Rockies sign Japanese righty

By Tracy Ringolsby
March 20, 2003

The Rockies have had success in their pursuit of amateur pitchers from Taiwan, signing of Chin-Hui Tsao and Ching-Lung Lo. Now, they are turning to Japan.

The Rockies signed righthander Yusuke Arakawa, 24, who had been pitching for Toyota’s team in a Japanese industrial league. Arakawa was one of the premier college pitchers in Japan three years ago, but Toyota convinced several Japanese professional teams, including Chunichi, to not draft Arakawa.

The Rockies signed Arakawa after a workout in Tucson, giving him a bonus in excess of $100,000, and convincing him to cancel a scheduled trip to Florida, where he was planning to workout for other teams.

“He sat on 91 (mph) in a 10 a.m. workout and showed a good curveball and a split that was OK,” said farm director Bill Geivett.