Former Pasco High power-hitting shortstop Robbie Shields, who recently finished his junior season at Division II Florida Southern, was taken by the New York Mets in the third round Tuesday of the Major League Baseball first-year player draft.
Shields, the 103rd overall selection, hit .329 with 22 home runs and 122 RBIs in three seasons with the Mocs. This past year, he hit .345 with five homers and 37 RBIs.
"I don't even know how to explain it," said Shields, who followed the draft online with family and friends from Cape Cod, where he had planned to play a little summer ball. "Sixteen years of hard work paid off. When my name got called, I just dropped my head and was excited. I thanked the Lord."
As a Pirates senior in 2006, Shields waged the most furious home run derby in local history with Land O'Lakes senior Caz Piurowski. Both finished with a Pasco County-record 18 home runs. Shields hit .553 that year with 40 RBIs.
"The thing about Robbie, he doesn't necessarily have outstanding tools, but he does things well and you're talking about a guy with plus makeup," MLB Scouting Bureau director Frank Marcos said on mlb.com.
"He's a leader and when you can bring that kind of a guy into your system, playing in the middle of the field, this is a very good selection for this club."
Plant's Givens drafted in second round
TAMPA — Ever since he was 2 years old, dressed up in a baseball uniform as a Little League team mascot because he was too young to play, Mychal Givens' dream was to become a professional baseball player.
Plant's sensational pitcher-shortstop heard his name called in the second round of the MLB draft.
Givens was selected by the Baltimore Orioles with the 54th overall pick, the first area player chosen.
"It was tough waiting it out," Givens said. "I fell off them map in the first round and didn't go in the sandwich round. But when I saw the Orioles come up in the second round, I had a feeling they might take me."
Givens said he met with the Orioles area scouts Tuesday morning.
"It's a relief," Givens said. "I've been working hard for a long time with the dream of becoming a major-league ballplayer. Now it's just a job and I'm going to do what I've been doing ever since I started playing ball."
Givens led the Panthers to their first state tournament appearance since 2004, going 8-4 with a 1.71 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 78 innings. He also led the Panthers with a .374 average, four homers and 31 RBIs.
He was the MVP of the Under Armour All-American Game at Wrigley Field last summer and he played in the Aflac All-American Game at Dodger Stadium. He was also awarded the 2008 Jackie Robinson Award, given to the top rising senior high school player in the country.
"It's unfortunate because when you reach a certain level, everyone wants to break you down," Braun said. "One of the problems is that no one knows whether he's a shortstop of a pitcher.
"I guarantee that whoever takes him will have the most protected arm in the draft."
Eduardo A. Encina, Times staff writer