Despite dreary weather to wrap March, a true Spring milestone is upon us, Opening Day!

I became a (casual) baseball fan through marriage. My young daughters already have been to more pro games than I had attended before college. So my ‘love of the game’ is fairly fresh, but one thing’s for sure, I love rooting for our NJ pros!

NJ ballplayers in MLB Todd Frazier
NJ ballplayers in MLB to root for (Erin Vogt on the road in Cincinatti, Townsquare Media)

Don’t asking me batting averages or other stats. But, I will take the time to learn where these guys are from. I love seeing their Jersey pride and efforts to give back to their communities.

Here’s a completely non-technical roundup of 10 pros in the MLB, who have Garden State ties:

1. Mike Trout, #27 with the Angels (Millville)

Trout is a center fielder with the Anaheim Angels and a superstar among NJ born athletes. He's also a Wawa fan who loves the chain's chicken noodle soup.

2. Rick Porcello, #22 with the Red Sox (Morristown)

Porcello is a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. The Morris County native has baseball in his blood (his grandfather was NJ pro Sam Dente) and recently donated a new field to his high school, Seton Hall Prep.

3. Todd Frazier, #21 with the White Sox (Toms River)

Ocean County native Todd Frazier is a third baseman for the Chicago White Sox. (We got to see him play with the Reds, a couple summers ago.) He has a storied history with Toms River Little League and is steadfast in his NJ pride, as he's raising his family here.

4. Pat Light, #35 with the Pirates (Colts Neck)

Light is a pitcher, entering his first season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He went to CBA and Monmouth University and just turned 26, as this NJ class helped him celebrate!

5. Hector Santiago, #53 with the Twins (Newark)

Santiago is a pitcher for the Minnesota Twins, who has given back to the Newark little league program.  The Bloomfield Tech High School grad held a ProCamp at Roberto Clemente Field this past off-season.

6. Brad Brach, #35 with the Orioles (Freehold)

Brach is a relief pitcher with the Baltimore Orioles. The Freehold native shared a nice moment on-camera with his High School coach, 3 seasons ago. When it comes to NJ's best slice, he casts his vote for Federici's pizza.

7. Matt Szczur, #20 with the Cubs (Cape May)

Matt Szczur is an outfielder with Chicago's World Champion team. The Villanova grad still has deep roots in Cape May County, and spends a good deal of time with family in the off-season.

8. Anthony DeSclafani, #28 with the Reds (Freehold)

DeSclafani is a pitcher with the Cincinatti Reds. He starts the season after a scary sprain in spring training.  He grew up in Howell and graduated from Colts Neck High School.

9. Charlie Morton, #50 with the Astros (Flemington)

Morton is a pitcher now with the Houston Astros. He spent last season with the Phillies (most of it injured), when he talked about the emotions that come with being traded.

10. Alex Reyes, #61 with the Cardinals (Elizabeth)

Reyes is a pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals, on the mend after Tommy John surgery. At the very least, he's got a beautiful baby daughter that he counts as the 'best thing that's happened' to him.  Born and raised in Elizabeth, he's still considered a strong part of the team's future.

Proud Jersey Girl Erin Vogt’s first reporting gig involved her Fisher Price tape recorder. As a wife and momma of two kiddies, she firmly believes that life’s too short to drink bad coffee.  A fan of the beach, Dave Grohl and karma, in no particular order.

Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook as ProudJersey.

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