GARY SOUTHSHORE RAILCATS MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2022
Contact: Ryan Zimmerman
RailCats Confirm Another Set of Arms
Gary, IN – The Gary SouthShore RailCats bolstered the pitching staff with the signings of Aaron Phillips and Elio Serrano.
Phillips returns to the Steel Yard after making two starts for the RailCats at the end of the 2021 season. In his American Association debut, he tossed seven scoreless innings of three-hit baseball and racked up four strikeouts in a win against the Kane County Cougars on August 31st. Six days later, he allowed just two runs over seven innings in a 2-1 loss to the defending champion Milwaukee Milkmen.
Prior to his arrival in Gary, Phillips starred as both a pitcher and a hitter for three seasons at St. Bonaventure University. As a junior in 2017, he went 9-2 and posted a 3.02 earned run average, 90 strikeouts, an 8.0 strikeouts-per-nine ratio, and a 1.212 WHIP while batting .251 with 26 runs batted in, 13 extra-base hits, and 18 stolen bases. His performance earned him the Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Year Award and ABCA/Rawlings All-American Third Team selection in addition to being a finalist for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award.
Immediately following that impressive junior season, the San Francisco Giants took Phillips in the 9th round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft, making him the highest-ever draft pick in St. Bonaventure history. In his first full season as a pro with the Single-A Augusta GreenJackets, he continued his run of good form, going 6-7 and posting a 3.72 ERA, 120 strikeouts to just 16 walks, and a 1.082 WHIP in 18 starts and one relief outing. Phillips became a California League All-Star with the High-A San Jose Giants and progressed to the team’s Triple-A affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats, just one year later.
“Though he was only with the team for two starts last season, he showed exactly why he reached Triple-A with the Giants right away,” manager Lamarr Rogers said. “I look forward to watching him pick up where he left off and have a successful season.”
Serrano, 23, heads to the South Shore following five seasons in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. Originally from Los Guayos, Venezuela, he signed with the Dodgers at 17 years old as an international free agent in 2016 and got assigned to the team’s Dominican Summer League affiliate. After two years there, he made his way stateside and progressed to the team’s then High-A affiliate, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, before turning 20.
Most recently, Serrano split time between the Quakes, who were reclassified to Low-A, and the Double-A Tulsa Drillers in 2021. As a Dodger farmhand, he accumulated a career 10-7 record, a 3.22 ERA, 179:48 strikeout-to-walk ratio, 1.150 WHIP, and 24 saves in 90 appearances as both a reliever and starter.
“Elio came highly recommended from MLB sources as an experienced strike-thrower pitcher with a good understanding of who he is and what he can do on the mound,” Rogers said. “Reaching Double-A with the Los Angeles Dodgers is no small feat, and I know he’ll display those abilities that had so many people blowing up my phone.”
The RailCats 2022 season begins at the Steel Yard on Friday, May 20 vs Lincoln Saltdogs. Season tickets packages and group outings for the 2022 season can be reserved by calling 219-882-2255 or emailing [email protected].