The stories of the spring have been dominated by injuries to Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda and all the drama with Rubin Tejada, plus all the news with the current pitching staff and future studs on the mound.
But each spring there always seems to be one story that stands out from the rest, and doesn’t get much fanfare, but is truly a story worth sharing.
Back in early March, Anthony Dicomo of MLB.com, wrote a fantastic post about Anthony Seratelli and how his father’s sudden passing back in February of 2011, fueled his desires to not only reach the major leagues but to dedicate his journey to his father, Russell Seratelli. It is truly a must read.
Seratelli, 31, who is a native of New Jersey, has played in the minor leagues for the past eight seasons without ever making it into a major league game. His path as a pro ballplayer has been long and arduous, but it has’t deterred him from continuing to pursue his dreams.
The utility infielder, spent the 2013 season with the Kansas City Royal’s Triple-A affiliate and batted .273/.395/.413, with 17 doubles, 11 home runs, 41 RBI, 24 stolen bases, and 77 walks in 487 plate appearances.
In his eight minor league seasons he has compiled a .276 batting average, with 67 home runs and 382 RBI, which makes me wonder, why he hasn’t gotten some sort of opportunity to make the major league roster or even a call up when rosters expanded in September’s past. But things happen for a reason and it would be great for the younger Seratelli to make his major league debut with the Mets in front of family and friends.
Having a versatile ball player is always a plus on any team and Terry Collins looks at Seratelli as someone worth keeping, “He can play any position, he can switch-hit, he can run. That’s nice to have a guy like that on the bench.”
At Friday’s spring training game in Fort Myers against the Minnesota Twins, I witnessed Collins taking a moment to give Seratelli some pointers on how to approach each at bat.
As Spring Training winds down to an end, Seratelli’s family and friends wait anxiously for the opportunity to celebrate him making the team. And even though it can be nerve-racking and keeps them on edge, they know how significant it would be for him to break camp with the Mets, “It would simply mean a lot because he has been extremely committed and has worked so hard every step of the way,” his mother Victoria Seratelli told me on Saturday.
Anthony Seratelli’s story is one worth keeping tabs on this coming week. The hope is that he is one of the 25 players who get to travel back up North to Citi Field on March 31 when they play the Washington Nationals. It would finally make all the years of hard work and dedication worth it.
If all goes as expected for him a week from today, he’ll end one chapter in an inspiring story and begin a new one as major league ballplayer.
(Photos: Anthony J. Causi, David Conde)