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Bryce Harper becomes second straight NL Rookie of the Year from NJCAA
 November 15, 2012

The NJCAA continued to showcase its gleaming presence in Major League Baseball during the 2012 season with four former student-athletes earning awards this week.

Headlining the recipients was Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper (College of Southern Nevada) who was named National League Rookie of the Year. The NJCAA now claims the last two NL Rookies of the Year with Atlanta Braves pitcher Craig Kimbrel (Wallace State CC-Hanveville, Ala.) winning the award in 2011.

Less than a month after celebrating his 20th birthday, Harper (right) became the youngest position player in history to earn rookie of the year. Harper was the second-youngest player ever to claim the award, following former New York Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden who took the honor in 1984 at the age of 19. Batting for a .270 average, Harper compiled 22 home runs, 26 doubles and a team-high nine triples in his first year in the big leagues. The former Coyote also batted in 59 runs – 34 after the All-Star break – and scored 98 runs of his own.

The NJCAA was also well-represented in the 2012 Gold Glove awards. Former Middle Georgia College right fielder Josh Reddick became the Oakland Athletics’ first outfielder to win a Gold Glove since Dwayne Murphy in 1985. Miami Marlins pitcher Mark Buehrle (Jefferson College, Mo.), earned his fourth-straight Gold Glove award, while Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (Fort Scott CC, Kan./Seminole State, Okla.) received his first Gold Glove in his ninth major league season.

LaRoche also secured the first Silver Slugger award of his career after batting .271
with 33 home runs, 35 doubles and 100 RBIs.

Photo courtesy of the Washington Nationals.

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