2008 Cardinals Prospect #38 – Nick Stavinoha

Our Cardinals Minor League Player of the Year from just two years ago needs to bounce back from his subpar 2007 season at Triple-A before making the final step.

Scout.com Player Profile (including links to 2007 and career stats)

2007 Ranking: 10

Position: OF

DOB: 5/3/1982

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 225

Bats: R

Throws: R

School: LSU

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the seventh round (230th overall) of the June, 2005 First-Year Player Draft.

2007 stats































Staff Comments (individual rankings in parens)

Leonda Markee (NR): Stavinoha was The Birdhouse's 10th-ranked prospect last season. This season he dropped to 38th and I did not rank him at all. While he played at the highest possible minor league level he simply did not do much to separate himself from his competition. He posted a .682 OPS with a .290 BABIP and .112 ISO. And he is actually a few months older than Joe Mather (although I will be the first to concede Mather's significant advantage in the ‘Prior Professional Experience' category). In other years he would have still been ranked by me but the competition within the organization is getting much stiffer and now he is not.

Dustin Mattison (NR): The former Bayou Bengal seemed to take a step back in his first try at Triple-A Memphis. The most alarming stat from 2007 was his .373 slugging percentage, quite anemic for a player that profiles as a corner outfielder. He still has an opportunity to contribute but will turn 26 during the 2008 season so time could be running out. At this point he figures to max out as a fifth outfielder/right handed power bat of the bench. That is, if he can regain the power he showed during his first two years in the system.

Ray Mileur (36): The Birdhouse 2005 "Player of the Year" award winner, falls from #10 in our rankings last season, all the way down to #38 this year. Stavinoha who has plus power, but it just doesn't show up in his production. Last season he hit just 13 home runs in 501 at-bats, for Memphis. My main concern is, he hit just .223 after the All-Star break. Nick still chases too many breaking balls and goes after pitches he can't drive. He struck out 81 times for the second consecutive season, as his on-base-percentage dropped 31 points from .341 in 2006 to .309 in 2007.

He's a dedicated, devoted and a tireless worker which contributes significantly to him still being a projectable outfielder in the Major Leagues and staying in our Top 40 rankings. He has battled through slumps and injuries throughout his first three years in professional ball and he'll need to put together a productive 08 season to keep from dropping off of everyone's radar screen. It's too early to give up on him yet, but the clock is ticking.

Brian Walton (25): Granted, Stavinoha is now 25 and didn't break out in 2007 as expected, but I am less likely to turn 180 degrees as quickly as others on a player who has demonstrated the necessary skills in the recent past. Even in his down season, I bet you didn't know that Stavinoha ranked in the top ten in the system in home runs with 13 and top 20 in RBIs with 49. Still, if he has another season like 2007 next year, it will be time to move on. On the other hand, if we see a repeat of either 2005 or 2006 and the Cardinals clear out some of their outfield logjam, Nick could be making his Major League debut before we know it. My still-aggressive ranking illustrates a leaning toward the latter.

Key: NR = not ranked, NA = not applicable

To see our entire list of 40 prospects as they are unveiled daily, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

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