Leobardo Arauz Escarrega
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 190 lb.
Leobardo Arauz played his 14th minor league season in 2013. Five times, he has ranked first or second in the Mexican League in walks.
Arauz debuted in 1997, hitting .209/.320/.256 in 15 games for the Leones de Yucatan. In his only season in a US league, he split 1998 between two San Diego Padres affiliates, the Idaho Falls Braves (.286/.446/.500, 30 R, 24 RBI in 40 G) and Clinton Lumber Kings (0 for 8, 4 BB, R). Had he qualified, he would have made the Pioneer League top 10 in OBP; he had the best OPS among Idaho Falls regulars. He returned to the Leones in 1999 to bat .309/.395/.422 as a starting outfielder. He then ran into a rough stretch, hitting only .211/.298/.296 in 2000, .227/.335/.314 in 2001 and .184/.311/.247 in 2002.
He split 2003 between Yucatan (.170/.278/.383 in 18 G) and the Acereros de Monclova (.267/.372/.429 in 49 G). He hit .223/.365/.364 for the 2004 Leones. Moving to Monclova for all of 2005, he took his game up several notches, batting .308/.442/.475 with 15 home runs, 86 walks, 95 runs and 11 outfield assists in 105 games. He was second in the Mexican League in walks (behind only Felix Jose) and was 10th in runs. In '06, he fell back down somewhat (.272/.346/.411) with the Mexico City Red Devils. During 2007, Leobardo returned to Monclova and again things clicked - .302/.396/.491, 16 HR, 70 RBI, 10 SB, 0 CS. He led the team in homers and RBI, beating out ex-major leaguers like Izzy Alcantara and Donzell McDonald.
In 2008, Arauz produced at a .322/.434/.480 clip with 67 runs, 65 RBI and 72 walks for Monclova. He was second in walks, one behind leader Roberto Mendez. A year later, the Los Mochis native hit .296/.430/.447 with 76 runs and 86 walks in 104 games for the Acereros. He tied D'Angelo Jimenez for second in the LMB in walks, 6 behind Pedro Valdes. He remained a mainstay of the Monclova outfield in 2010 (.305/.397/.435). Playing for the Mexican national team in the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games, he had a crucial two-run pinch-hit double off Orsendo Clemencia to help Mexico rally to beat the Netherlands Antilles national team, 3-2. He was 1 for 3 with two walks as the leadoff hitter in a one-run win over the Dominican Republic, was 1 for 4 with a walk and a run leading off in a romp over Panama, was 0 for 3 with a walk in a 1-0 win over Puerto Rico and went 1 for 2 off the bench in a loss to Nicaragua. In the Gold Medal game, he pinch-hit for Lorenzo Buelna with the tying run on third in the 8th of a 3-2 loss to the Dominican and was retired by Dario Veras. Mexico thus wound up with a Silver Medal.
Arauz hit .323/.451/.547 with 76 runs, 30 doubles, 15 home runs and 79 walks in 100 games for Monclova in 2011; he had 12 assists and one error in left field. He was 5th in the LMB in OBP (between Sharnol Adriana and Edgar Quintero), 7th in doubles and led in walks (8 ahead of Mendy Lopez). In '12, he batted .262/.411/.461 with 16 dingers, 77 runs and 83 walks while fielding .993 for the Rieleros de Aguascalientes. He led in walks again (7 more than #2 Saul Soto). The old-timer kept on rolling for the 2013 Rieleros, at .312/.426/.507 with 29 doubles, 74 runs and 72 walks. He tied for 10th in doubles, was 3rd in walks (behind Juan Miranda and Ruben Rivera) and missed the top 10 in OBP by .004 (shy of Oscar Robles for the 10th spot).