West Linn's Tim Tawa drafted by Arizona Diamondbacks
To suggest that Tim Tawa's life is a whirlwind these days would be an understatement of massive proportion.
Here's a look at just some of the recent events in Tawa's life. Tawa is a 2017 graduate of West Linn High School who just completed his senior season as a member of the Stanford baseball team.
From June 4-7, Tawa and the Cardinal won three of four games in the NCAA Regional tournament at Stanford's Klein Field at Sunken Diamond.
On June 11-12, Tawa and Stanford beat Texas Tech twice to capture the Super Regionals in Lubbock, Texas. Then, from June 19-23, Tawa and his teammates played in the 2021 College World Series, going 1-2 in their three games at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Nebraska.
On Tuesday, July 16, Tawa was selected in the 11th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. And on Wednesday, July 17, he flew to the D-Backs' Salt River Fields at Talking Stick complex in Scottsdale, Arizona, so he could complete his physical and sign his first professional contract.
"I was hitting with my dad the other day when I checked my phone and it said the Arizona Diamondbacks want you there tomorrow," said Tawa, 22. "So it was a little hectic, just packing everything up and getting ready to head back down, but I'm here now and enjoying it."
"I'd say it was an extremely successful year for me in terms of just that kind of growth and having a ton of fun playing."
— Tim Tawa
And why not? After a junior year that saw both Tawa and the Cardinal struggle — Tawa hit just .213 in Stanford's pandemic-shortened 5-11 campaign — his senior season was a revelation.
Tawa stepped up to start 51 of the Cardinal's 52 games — mostly at second base — batting .290 with 12 homers, 13 doubles, 14 steals, 39 RBIs and 45 runs scored. He also amassed a team-best 18 multi-hit games and managed seven multi-RBI contests.
"In general, I think I made a lot of big strides just in terms of maturity and really enjoying myself on the field," Tawa said. "There were times in previous years at Stanford where it was more businesslike than it was having fun playing a game. So I think this year, I really found the best balance of that and had a lot of fun while also competing really well and helping the team win.
"I think it was also a mindset change for me. Like when you're thinking 'if I help the team win in any way, then I had a good day.' It didn't matter about the stats or whatever was happening, and I think I really was able to achieve that throughout the year. So I'd say it was an extremely successful year for me in terms of just that kind of growth and having a ton of fun playing."
The Tawa File
Here's a brief summary of Tim Tawa's many high school sports accomplishments.
• 2017 Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year
• Three-time Gatorade Football Player of the Year (2014-16)
• Two-time Oregon Football Player of the Year (2015, 2016)
• Two-time MaxPreps All-American in football (2015, 2016)
• 2016 Oregonian High School Athlete of the Year
• 2016 MaxPreps Male Athlete of the Year
• Two-time team captain in both football and baseball
• Set state record for career touchdown passes, and passing yards in a season and career
• Led West Linn football team to 2016 league and state championships
• Led WL baseball teams to three league titles (2014, 2015, 2017) and two state runner-up finishes (2015, 2017)
• Played in six state championship games in nine varsity seasons (baseball, basketball, and football combined)
Saving his best
To make things even better, Tawa saved his best for the end of his senior season at Stanford. Just check out some of his highlights from the Cardinal's stretch run. First, he batted .526 (10 for 19) with seven runs scored, two doubles, three homers and eight RBIs in the four games at the Stanford Regional, including a 3 for 5 performance with a homer, two runs scored and three RBIs in the championship game against No. 17 UC Irvine.
Then, Tawa hit .400 over the three games at the College World Series, finishing with three runs scored, a double, a homer and a stolen base. Included in that was a 3 for 6 game (including a double) against No. 5 Arizona in an elimination game.
"The whole experience was amazing, but individually, (I'll remember) hitting the home run against Arizona in the World Series," he said. "It will be really cool to be able to look back on the years and say I did that."
Tawa was rewarded for his efforts, and richly, being named to the Stanford Regional All-Tournament team and Stanford Regional Most Outstanding Player, and winning a berth on the College World Series All-Tournament Team.
"The group of guys we had was just great. We just kind of knew how to win and that made it more fun. When you win, baseball is so fun and we knew how to do that," Tawa said. "And getting to the World Series, it's kind of the accumulation of everything that we've been building at Stanford."
The next step
Now, Tawa is standing on the precipice of the next step in his ongoing athletic journey. After first coming to prominence as a quarterback and shortstop at West Linn, then continuing his excellence over four years at Stanford, Tawa is ready to begin his professional career.
While he doesn't know exactly where the next step will take him — Tawa will likely begin his pro career with either the Arizona Complex League Diamondbacks (a rookie league team) in Scottsdale or the Visalia Rawhide (a Low-A team) in Visalia, California — he says he's ready for whatever lies ahead.
"This last year for me at Stanford was a really good year for maturing and I feel like I'm as prepared as I possibly can be to start this career," he said.
While there are more questions than answers for Tawa right now, he insists that he's just going to live in the moment and try to enjoy every step of the way.
"Those (Rookie League or Low-A ballclubs) are one of the spots I'll probably end up at, but I don't really know," Tawa said. "This is all happening so fast that I'm just kind of trying to stay in the moment and take it all in and try not to be too stressed out."
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