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2013 MLB Draft: Astros take Mark Appel first overall

Jun 6, 2013, 7:12 PM EDT

Mark Appel AP AP

Last year, the Astros decided they weren’t interested in meeting Mark Appel’s bonus demands and selected Carlos Correa first overall. Given a do over after finishing with the worst record in baseball once again, the Astros selected Appel, a right-hander from Stanford, first overall in Thursday’s draft.

Appel ended up going eighth overall to the Pirates last year and went back to Stanford for his Senior season after Pittsburgh failed to sign him. It was a risky move, but it worked out as well as could be hoped, as Appel stayed healthy and went 10-4 with a 2.12 ERA and a 130/23 K/BB ratio in 106 1/3 innings.

The Astros will have leverage in dealing with Appel, given that he can’t go back to school this time. His slot value is $7.79 million, but the Astros could get him for a bit less, giving them more flexibility with later picks. It’s hard to imagine Appel could risk going back into next year’s draft, which is considered significantly stronger than this one. It’s highly unlikely that he’d go first again.

Appel throws in the mid-90s and possesses both a slider and a changeup. He’s certainly not a slamdunk No. 1 pick like Stephen Strasburg before him, but the stuff is there to make him at least a No. 3 starter and potentially something more if his slider or changeup improves. He should be ready to contribute at some point during 2014.


Picks 2-5: Cubs follow with power-hitting third baseman Kris Bryant

Picks 6-10: Marlins take 3B Moran, Red Sox add LHP Ball

Picks 11-20: Mets draft a first baseman, Mariners look to third base

Picks 21-33: Yankees add bats, left-hander with three first-round picks

  1. tuberippin - Jun 6, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Good for them. The Astros need as many quality pitching prospects as they can get their hands on. I mean, all teams do, but the Astros more so than almost any other team (looking at you, Minnesota and Colorado).

  2. randygnyc - Jun 6, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    Harold Reynolds speculated at the draft that Appel will be pitching in the big leagues this summer.

  3. thekingdave - Jun 6, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    If true I will go forth with my routine of sneaking two flasks of whiskey into at least 3 of his starts

  4. joenash72 - Jun 6, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Can’t the team with #1 overall pick negotiate prior to draft, like they can in NFL ?

    Must not be able to, otherwise you’d think Astros woulda done that this year?

    It would help teams with the slotting, but I’m sure union/agents wouldn’t like it, give up too much leverage.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 6, 2013 at 7:36 PM

      Depends on your definition of “can”. They aren’t “allowed” to, but according to most draft gurus it happens all the time. I just don’t think you get official contracts like the NFL does.

  5. rbj1 - Jun 6, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    What’s this baseball post doing here at BiogenesisTalk?

  6. proudlycanadian - Jun 6, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    I assume that they had talked with Boras in advance. I expect that as a senior, he will take less this year than Boras wanted last year for Appel as the first pick.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Jun 6, 2013 at 8:44 PM

      Hey PC wait until you see how high the jays pick next year!! Yea thats what happens when your team is terrible!! Well you should know all about that, 20+ years=NO POSTSEASON!!

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 6, 2013 at 8:56 PM

        Relax! The Yankees will soon have the chance to select the next 3 Andrew Brackman’s.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Jun 7, 2013 at 1:05 AM

        Yanks dont need any stinking draft picks, They just reload. The jays on the other hand need players, a GM who doesnt make stupid moves, a new stadium, a coach, some fans too who will actually show up for their games. In otherwords it would just be easier to blow it up and start over…..

  7. dondada10 - Jun 6, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Are the Stros still piggy backing starters in the minors?

    • paperlions - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:00 PM

      Everyone piggy backs starters in the low minors.

    • stex52 - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:38 AM

      Supposedly not at AA or AAA because it was hurting development. But I haven’t checked recently.

  8. specialkindofstupid - Jun 6, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    Not an Astros fan, but pleasantly surprised they went with Appel. And they have leverage when it comes to signing him, too. One, he’s done with college. But two, regardless of how or what happened last year with the Pirates, Appel can’t let it happen again this year with the Astros. Right or wrong, fair or no, his rep would be irreparably tarnished.

  9. onbucky96 - Jun 6, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    You go pro in the NFL and hire an Agent. In the NBA, you can declare for the draft but not hire an Agent and go back to school w/in x days of the draft. How can Satan, sorry, Scott Boras “advise” these guys and they can still keep their eligibility for the NCAA?

  10. stex52 - Jun 7, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    I’m not exactly the biggest fan of present Astros’ management, as regular contributors will know. But I think calling this a “do-over” is not correct, if you mean it’s like a mulligan in golf. They always intended to go with a long term talent at #1 last year so they could snag McCullers late in the round. It was clear that their greatest need this year was pitching and they had more leverage over Appel. Besides, he’s a local boy. I was a bit surprised they didn’t go with Gray, but not that much.

    No matter how it works out, this has clearly been a plan.

    • mc1439 - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:45 AM

      But… but…. the Astros are “cheap” and established facts need to be overlooked to fit that narrative.

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