That season, completely skipping rookie ball and short-season play didn't seem to matter one bit. Most impressively, Stavinoha hit .344/.398/.564 with 14 home runs and 53 RBI in 65 games as he began his professional career at low Class A Quad Cities in 2005.
His stock rose in 2006, with an assignment to Double-A Springfield. After being slowed by injuries mid-season, the rightfielder came on strong late, hitting .330 with seven home runs in August and batting .615 to finish the season in September. Stavinoha finished with a line of .297/.340/.460, along with 12 home runs and 73 RBI in 417 at-bats. 41 of his 124 hits were for extra bases.
Stavinoha taking BP
Stavinoha was invited to participate in the 2006 Arizona Fall League and is my highest-ranked Cardinals prospect among the seven playing. The right-handed hitter is struggling in semi-regular playing time, however, batting .234/.315/.344 with a single home run and eight RBI in 64 at-bats to-date.
The 6'2", 225 pound former football player is expected to start the 2007 season at Memphis (Triple-A). I caught up with Stavinoha following batting practice with his Peoria Saguaros teammates.
Return back here for additional exclusive interviews with fellow prospects and AFL players Brendan Ryan, Amaury Marti, Dennis Dove, Eric Haberer, Stuart Pomeranz and Mike Parisi.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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