horn said he is going to do his best to get over for some of my all-star game and that means a lot to me."

Serrano (6-0, 185) is an infield prospect that had a fantastic senior season, especially when you consider he was pitched around a lot.

Still he managed to hit .541 (59-of-106), belted 11 home runs, set new state records with 69 RBIs and 26 doubles and walked 22 times in just 28 games.

"I knew going into the season that I probably wasn't going to get more than one or two pitches to hit per at-bat so I worked really hard at trying to be able to cover the plate and not miss a pitcher's mistakes," Serrano said. "It ended up working out pretty well for me. When they made a mistake, I made them pay."

His senior season obviously turned quite a few heads among the professional clubs and he has played before scouts from the Red Sox, Yankee, White Sox and Reds – all of whom seem as interested as Van Horn does.

"Serrano is a guy that we had in one of our camps and continued to follow," Van Horn said. "He is a hard-nosed player that can play anywhere in the infield. He likes to steal bases and is very aggressive. His baseball instincts could help get him into the lineup early."

Serrano is one of two Razorback signees from Arizona along with Nevin Wilson (6-2, 185), a left-handed pitcher from Scottsdale Chapparal.

Both are expected to be selected in Monday's MLB draft, but neither know when to expect for their name to be called.

"Obviously it is every player's dream to play professional baseball so it really is just a matter of where I get selected and what the money is like in terms of whether I go pro or come to college," Serrano said. "If the money is right, that is what I will do.

"But I have a great second option if things don't go right with the draft," Serrano said. "I would love playing for Arkansas and Coach Van Horn. Arkansas is just amazing – their coaches, their stadium and their fans."

Serrano had offers from Arkansas, Kansas, San Diego State, Washington, Utah, Nevada, Santa Clara and Pacific.

"I got it down to Arkansas, Kansas and San Diego State and took visits before deciding Arkansas was the place for me," Serrano said. "That's the best field I have ever been on. They have just great facilities and I love the outdoors so I am going to spend a lot of time at Beaver Lake if I make it down there.

"My parents also own some businesses (SuperCuts and ProCuts) in Arkansas and Oklahoma so I'm familiar with what it is like down there," Serrano added. "I got it down to Arkansas and Kansas, which are very similar, but Arkansas had better coaches, a better program and a better facilities."

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