NATIONALS SECURE CONTRACTS WITH 25 OF TOP 26 SELECTIONS IN '10 DRAFT
The Washington Nationals tonight agreed to terms on a Major League contract with College of Southern Nevada outfielder Bryce Harper, the first-overall selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Mike Rizzo, Nationals Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Player Personnel Roy Clark and Nationals Director of Scouting Kris Kline made the joint announcement.
Harper--who stands 6-foot-3, 205 lbs. and hails from Las Vegas--hit .443 (101-for-228) with 23 doubles, four triples, 31 home runs, 98 RBI, 39 walks and 20 stolen bases in 66 games for College of Southern Nevada in the Scenic West Athletic Conference, which uses wood-bats. Despite being the youngest player in the SWAC, Harper posted .526 and .987 on-base and slugging percentages, respectively, en route to a stellar 1.513 OPS (OBP+SLG) this season. He led his team and conference in virtually every primary offensive category.
Harper, 17, was named 2010 SWAC Player of the Year and also earned First-Team SWAC All-Conference status. Harper's 31 home runs in 2010 set a College of Southern Nevada single-season mark, easily besting the former record of 12, which was set during CSN's era using aluminum bats.
Last season, Harper was cited as Baseball America's High School Player of the Year after he batted .626 with 14 home runs, 55 RBI and 36 stolen bases in 39 games for Las Vegas High School. The season prior, in 2008, Harper hit .590 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI in just 38 games as a high school freshman. In March of 2009, Harper became the first high school sophomore ever named a Pre-Season First-Team All-American by Baseball America.
The left-handed hitting, right-handed throwing Harper sports extensive baseball experiences gained beyond his high school and college careers. He was a member of USA Baseball's 2009 Under 18 Team (.294 with four doubles, two home runs, 12 RBI in eight games) that went a perfect 8-0 to claim the COPABE Pan Am AAA Championships in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. Harper also played in the 2009 AFLAC All-American Game ('09 Jackie Robinson Award presented by AFLAC), the Area Code Games ('08 All Area Code Team) and International High School Power Showcase Home Run Derby ('09 Ryan Howard Award).
The Nationals signed or agreed to terms with 33 players from their 2010 First-Year Player Draft, including 25 of their top 26 selections.