James Anthony Shields (born on December 20, 1981 in Newhall, California) is a major league pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays. He bats and throws right-handed.


Shields was drafted in the 2000 Amateur Draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.[1] He made his Major League debut against the Baltimore Orioles on May 31, 2006.[2] He surrendered five runs over five innings as he earned a no-decision. On June 5, Shields picked up his first big league win against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim striking out six over six innings of work. On June 21, 2006 Shields became the first Devil Rays pitcher to start his career with 4 straight wins.

In high school he was named the Los Angeles Times' Valley Player of the Year in 1999,[3] his junior season after leading William S. Hart High School (CA) to the Division II championship. Was 11-0 with a 2.35 ERA striking out 123 batters in 71.1 innings pitched...also batted .478 with a then-school record 11 home runs and 45 RBI ... also named the Southern Section's Division II Player of the Year ... He was offered a full scholarship to play baseball at Louisiana State University ... Ranked as the number 16 high school prospect by Baseball America in 2000.[4]

Shields' rookie season with Tampa Bay was relatively unimpressive. He finished with a 6-8 record and an ERA of 4.84.[5] However, his 104 strikeouts in just under 125 innings was promising.

In 2007, Shields began to emerge as a legitimate top of the rotation starter to complement Scott Kazmir. On May 9, he pitched nine shutout, 3-hit innings, only to receive a no decision due to lack of run support in an eventual 10-inning loss. Later, on May 30th, he pitched a complete game in a 5-3 win vs the Detroit Tigers in which after a 3-run first inning, he retired 13 straight batters. Shields finished the season 12-8 with a 3.85 ERA in 31 starts. His 184 strikeouts in 215 innings places him among the league leaders. He was also second-best in the AL in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.11 K/BB) and third-best in walks per 9 innings (1.51 BB/9) and WHIP (1.107).

Based on less than two full years of major league work with Tampa Bay, in 2008 the Rays signed him to a 7-year contract which could be worth upwards of $44 million dollars.

After an injury to Tampa Bay's ace, Scott Kazmir, Shields made the 2008 Opening Day start for the Rays against Baltimore, earning the win by giving up two runs in seven innings in the 6-2 victory.

On April 27th, 2008, Shields threw a two-hit complete game shutout against the Boston Red Sox, throwing only 98 pitches for his first of his career. On May 9, 2008, the one year anniversary of his shutout against Detroit, Shields had a one-hit shutout against the Angels, posting a Game Score of 93. He won the game on Evan Longoria's walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth. The lack of run support prior to the Longoria winner was similar to Shield's performance one year earlier.

File:Massive fenway brawl.jpg

Shields was suspended for six games by the league for his role in a brawl during a game against the Boston Red Sox. Shields hit Red Sox batter Coco Crisp with a pitch, and Crisp charged the mound. Shields threw a punch and missed, while Crisp countered and made contact with the back of Shields. Moments later, both teams' benches emptied onto the field. Shields stated afterward that he was protecting his teammates, believing he did the right thing following an incident the night before involving Crisp.[6]

Scouting ReportEdit

Shields has great command of his fastball and changeup. His 4-seamer sits around 90 while his less used 2-seamer is in the mid-to-upper 80s. His changeup is top notch when he keeps it down in the zone and sits in the low 80s. He also occasionally mixes in an average curve.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Shields lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, during the off season with his wife, Ryane (nee Barber), and their daughter, Ashtyn. They married in November 2007 in Kauai, Hawaii.

Shields is the first cousin of San Francisco Giants Outfielder, Aaron Rowand.[8] But Shields is not related to Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reliever, Scot Shields.[9]


While Rays are playing a commercial appears on Ion Television, Shields claims that in the '80s he was a BIG fan of the group Loverboy.

References Edit

External links Edit

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