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Shannon Harold Stewart

23 Shannon Stewart; Left Field

Name: Shannon Harold Stewart
Birth date: 02/25/1974
Birthplace: Cincinnati, OH
Height: 5-11
Weight: 210
School: Southridge High (FL)
Draft: 1992 1st round – Blue Jays
Nickname: Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Position: Left Field
Experience: 10 years
2005 Salary: 6,000,000
Contract Status: 3 year contract worth 18M
Service Time: 7.121

Minnesota Twins Leftfielder, Shannon Stewart, was born February 25, 1974 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Shannon was a standout athlete at Southridge High School in Southridge, Florida where he was in track, baseball, and football. In 1992, he was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1st round (19th pick) and made his major league debut on September 2, 1995. Shannon fluctuated between the majors and minors over the next several seasons, eventually finding a starting place in the every day line-up by the end of 1997. Shannon was traded in 2003 to the Minnesota Twins for Bobby Kielty in a move designed to free money from the Blue Jays' payroll.

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Shannon has been criticized for his poor arm in the outfield and his dwindling aggression on the bases, largely as the result of continued hamstring injuries. Shannon is often seen as a liability in the field; opposing base runners frequently take bases they might not take if another fielder were playing his position.

Shannon bats a .300 career average with occasional power and good on-base percentage. He hit 11 homers in just 378 at-bats last year, and had the best OBP of his big league career. Shannon has adapted well to playing in the Metrodome. He likes pulling the ball, but will adjust and go with the pitch if worked away.

Although blessed with good speed, Shannon’s history of leg injuries has kept him from being an aggressive base stealer. He had just six steals in nine attempts last year. A decent fielder who can put his speed to good use, he is unable to throw with any strength because of an old football injury to his right shoulder.

Despite his less than spectacular defensive reputation, Shannon finished 4th in the American League MVP voting in 2003, a remarkable accomplishment for a lead-off hitter. Shannon also led the Twins club in at-bats, hits and multi-hit games (42), he was second in runs and doubles, tied for second in total bases (214) and was fourth in total games.

After signing a three-year, $18 million contract, Shannon Stewart missed much of the season with hamstring and foot injuries. He was effective when healthy, mimicking his career norms by hitting .304 with a .380 on-base percentage.

At this point in his career, Shannon is a known commodity-what's not known is whether he'll be able to stay on the field all year. The Twins hope to keep him healthy since the Twins' winning percentage when he's in the lineup is much higher than when he's out.

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