Matt Shoemaker, RHP, Angels
Hometown: Wyandotte, Mich.
Shoemaker has always been a Michigan man. He was born there, went to high school there, attended college there. He still lives there with his wife, and he still roots on the University of Michigan football team (even though he went to nearby Eastern Michigan University).
Shoemaker, a graduate of Trenton High School, chose to leave Eastern Michigan early, with one year of eligibility remaining, when he signed with the Angels as an undrafted free agent in 2008. He has blossomed into one of the American League's biggest surprises this season as a 27-year-old rookie.
Earlier this season, Shoemaker became the first Michigan-born pitcher to beat the Tigers since 2005. He threw seven scoreless innings on a late July evening to beat his favorite boyhood team.
Matthew DeFranks is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.