Kendrick's big league dreams began in Florida

Howie Kendrick, 2B, Angels
Jacksonville, Fla.

Howie Kendrick had to wait for his time to come. He was passed over by everyone in the country coming out of West Nassau High School in Callahan, Fla., and didn't receive a scholarship offer. All Kendrick had was a tryout at St. Johns River Community College, which is about an hour south of Jacksonville. He made it count.

If not for Angels scout Tom Kotchman, the second baseman may have never been noticed at the tiny Palatka, Fla., school. But Kotchman took note of the lightly scouted infielder and the Angels drafted Kendrick in the 10th round in 2002.

Kendrick and his two sisters were raised by their grandmother before her health faded while Howie was in high school and Kendrick moved in with a teammate's parents.

Matthew DeFranks is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.