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January 28, 2015

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Bryce Harper wins prestigious Golden Spikes Award


Gretel Daugherty/The Daily Sentinel

Bryce Harper, left, celebrates after scoring a run during the Junior College World Series. The College of Southern Nevada catcher was the first overall pick of the Washington Nationals in Monday’s MLB First-Year Player Entry Draft.

Bryce Harper

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Bryce Harper added another accolade to his list of achievements Tuesday.

Harper, who batted .443 with 31 home runs and 98 RBIs this spring for the College of Southern Nevada in a wood-bat league, was selected as the recipient of the prestigious Golden Spikes Award for the nation's top amateur baseball player.

Harper, the top overall pick of the MLB First-Year Player Entry Draft last month by the Washington Nationals, was presented the award during the MLB All-Star FanFest in Anaheim, Calif., as part of All-Star Game festivities.

Harper, who primarily played catcher at CSN but will be converted to an outfielder by the Nationals, is the second junior-college player in the 33-year history of the Golden Spikes Award to win. The other finalists were Chris Duffy (Central Florida), Yasmani Grandal (Miami), Drew Pomeranz (Mississippi) and Chris Sale (Florida Gulf Coast).

"The committee determined that Bryce Harper's incredible season with Southern Nevada stood above the rest," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO in a statement.

"We at USA Baseball are honored to recognize Bryce's achievements with the award for the top amateur baseball player in the country."

The 17-year-old Harper was introduced to the world last June when he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the headline, "Baseball's Chosen One." A few weeks later, he left Las Vegas High after his sophomore year, earned his GED and joined the Coyotes in a move partially orchestrated to be eligible for the draft one year earlier.

The move paid off.

In one game, he hit four home runs and had 10 RBIs. There also was a 500-foot home run in the playoffs with an aluminum bat.

Harper was the Scenic West Conference Player of the Year in leading CSN to the Junior College World Series. He was the ABCA Division I Baseball Player of the Year, Division I Baseball First-Team All-American and the Division I Rawlings Big Stick Award Winner.

Past recipients of the Golden Spikes Award include MLB players including Stephen Strasburg ('09), Buster Posey ('08), David Price ('07), Tim Lincecum ('06), Alex Gordon ('05), Jered Weaver ('04) and Rickie Weeks ('03).

Harper has until Aug. 15 to sign with the Washington and is expected to receive a contract worth $15 million. It has been reported that Scott Boras, Harper's agent, has had preliminary contract talks with the Nationals.

Strasburg, the No. 1 pick in 2009 by the Nationals who is also represented by Boras, signed for $15.1 million.

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