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Tampa Bay Rays: 7 Reasons for James Shields' Success

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Tampa Bay Rays: 7 Reasons for James Shields' Success
Bob Levey/Getty Images

When you think of elite pitchers, James Shields is not one of the first people who comes to mind. It is easy to pass over a pitcher in a discussion just because he hasn't had past success.

After a strong start to the season, many people were skeptical whether Shields could sustain his success. His 2010 campaign was disastrous, and bad luck aside, Shields was one of baseball's most ineffective pitchers that year.

But this season, James Shields has been great. Scratch that--incredible. Unbelievable. Dominant. In the course of one offseason, he has transformed himself from mediocre workhorse to a legitimate front-of-the-rotation starter.

So what is behind Shields' success? Let's take a look.

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