The catcher spent his junior year of high school prepping at De La Salle in Warren, Mich., but returned to his home state of Florida for his senior year. He attended Archbishop McCarthy High School, where he was taken in the 34th round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft by the Tigers.
Rather than sign, Avila opted to enroll at Alabama, where he capped his career as a First-Team All-SEC selection. He was again drafted by the Tigers, this time in the fifth round in 2008. Avila debuted with Detroit in August 2009, and he just completed his fifth full season as Detroit's regular backstop.
His younger brother, Nick, pitches for the Tigers' Double-A Erie affiliate.
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.