Randolph Chiefs Produce MCBL’s First Ever Draft Picks
By: Nick Pereira
SECAUCUS, NJ- History was made in the MCBL on Wednesday afternoon when the first ever MCBL player was drafted into the MLB when Randolph’s catcher, Peter Serruto was drafted in the 22nd round by the Cincinnati Reds. Then the very next day, former MCBL catcher, also a member of the Randolph Chiefs, Nick Matera, was selected in the 34th round by the Philadelphia Phillies.
“It’s pretty cool to have coached both of these players,” said Coach Anderson of the Randolph Chiefs. “Both of them are extremely talented offensively and defensively can really get down and block pitches and gun down runners trying to steal.”
Matera, going into his senior year at Rutgers University, will have to make the tough decision on coming back for his last season, or to go pro. Meanwhile, Serruto, who just graduated from Millburn High School, will decide on attending Rutgers this upcoming season or joining the Reds.
Serruto is coming off a career year for Millburn batting .376 with 4 HR’s, 4 2B’s and 26 RBI’s. He finished his high school career as a .332 hitter as a four-year player at Millburn.
“I worked with Pete for a few years now and I really got to know him and his family and he’s just a special player,” Anderson said.
Matera played in the inaugural season of the MCBL in 2016 and in 12 games for the champion Randolph Chiefs, he batted .206 with a .370 OBP smashing 2 2B’s and 2 3B’s.
“Coaching at Randolph High School, we played against Nick every year and he was a very talented player, which made me want to recruit him and get him on my team for the summer,” said Anderson.
In his junior season as the Scarlet Knights catcher, he started in 48 games leading the team in homeruns, doubles and RBI’s. The catcher hit 5 HR’s and drove in 35 runs and reached base safely in the team’s first 18 games of the season. He finished tied for 5th in the BIG 10 throwing out 12 baserunners in the 2018 season.
His great 2018 campaign followed up his very good sophomore season in which he also led Rutgers in homeruns, doubles and slugging percentage. He hit .293 which ranked 2nd among all BIG 10 catchers and was named Third Team All-Big 10 finishing second in the conference throwing out 9 runners behind the plate.
In just the 3rd season of existence, the MCBL is rounding into a very competitive league with talent galore, with Division 1 athletes and even MLB draft picks. The future is very bright for all these players and we wish the best of luck to Matera and Serruto in the majors.
“I think that seeing players drafted makes the league more viable for people looking to play baseball during the summer,” said Anderson. “It’s a local league, where players can get more experience and when people see the successes that players are having from this, it will become a league that more people will want to be a part of.”