Santiago got his start on Newark softball diamonds

Hector Santiago, LHP, Angels
Hometown: Newark, N.J.

When the Newark native received his first callup to the big leagues in 2011, the text messages and Facebook messages rolled in. But they also flooded in for Santiago's father, Hector Sr.

Santiago's father had carried young Hector Jr. around with him to his various fast-pitch softball games around the area. It was there where Hector Jr. could be seen shagging fly balls and enjoying being around the game. That's where the lefty's journey started.

Santiago grew up in the North Ward in Newark, and the cold weather made it tough for him to get much attention as a left-handed pitcher. After playing high school baseball at Bloomfield Tech, Santiago attended Okaloosa-Walton College in Florida in an attempt to gain more exposure. He did, and was drafted in the 30th round by the White Sox in 2006.

Santiago's brother, Anthony, also joined the White Sox organization in 2012 and is transitioning from being a catcher to becoming a pitcher.

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