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Adams emerged as big talent from small Pennsylvania town

Matt Adams, 1B, Cardinals
Philipsburg, Pa.

Adams doesn't hail from an athletic hotbed, so he didn't get many looks coming out of Philipsburg-Osceola High School in Pennsylvania's Centre County -- even from nearby Penn State. The slugger attended Division II Slippery Rock University, where he shined.

Adams was a first-team All-Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference selection in 2007-09, earning D-II National Player of the Year honors as a junior in '09. He holds the school record for batting average (.453), slugging percentage (.746) and likely would fill the record books had he stayed for another season.

Instead, the Cardinals selected Adams in the 23rd round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, and he began his professional career.

Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for
Read More: St. Louis Cardinals, Matt Adams