Akadema and Washington Nationals Outfielder, Bryce Harper, have agreed to a five-year glove contract Akadema President, Lawrence Gilligan, announced today. The 18 year-old Harper was selected first overall in the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft and is widely regarded as the top prospect in all of baseball. Although Harper played catcher in high school and college, the Washington Nationals drafted him as an outfielder stating the move would accelerate his development in the minor leagues and extend his professional career. Just one year ago, after receiving the 2009 Baseball America High School Player of the Year Award, Harper received his GED and matriculated to the College of Southern Nevada, where his brother was a member of the baseball team. In 66 games at Southern Nevada, Harper hit 31 home runs (HR) and 98 runs batted in (RBI). His 31 HR shattered the previous school record of 12 on his way to being named the 2010 Scenic West Athletic Conference (SWAC) Player of the Year. In addition to being named conference player of the year, Harper was also honored with the 2010 Golden Spikes Award, given to the top collegiate baseball player in the country.
Bryce Harper joins Akadema’s stable of young talent including Cameron Maybin, Derek Holland, Vin Mazzaro, Mark Melancon and Matt LaPorta.