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Mike Stodolka

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Mike Stodolka

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[edit] Biographical Information

Mike Stodolka was the fourth overall selection in the 2000 amateur draft, taken by the Kansas City Royals and signed for $2.5 million. The left-handed pitcher had been 11-0 with a 1.13 ERA as a high school senior, striking out 133 and allowing 29 hits in 68 innings. He had also hit 18 homers, a California Interscholastic Federation record 18.

Stodolka was 0-3 with a 2.68 ERA for the GCL Royals and made one start for the Charleston Alley Cats, giving up four runs in 4 2/3 innings, walking four and striking out none. After the season, Baseball America ranked him as the 8th-best prospect in the KC system.

In 2001, Stodolka was stationed with the Burlington Bees and was 3-8 with a 4.67 ERA, allowing 105 hits in 94 innings while striking out 49. Mike was even worse with Burlington a year later, posting an 8-14 record with a 5.27 ERA and allowing 173 hits in 149 frames. He led the Midwest League with 109 runs allowed and was one loss behind leader Phil Akens.

2003 brought Mike up to the Wilmington Blue Rocks, where he only made five starts, going 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA. He injured his arm and had Tommy John surgery, cutting his season short. In '04, he returned to Wilmington as one of the club's oldest players (23). He was 3-2, 4.33 in fourteen starts. In 2005, he finished his pitching career with a 4-11, 5.92 year for the Wichita Wranglers as opponents batted .301 against him and was again one loss away from leading the loop. Overall, he had gone 20-39 as a pitcher.

Converted to a first baseman in 2006, Stodolka hit .284 with 11 homers and 67 RBIs for the High Desert Mavericks and made the California League All-Star game.

In 2007, he hit .291 with 12 home runs and 59 RBI for the Wichita Wranglers and in 2008, he hit .286 with five home runs and 21 RBI for the Omaha Royals.

Overall, Stodolka hit .287 with 28 home runs and 147 RBI in his career. As a pitcher, he went 20-39 with a 4.93 ERA.

Sources: 2001-2006 Baseball Almanacs, Baseball America website, "California League: Mavericks' Stodolka makes bid as position player" by Steve Ames, 6/19/06)

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