As many baseball players have done, former Railsplitter pitcher Scot Shields had been in the minor leagues for several years, inching his way toward making it to play in the big leagues. A 38th round draft pick by the Anaheim Angels organization in the 1997 major league baseball draft, Shields started his professional career with the single-A Boise Hawks in Boise, Idaho. He posted a 7-2 record in his first season, while accumulating a 2.94 earned run average.
In 1998, he moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he again played single-A baseball, and in 1999 he was transferred to the Lake Elsinore single-A farm club. There Shields seem to shine, and represented Lake Elsinore in the 1999 California League-Carolina League All-Star game, and was the Angels’ 1999 Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
In 2000, Shields was moved up to AAA ball in Edmonton, Ontario, Canada, where he had a successful year for the Trappers. And in 2001, he was moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he pitched 11 innings for the Stingers before getting moved up to the Anaheim Angels, making his major league debut on May 26, 2001. While his time on the mound was limited that season, it appeared that the former Railsplitter had finally arrived professionally. He pitched in the 2002 World Series which Anaheim eventually won.
Today, Shields is still on the Angels 40-man roster and is referred to by Manager Mike Scioscia as the “team's most valuable pitcher from last season,” and the way the reliever is pitching in 2005, he's not close to handing over his title.
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