David Shields has dreams of playing in the major leagues one day.

For now, the recent Mt. Lebanon graduate will settle for working out for teams in MLB parks.

“I was at Fenway the other day, and I was at PNC yesterday,” Shields said one day last week.

During his senior season, though, Shields played at places like Norwin High School, Boyce Mayview Park and Wild Things Park, and wherever he went, MLB personnel followed, as Shields is projected to be taken in the first few rounds of next month’s draft.

The son of a district golf pro, Shields already has a sweet golf swing, but it’s what this teen did with his baseball swing and, even more so, his left arm, that made him stand out so much this season.

A bout with mononucleosis that caused him to lose 15 pounds slowed Shields’ start to the season, but once healthy, it was full-steam ahead. Shields, a 6-foot-2 southpaw, pitched in six games this spring — all starts — and went 5-1 with a 0.51 ERA. Shields allowed only 2 earned runs, 14 hits and 4 walks in 35 innings while striking out 63 in helping Mt. Lebanon win a section title and reach the WPIAL Class 6A championship game for the third year in a row. For his career, Shields, who reclassified following his sophomore year and didn’t have a junior year, owned an 11-3 record and 1.26 ERA to go along with 211 strikeouts in 127⅔ innings.

Shields can also put a hurting on a baseball, and he showed off his hitting talents again this spring for coach Patt McCloskey’s squad. Shields batted .383 with a home run and 11 total extra-base hits. In 79 plate appearances, Shields drew 14 walks, struck out four times and boasted an OPS of 1.163.

Mt. Lebanon’s David Shields pitched in only six games this season, but his left arm was electric in all of them, as he finished with a 5-1 record and 0.51 ERA to go along with 63 strikeouts and only four walks in 35 innings. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Shields has a bright future, but the present is sunny, too. He arrived in Florida over the weekend, and on Monday began taking summer classes at the University of Miami. Shields, who tossed a no-hitter in the WPIAL championship in 2023, will have the option of playing in college if he so chooses. That’s if he doesn’t opt to turn professional right away.

For his efforts this season, Shields has been selected as the PUP baseball Player of the Year. All players in the WPIAL and City League were considered, and the honor was picked by the PUP sports staff.

Q: One thing you’ve learned from playing for coach McCloskey?

A: His passion for the game and for the team. It just kind of rubs off on everybody. Playing for him, it’s like you’re always trying to find a way to get better. Just like the way he shows up every day. And he’s never in a bad mood.

Q: What’s it like pitching in front of dozens of scouts?

A: It’s pretty cool. I like people watching in general. I just play. People like that who are the decision makers, it’s fun to pitch in front of them. It’s definitely a different look to see them behind home plate, but it doesn’t bother me at all.

Q: Best player you played against this season?

A: Probably Gavin Kelly from Central Catholic. I played with him for a little bit when I was younger, and he’s one of the better players around.

Q: Where do you plan on watching the draft?

A: I’m not entirely sure yet. But I’m thinking about going golfing with my dad.

Q: Favorite Pirates player?

A: Paul Skenes is my favorite. I’m obsessed with him. All my family knows.

Q: What’s the story with your Paul Skenes jersey?

A: I had Pirates jerseys as a kid, but I outgrew them. But then I played for the Allegheny Pirates last fall. We all got Pirates jerseys, but they were all weird numbers. When Skenes got called up, I went to the debut, and I taped his name and number over what was on there.

Q: MLB hitter you’d most like to face?

A: Maybe Juan Soto. That was my guy growing up.

Q: How good of a golfer are you?

A: I used to not be that great, but I’ve gotten a lot better with experience. Growing up with my dad, I was obviously always playing. That’s how I got into it. It’s always just been something that’s fun.

Q: Show or movie you recommend people watch?

A: I’ve been watching “Entourage.” I was a fan of “The Office.” I watched it nonstop. Michael Scott’s favorite show was “Entourage,” so I started watching it and have gotten into it. “The Office” was one of my favorite shows.

Q: If you could take any celebrity on a date, who are you taking and where are you taking them?

A: So, another show that I grew up watching was “Friends” because my mom loves “Friends.” Jennifer Aniston when she was in her prime. Maybe her. But I’ll go with Megan Fox. I’d take her to a ball game and out for ice cream, and then I’d take her to Mount Washington.

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at beverett@unionprogress.com.

Brad Everett

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at beverett@unionprogress.com.