Former University of Tennessee pitcher Kyle Serrano was selected by the Houston Astros in the 10th round (301st overall) of the 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
With his selection, Serrano joins third baseman Jordan Rodgers (sixth round — Atlanta) as Tennessee’s 2017 Major League Draft picks through the first 10 rounds. Previously drafted by the Colorado Rockies (29th round — 2014) and the Milwaukee Brewers (40th round — 2016), Serrano is the 55th top-10 draft selection for the Volunteers since 1965 and one of 129 total players to be drafted out of Tennessee.
Serrano is the first Astros draftee out of Rocky Top since VFL Matt Duffy was also selected by the franchise in the 20th round of the 2011 MLB Draft.
Entering the 2017 season, Serrano ranked No. 93 on Baseball America’s Top 100 Draft Prospects list. He went 0-2 with a 3.72 ERA over nine appearances prior to his departure from the program in April due to personal reasons. In 9.2 innings of work, he struck out 21 batters and held opponents to a .194 batting average.
In 2016, Serrano made one start for the Volunteers before missing the remainder of the season with Tommy John surgery. In his one start against Memphis in February, the righthander tossed 3.2 innings while allowing one earned run on three hits with three strikeouts.
Entering his junior year in 2016, Serrano was listed as No. 18 on D1Baseball.com’s Top 20 Juniors list, as well as the No. 42 MLB Draft Prospect by Baseball America. He went 3-2 and tossed 36.2 innings in the 2015 summer season for the Cape Cod League’s Orleans Firebirds, recording 38 strikeouts, walking eight batters and posting a 3.68 ERA. Serrano went on to throw 3.1 scoreless innings for the Firebirds in the Cape Cod League postseason, registering one save and seven strikeouts.
The Knoxville native led the Volunteers’ pitching staff as a sophomore in 2015, posting a 5-4 record over 22 appearances (eight starts) with a 4.47 ERA and 47 strikeouts over 54.1 innings of work. As a freshman in 2014, he went 3-3 with a 4.55 ERA in 19 appearances (nine starts), fanning 40 batters in 59.1 innings.
In his career on Rocky Top, Serrano owns an 8-10 record with a 4.39 ERA and 111 strikeouts over 127.0 innings pitched. He made 51 appearances, including 19 starts, and held opponents to a .234 average.