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Peavy is 6'1 tall and weighs 191 pounds. The Padres drafted him out of high school where he attended St. Paul's Episcopal School; Peavy declined an offer to pitch for Auburn University in order to accept the Padres' contract offer. In 2001 Jake parts of both the 2001 and 2002 seasons playing for the Mobile BayBears, the Padres AA-ball affiliate.
in, 2002, Peavy was named to Major League Baseball's Futures Game but could not participate as he was promoted to the Padres on June 21. He made his major league debut on June 22, 2002 when the Padres hosted the New York Yankees. He went six innings and allowed three hits and one run. Unfortunately, he lost 1-0.
During his third year of major league experience in 2004, Peavy emerged as the Padres' ace starting pitcher and one of the best pitchers in baseball. He compiled a 15-6 record, struck out 173 in 166 innings and led the Major Leagues with a 2.27 ERA.
During the 2005 season, Peavy was selected for the National League All-Star team and ended the regular season leading the National League in strikeouts with 216 (in 203 innings). He was second in the Majors to Minnesota's Johan Santana (who had 238 strikeouts). In addition he finished the season with a 13-7 record, 2.88 ERA, a K:BB ratio of over 4:1 and WHIP of 1.044.
After the Padres won the National League West in 2005, Peavy was widely considered their key for upsetting the St. Louis Cardinals, who they faced in the National League Division Series. However, Peavy gave up 8 runs in the first game, and afterwards the Padres announced that he would miss the rest of the season with a broken rib, which he apparently suffered while celebrating the Padres clinching the NL West Championship.
Peavy was a member of Team USA in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. He started the opening game for the U.S., a 2-0 win over Mexico, giving up just 1 hit and no runs over three innings. He did not factor in the decision in the second round game against Japan, as he gave up 3 runs in 5 innings in a game that the U.S. won, 4-3.
The 2006 season was a rough one for Peavy, who finished 11-14 with a 4.09 ERA. Nevertheless, he finished second in the National League in strikeouts with 215, one behind league leader Aaron Harang (who tossed 32 more innings than Peavy).
2007 was a superlative season for Peavy. He won the National League's pitching triple crown (leading the league in strikeouts, ERA, and Wins), the first time that occurred since Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002. Peavy was the National League's starter in the All-Star game.
Peavy's repertoire includes two-seam and four-seam fastballs (90 to 96 mph) a changeup (80 to 84 mph), a hard slider (83 to 88 mph), and sports an occasional curveball (74-76 mph). Many players around the game point out Peavy's tremendous ability to keep poised and locate his pitches down as the key to his success against hitters.
- Selected by San Diego Padres in the 15th round of the free-agent draft (June 2, 1999 - signed June 9, 1999).
- Two-time All-Star (2005, 2007)
- On August 2, 2007, struck out Jeff DaVanon of the Arizona Diamondbacks, recording his 1000th career strikeout in the process.
- On April 25, 2007, struck out nine consecutive strikeouts against the Diamondbacks, one shy of Tom Seaver's record for most consecutive strikeouts in a game. The 10th batter, Eric Byrnes, checked his swing on a 2-2 count, but on appeal the umpire called the pitch a ball. Byrnes walked on the next pitch.
- Lead the NL in strikeouts in both 2005 and 2007, and was one strikeout shy of tying Aaron Harang for the league lead in 2006.