Baseball America Highlights Current and Former-NJCAA Student-Athletes in 2012 Top 100 Rankings
February 23, 2012
Three former-NJCAA baseball players were highlighted by Baseball America’s 2012 Top 100 Prospects released earlier this week including: Bryce Harper (College of Southern Nevada), Cory Spangenberg (Indian River State College, Fla.) and Andrelton Simmons (Western Oklahoma State College). Central Arizona freshman infielder Fernando Perez was included in Baseball America’s 2012 Top 100 Draft Prospects that was released earlier this month.
Former-College of Southern Nevada catcher Bryce Harper (right) headlined Baseball America’s 2012 Top 100 Prospects List as the top-rated prospect in Major League Baseball. Harper, a converted outfielder, is expected to make his major league debut with the Washington Nationals in 2012. As a member of the Nationals’ organization, Harper has posted impressive numbers at the Single-A and Double-A levels. Batting .297 through 109 games, the former-Coyote has compiled 17 homeruns, 58 RBIs and 26 stolen bases with the Hagerstown Suns (A) and the Harrisburg Senators (AA). At College of Southern Nevada, Harper was a first team NJCAA All-American and was named the ABCA (American Baseball Coaches Association) Player of the Year. Harper hit for a .433 batting average with 31 homeruns and 98 RBIs in his only season with the Coyotes, despite SWAC (Scenic West Athletic Conference) rules that requires players to use wood bats in conference play.
Cory Spangenburg (below), a former-third baseman at Indian River State College (Fla.), was ranked No. 78 in Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects. Spangenburg was drafted by the San Diego Padres with the 10th-overall pick in the 2011 Major League Baseball first-year player draft. Last season, Spangenburg played 72 games at the Single-A level. As a member of the Eugene Emeralds (A-Short Season) and the Fort Wayne TinCaps (A), Spangenburg boasted a .316 batting average with three homeruns, 44 RBIs and 25 stolen bases. In his only season at Indian River State, Spangenburg batted .477 with five homeruns and 32 RBIs. The former-Pioneer was a first team NJCAA All-American and was a Rawlings’ Big Stick Award winner.
Former-Western Oklahoma State College shortstop Andrelton Simmons was also included in Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects at No. 92. Drafted in the second round of the 2010 Major League Baseball amateur draft by the Atlanta Braves, Simmons has played 193 games over the past two seasons in the Rookie League and Advanced A. Simmons totaled a .300 batting average with 78 RBIs and 44 stolen bases with the Danville Braves (Rookie) and the Lynchburg Hillcats (Adv. A). As a freshman at Western Oklahoma State, Simmons batted .432 with six homeruns and 26 RBIs.
In Baseball America’s Top 100 Draft Prospects for 2012, Central Arizona College freshman infielder Fernando Perez made the cut at No. 61. A native of Chula Vista, Calif., Perez has got off to a quick start in his first 12 games of collegiate baseball. Batting .306, Perez has 10 RBIs on only 15 hits for the Vaqueras this season.
As Harper, Spangenburg and Simmons try to break into major league stardom, Perez will be hard at work preparing himself for the Major League Baseball draft. With these four players gaining national recognition for their professional potential, the NJCAA continues to display the platform that it provides all student-athletes in pursuing their goals after college.
Photo courtesy of Indian River State College Athletic Dept.