L. C. Bird’s storied athletes have continued to grow recently when 6 foot 6 inch left-handed hurler Bryce Harman signed his letter of intent to play baseball at East Carolina University (ECU) in 2013.
ECU began recruiting Harman during his sophomore year after he met the coaching staff at a tournament in Atlanta, Ga. Harman, son of Kathy and Alvin Harman, of Chester, was recruited as a pitcher, but has years of experience off the mound at first base.
“ECU has an excellent coaching staff,” Harman said. “We had a connection right from the start and have kept in touch ever since.”
As one can imagine, Harman’s parents are thrilled about his opportunity.
“He has worked so hard to get to where he is,” said Kathy Harman. “ECU is a perfect school for Bryce and it’s not too far from home.”
On Nov. 14, Harman was surrounded by family, friends and faculty during his signing ceremony. Harman voiced his appreciation for the support his family and friends have given him and the extra hours his teachers have provided to help him maintain his grades. Harman’s former basketball coach, Chuck Thomas, now Bird’s activities director, led the signing ceremony by praising his determination and his family’s devotion to the game.
“It takes a lot to travel,” said Thomas referring to Harman’s travel team experience. “And Bryce’s family’s dedication to baseball has lead to much of his success.”
Harman, a senior at L. C. Bird, has gained national attention as a standout on Richmond Braves National travel team over the last few seasons. As a pitcher, Harman can hurl the ball in the mid-90s and has been working on developing his changeup along with perfecting his curveball. Furthermore, his travel team experience has made him into a more disciplined pitcher.
“I love throwing my fastball in this league [high school] because I can overpower hitters with my speed,” said Harman. “But travel ball has taught me to be a pitcher not a thrower.”
Still, Harman isn’t only a pitcher. Early this fall he showcased his hitting ability at the WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Fla. in front of a crowd full of college and pro scouts.
Harman hit .454 at the World Championship while facing some of the top pitchers in the nation, most of whom will be attending top SEC and ACC schools next fall according to Harman.
“I worked really hard over the summer to become a better hitter and it paid off big in Jupiter.” Harman said. “There were a lot of pro scouts at that tournament and I was able to showcase by hitting.”
On the mound, Harman was able to not only beat the number one travel team in the country but “dominate” them.
His performances at recent national tournaments have caused some chatter in the air over the possibility of him entering the MLB draft. Thomas sees the potential for Harman to go as early as the second round. It’s a “no-brainer.”
“I’ve had a lot of pro teams calling here,” said Thomas. “It’s not often teams come across a 6 foot 6 inch lefty who can throw in the 90s. He’s a great hitter, so they can always stick him at first base.”
For now, Harman is focusing on his transition to ECU. Making the transition easier, his long time friend and teammate Charlie Yorgen will be joining him at ECU. Yorgen plays shortstop for St Christopher School in Richmond and for Richmond Braves National.
“ECU is a great opportunity. The atmosphere is great and the fans are electric,” said Harman. “And for now, that is my next step.”