Tim Arakawa, Second Baseman
HT : 5'8
WT : 175
DOB : April 18, 1993 (22), in Honolulu, Hawaii
Throws : Right
Bats : Left
School : Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK)
Acquired : Drafted in 23rd round on 2015 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : Unranked
Guys who play with emotion and a bulldog mentality are just so fun to watch and easy to cheer for. Well for the Los Angeles Angels, Tim Arakawa fits the part. The Hawaiian product is making noise, and the right kind, to force people to know about who he is.
Arakawa has everything you want in a middle infielder. He's quick, has a nice swing from the left side and plays the game hard. Something that won't show in a scouting report is his leadership on and off the field. Players love playing with Arakawa, and he truly commands respect while on the field.
Arakawa has played baseball since he could walk, and has a natural sense for how to play. He's a true bulldog in the field, but has the wit to make the right plays at the right time. Though his range in the field is impacted by his size, he can make the tough plays and has a strong arm for a second baseman.
Arakawa has a good approach at the plate, showing patience in finding his pitch. Though his strikeout rates are low, he has fallen victim to falling behind at times due to his patience. Arakawa will have to prove his abilities in battling from behind to move forward in the minors.
The former Cowboy has a compact swing from the left-side, which results in some pull factor. Arakawa does possess quick wrist, and has an up-the-middle approach, which results in some abilities to hit the ball gap-to-gap. Arakawa has limited power, which is primarily due to his size. He has some muscle weight, but with a compact line drive swing, and limited size, not many balls leave the park.
Though it didn't show in professional ball immediately, Arakawa has above average speed. With his grinding mentality and a mix of good speed, he could be a threat to nab a base here and there, and make up space in the field.
Scouting Report from Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher for Scout.com
After losing his best friend in high school, Arakawa dedicated his senior season to his lost companion. He hit .500 that season, to tag along with his career .400 average as a prep player, which helped give him All-State honors three times.
After being recruited by five Division I schools, Arakawa opted for junior college, playing at Yavapai. In his freshman year, Arakawa hit .355 with three home runs, 35 RBI and stole 31 bags, helping him be named a Second-Team All-Conference selection. Arakawa followed his debut collegiate season batting .377 with five home runs, 43 RBI and 25 stolen bases as a sophomore.
Arakawa transferred to Oklahoma State in 2014, and made good use of his time, starting in all 66 games OSU played. Arakawa highlighted his season with multiple moments, such as back-to-back three-RBI games against Kansas, and a pair of walk-off hits against Texas Pan Am and TCU. Arakawa ranked in the Big 12's top 10 in stolen bases (15) and walks (47) - which also ranked 11th in the nation. Arakawa collected 13 multi-RBI games and 14 multi-hit games, helping him be named an All-Big 12 Second-Team selection.
Arakawa finished his collegiate career, batting .289/.393/.412 with two home runs, three triples, 10 doubles and 37 RBI his senior year. Arakawa once again showed his discipline at the plate, walking 42 times, and proved to be a threat on the paths again with 10 stolen bases.
Arakawa really shined after being drafted, jumping to Low-A after four games in rookie ball. While with Burlington, Arakawa hit .279/.382/.400 with 20 extra-base hits, 39 runs scored and 30 RBI in 64 games. Arakawa collected a 14-game hit streak in July, where he hit .339 with a 1.011 OPS, hitting six doubles, a triple and two home runs.
Arakawa's affiliate placement truly depends on where he lies in the Angels depth charts at second base. He could perform well in Spring Training, but still return to Low-A Burlington, despite putting up strong numbers. It's more a game of who's where and where will we place.
Regardless of where Arakawa starts 2016, he should end the year with High-A Inland Empire. It will be interesting to see how he develops, and if his compact swing will play out at the higher levels of the minors. Despite his 23rd round status, there's a strong chance Arakawa fights his way to the top and reach the Majors.
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Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.