Harold Araúz

From BR Bullpen

Harold Osvaldo Arauz

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 2", Weight 185 lb.

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Harold Arauz was signed by the Houston Astros out of Panama on July 12, 2011 when he was only 16. The scouts were Felix Francisco and José Luis Santos. He began his pro career in 2012 with the DSL Astros, going 1-1, 4.30 in 8 games. The following season, 2013, he was 5-0, 1.91 in 16 games for the same team, including 12 starts. He struck out 43 batters and walked only 12 in 66 innings, earning a ticket to move to United States in 2014.

In 2014, he split his season between the Greeneville Astros of the Appalachian League and the GCL Astros, two Rookie-level teams. He went a combined 5-2, 3.23 in 14 games, half of them starts. He gave up only 37 hits in 53 innings while striking out 68. Things were a bit rougher in 2015, which he spent in the New York-Penn League with the Tri-City ValleyCats. In 15 games there, including 10 starts, he was 0-5 with a 5.75 ERA and in a reversal from 2014, gave up 72 hits in 51 2/3 innings. However, his K/W ratio was still interesting, at 52/18. On December 12th, he was one of five pitching prospects set by the Astros to the Philadelphia Phillies in return for major league reliever Ken Giles and prospect Jonathan Arauz (no relation). The higher-profile players in the deal were Vince Velasquez, Brett Oberholtzer and Mark Appel, while Thomas Eshelman was a top draft pick; in contrast (and with a fastball that didn't impress scouts relying on velocity alone), Harold was more akin to a lottery ticket.

He began the 2016 season with the Lakewood BlueClaws of the South Atlantic League, his first shot at full-season ball. He did fine for the Lakewood Blue Claws (6-6, 3.18, 24 BB in 99 IP). In 2017, he had a 1.97 ERA between Lakewood (1-2, 1.99 in 8 G), the Clearwater Threshers (4-4, 2.03 in 20 G) and the Reading Fightin Phils (0 R in 2 1/3 IP). In one of only six starts that year, he threw a no-hitter against the Fort Myers Miracle. He pitched for the Panamanian national team in the 2017 Central American Games. In the opener, he held Costa Rica to three hits and one run in six before Manuel Campos closed out the win. In the Gold Medal Game, he relieved former major leaguer Davis Romero in the 8th with a 3-1 deficit against host Nicaragua. He pitched a scoreless inning, striking out one, as Panama settled for the Silver.

Araúz split 2018 between Reading (9-7, 4.59) and Lehigh Valley (6.23 ERA in 2 G). He tied Mitch Keller, Jesus Tinoco, Joshua Torres, Cam Vieaux and T.J. Zeuch for 9th in the Eastern League in wins and missed the top 10 in K by 1. He tied for 7th in the Phillies chain in wins and was 7th with 125 strikeouts. That winter, he was 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA for the Toros del Este. Panama sent a team, the Toros de Herrera, to the 2019 Caribbean Series, the first time Panama had played in a Caribbean Series in 59 years. He was superb, shutting out the Estrellas Orientales for five innings in their opener, but Severino González could not hold on to the 2-0 lead. He got the nod in the title game against the Leñadores de Las Tunas. He beat Freddy Asiel Álvarez, allowing one run in five (on a double by Alfredo Despaigne and a single from Carlos Benítez) before Anfernee Benítez took over with a 2-1 lead. This time, the bullpen made it hold up as Panama won their second Series ever, following the 1950 Caribbean Series. He fanned eight to tie Lázaro Blanco for the tournament lead and he had the best ERA of anyone who allowed an earned run.

The right-hander signed with the St. Louis Cardinals as a minor league free agent even before his Caribbean Series stardom. He struggled in 2019, though, with the Springfield Cardinals (0-4, 7.71 ERA, 2.14 WHIP in 6 G) and Memphis Redbirds (7-2, 5.93). He still was 9th in the Cards chain in wins. That winter, he was 0-3 with a 9.19 ERA for the Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan League. Back with Panama's Astronautas de Chiriquí, he did well in the 2020 Caribbean Series, holding the Santurce Crabbers to one run in 4 2/3 IP before leaving. He had a 10.80 ERA in two outings for the Federales de Chiriquí in the 2021 Caribbean Series. He did better in the 2022 Caribbean Series for the Astronautas de Los Santos, containing the Criollos de Caguas on two hits and one run in six, but was outdueled by Nivaldo Rodríguez; his effort paid off, though, as Panama rallied to win.

He was on Panama's roster for the 2022 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers but did not get into a game as they swept their two contests with back-to-back shutouts.

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