Harper nominee for another national award

Former Las Vegas High catcher Bryce Harper was named one of five nominees Thursday for the Jackie Robinson Award, which is presented to the Aflac National High School Player of the Year.

The award will be presented Aug. 15 in San Diego, on the eve of the Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic at Petco Park in San Diego. Both Harper and Bonanza infielder Kris Bryant have been selected to play in the game.

Harper will forgo his final two years of high school to play next season at the College of Southern Nevada.

It’s the latest in a long string of postseason honors for Harper, who was named Baseball America’s national High School Player of the Year in June, becoming the first non-senior to receive the award in its 18 years of existence. He also recently was named by USA Baseball as one of 34 invitees to the 18-and-under national team trials, which will be Sept. 12 to 17 in Cary, N.C.

Harper hit .626 with 14 home runs and 55 RBIs in 39 games as a sophomore. He graced the June 8 cover of Sports Illustrated, then announced June 13 he had enrolled at CSN in hopes of becoming eligible for the 2010 draft.

The other four nominees for the award are pitcher Andrew Cole (Winter Springs, Fla.), pitcher/infielder Justin O’Conner (Muncie, Ind.), pitcher DeAndre Smelter (Macon, Ga.) and pitcher Jameson Taillon (The Woodlands, Texas).

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