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Early move to Texas works wonders for Wacha

Michael Wacha, RHP, Cardinals
Hometown: Iowa City, Iowa

Michael Wacha was born in Iowa but grew up on the diamond in the baseball hotbed of Texas.

Wacha's family moved to Texarkana, Texas, when he was 3 years old. He attended Pleasant Grove High School in that town and shined on the basketball court, baseball field and in the classroom.

The Cardinals righty was a two-time All-State selection as a pitcher at Pleasant Grove and led the Hawks to the state finals as a junior in 2008. He was a first-team Academic All-State selection in basketball, as well.

Wacha played his college baseball at Texas A&M, about five hours from home. He was a freshman All-American in 2010 and a third-team All-American by Baseball America in 2011. The Cardinals selected him with the 19th overall pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.

"Dreams do come true," Wacha said that year. "It's just an honor to be picked by the St. Louis Cardinals. They have a proven history of success, and I can't wait to get involved with it."

He got involved quickly, earning MVP honors in the 2013 National League Championship Series.

Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for
Read More: St. Louis Cardinals, Michael Wacha