Bryce Harper wins prestigious 'Golden Spikes Award'

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In news agent Scott Boras will surely bring up in contract negotiations next month, No. 1 overall pick Bryce Harper has been named the “Golden Spikes Award” winner as the country’s top amateur player.
Harper is an unconventional choice because he left high school early and enrolled in junior college, batting .443 with 31 homers and 98 RBIs in 66 games at the College of Southern Nevada. He becomes just the second Golden Spikes Award recipient from a junior college, following Alex Fernandez in 1990.
Mississippi pitcher Drew Pomeranz, Central Florida outfielder Chris Duffy, Miami catcher Yasmani Grandal, and Florida Gulf Coast pitcher Chris Sale were the other finalists for the award, with Harper beating out Pomeranz by just one vote out of 102 ballots cast. Pomeranz was selected by the Indians with the fifth overall pick last month.
Harper’s future teammate Stephen Strasburg won the award last year and Giants catcher/first baseman Buster Posey captured it in 2008. Harper and Strasburg are two of just seven Golden Spikes Award winners to be drafted No. 1 overall, along with David Price, Pat Burrell, Phil Nevin, Ben McDonald, and Bob Horner. And now the Nationals have until August 15 to sign him.

Video: Ian Kinsler homers in WBC final, rounds bases solemnly

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Ian Kinsler found himself in hot water on Wednesday evening when he criticized the way players from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic play baseball. It is his hope that kids watching the World Baseball Classic decide to emulate the emotionless way players from the U.S. play baseball as opposed to the exciting, cheerful way players from other countries tend to play the game.

Needless to say, Kinsler’s comments didn’t sit well with many people, but he has the most recent laugh. Kinsler broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third inning of Wednesday night’s WBC final against Puerto Rico, slugging a two-run home run to left-center field at Dodger Stadium off of Seth Lugo.

Kinsler, of course, rounded the bases solemnly which is sure to highlight just how cool and exciting the game of baseball is to international viewers.

Jered Weaver dealing with “dead arm”

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Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.

Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.