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Tim Stauffer, RHP, Padres (Triple-A Portland) Monday's stats: 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K Is it fair...

Tim Stauffer, RHP, Padres (Triple-A Portland) Monday's stats: 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K Is it fair to call a guy who was once the fourth overall pick in the draft a sleeper? Stauffer's career has certainly been a journey. One of the best college pitchers in baseball six years ago, Stauffer originally agreed to a $2.6 million signing bonus out of the University of Richmond, but a pre-contract MRI revealed a physical weakness in his shoulder, which forced him to settle for less than one-third of that. He has really never been the same pitcher since, putting up solid but unspectacular numbers in the minors, getting whacked around for a 6.37 ERA in 18 big league games, and then seemingly going backwards before missing all of 2008 to surgically repair that shoulder than cost him so much in the first place. All but written off, Stauffer began the year in the Double-A San Antonio bullpen, where he had a 1.89 ERA in 12 appearances, and he has been just as solid in a starting role back at Triple-A Portland, including a season-best outing on Monday. He still doesn't have much stuff, sitting at 88-90 mph with his fastball while mixing in a solid slider and changeup, but six years of pitching without his best stuff has taught him a lot of lessons, and he knows how to throw strikes and keep hitters off balance. There's no more star projection for Stauffer, who turned 27 last month, but there's still hope, and it's impossible not to root for him

Baseball Prospectus: Minor League Update
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