College of Southern Nevada standout Bryce Harper became just the second junior-college player to win the Golden Spikes Award on Tuesday. USA Baseball's 33rd annual Golden Spikes Award was presented at the MLB All-Star FanFest in Anaheim.
The No. 1 overall pick by the Nationals in the 2010 draft, Harper exceeded all expectations during his freshman season at Southern Nevada, belting 31 home runs (a CSN single-season record), with 98 RBIs and a .443 average—in a wood bat league. The Las Vegas native was named 2010 Scenic West Athletic Conference (SWAC) Player of the Year. The prodigy did it all despite playing against much older competition, as he earned his GED and enrolled at CSN two years early.
Harper beat out fellow finalists Chris Duffy (Central Florida), Yasmani Grandal (Miami), Drew Pomeranz (Mississippi) and Chris Sale (Florida Gulf Coast).
“This year’s five finalists for the Golden Spikes Award presented our voting committee with another difficult challenge,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO, in a release. "Each player authored an incredible season in 2010 and they are all deserving of the award. In the end, however, the committee determined that Bryce Harper’s incredible season with Southern Nevada stood above the rest. We at USA Baseball are honored to recognize Bryce’s achievements with the award for the top amateur baseball player in the country.”
Harper becomes the second catcher in three years to win the GSA, joining 2008’s recipient, Buster Posey (Florida State). Jason Varitek (Georgia Tech, 1994) is the only other backstop to win the award. The only other JC player to win the GSA was Alex Fernandez of Miami Dade CC in 1990.
Since 1978 USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the GSA. Following the first ever presentation of the trophy to Bob Horner of Arizona State, the GSA has been awarded each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship.
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