L.C. Bird standout first baseman Bryce Harman has a bright future. Whether that future starts at East Carolina University this coming fall or in the uniform of a minor league team on the road to the major leagues, the slugger seems bound for success.
“Bryce is an outstanding kid,” said Bird head baseball coach Doug Wagner. “That’s the main reason why he’s where he’s at right now,” he continued. “He gets great support from his parents and family.”
Harman, a first baseman who stands at 6 feet 6 inches and weighs 210 pounds is a “tower of power” and the ball shoots off of his bat like a rocket. The senior and team captain is also adept at hitting the ball where it’s pitched and is learning patience at the plate.
“He sees the ball really well,” said Wagner. “When he strikes the baseball, you really know it’s been struck.”
The threat of Harman in the Skyhawks lineup has led many teams to walk the power hitter, but Harman through six games is hitting .450 with four RBIs and leads the team with nine walks.
“I’ve really had to learn patience and wait for my pitch,” said Harman. “As long as I’m getting on base I’m helping the team.”
L.C. Bird, the Central Region, and East Carolina University, where Harman committed recently, aren’t the only people who have noticed Harman’s potential. Every game Bird has played this year has had major league scouts in attendance, with several teams interested. Many mock drafts have the senior being drafted between the second and fifth rounds.
“It’s been a good experience for everyone for Bryce to get this type of exposure,” said Wagner. “Other kids look at how he works, and see what’s happening to him and it drives them to work harder to improve themselves.”
Another fact that makes Harman an interesting prospect as well, because the left-hander also has some experience pitching, and a fastball that tops out at 91mph. Wagner stated that most teams are interested in Harman’s bat. If Harman chooses to go to college, he may be a candidate to be a two-way player.
You may recognize Harman’s name from him playing center for Bird’s basketball team when they made their run to the state finals, falling to Norcom. Harman made the decision to not play basketball this season and instead to work on his baseball skills as baseball was his first love, playing since the age of four.
“I knew that not playing basketball was the best way for me to get more time in hitting,” said Harman. “I missed playing with the guys this year and seeing them lose was tough. They worked hard.”
Harman has been a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan, but admires the story of Anaheim Angels’ slugger Josh Hamilton. Hamilton was drafted in the first round by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1999 but later fell victim to drug addiction. Hamilton was able to clean his career up and has become one of the most dominant sluggers in baseball today.
“After I read Hamilton’s book I was in awe,” said Harman. “He overcame so much adversity and had so much determination, I really look up to him for doing what he did.”
Bird has gotten off to a 3-3 start as of press time, and plays in a very competitive Dominion District with Central Region powerhouse James River and two other very strong competitors in Cosby and Manchester.
“The Dominion District is the best district in this region for baseball,” said Wagner. “It’s stacked with great talent and it’s a tough go every night.”
With Harman leading the way, the Skyhawks are in good hands. The Skyhawks have a spring sports star. How brightly will that star shine? We’ll be watching in June. For more updates on Bryce, L.C. Bird and your local spring sports, follow @VNewsSports on twitter.