Stavinoha attended Jersey Village high school, so he's a Houston native. He was actually drafted by the Houston Astros in 2002 in the 39th round after transferring from the University of Houston to San Jacinto College. He didn't sign, going to LSU instead and getting picked in the seventh round of the 2005 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals as a fifth-year senior.
The Cards placed him in Double-A in his first full season and he hit .297/.340/.460 in 417 at-bats. He made it to Triple-A the next season as a 24-year old, but had a down season power-wise, despite hitting 13 home runs. He really had a breakout campaign in 2008, hitting .337/.366/.518 with 16 homers at Triple-A and making it to the majors.
Stavinoha has struggled in his brief time in the majors over the next three season, but spent all of 2011 in the minors. The Cardinals seemed reluctant to give him a shot in their outfield, but it's not hard to see why. He was competing with time on the corners with Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman.
Stavinoha has the power to be a decent big league contributor. He seems to have some strike zone problems, with a low walk rate and a high strikeout rate, but the power is there and something Houston lacks. Plus, being from Houston, he's got a nice, feel-good angle if he does make the team.
He's a low-cost pickup that may see most of his time in the minors again this year, but he gives Houston some depth and may make a nice bat off the bench given the right circumstances.