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No one is sure who the Astros are taking with the No. 1 pick

Jun 6, 2013, 1:48 PM EDT

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With the draft less than six hours away the Astros’ choice with the No. 1 overall pick remains a mystery.

Jim Callis of Baseball America predicts they’ll take Oklahoma right-hander Jonathan Gray, but Keith Law of ESPN.com has them taking Stanford right-hander Mark Appel in his final mock draft. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has Houston selecting Gray, but also adds that they might go with North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran.

Gray, Appel, and San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant are the consensus top three talents in the draft, which is rare in that they’re all college players. Kohl Stewart is considered the top high school talent and the right-hander from Texas seems like a lock to go to the Twins at No. 4, assuming the top three guys are all off the board.

We’ll have pick-by-pick analysis of the first round tonight, so check back later.

  1. specialkindofstupid - Jun 6, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    The suspense is slightly irking me.

  2. mybrunoblog - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    The Astros opened Minute Maid Park to fans so they could watch this exciting moment in Astros history on the large HD scoreboard screen. Sixteen fans packed the place .
    Sorry for the sarcasm but the MLB draft bores me even more than the NFL draft. Call me when these guys reach the bigs.

  3. billybawl - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Even if you agree that tortious interference is a cause of action of last resort (I don’t), Bosch still needs to mount a defense against an aggressive, motivated plaintiff for whom money is no object. If he’s trying to shake down his former clients for money, he probably doesn’t have insurance that would cover his defense costs, let alone damages. He has no ongoing business to protect at this point, and never had a medical license to lose. The only thing he likely has are his personal assets — his house, cars, bank accounts, whatever. His father, the doctor, may also be at personal risk. MLB and its lawyers know all this, and took it into account in devising a legal strategy. The allegations of the complaint and merits of the case are just part of that strategy — so is the target’s ability to mount a defense. So I can easily see how MLB’s actions created very real leverage and would lead Bosch to change his tune. It sucks to be personally named as a defendant in a lawsuit, especially if you have to pay for your own defense. He’s not fighting for his reputation any more, but for a roof over his and his family’s heads.

    It may not be fair, but this is all in a day’s work for rich plaintiffs and their lawyers.

    • mc1439 - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      ?

    • billybawl - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      Ack. Wrong article! My apologies to the interwebs.

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:12 PM

        WordPress sometimes screws up. You think you are looking at one thread, but the comments relate to a different thread.

  4. specialkindofstupid - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    I don’t know Mark Appel and I do not wish him any will ill, but I wonder what percentage of baseball fans out there are rooting for him not to go #1 (or even in the top 8) based on: 1) What happened in last year’s draft and 2) The perception/reality his agent, Scott Boras, was the one pulling the strings last year?

    • specialkindofstupid - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      My number eight above was turned into a smiley face with sunglasses for some reason.

      As you were.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:19 PM

        What do you think happened in last year’s draft, other than teams offered him below slot value so he didn’t sign?

      • specialkindofstupid - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        What do you think happened in last year’s draft, other than teams offered him below slot value so he didn’t sign?

        That may have been all that happened. His association with Scott Boras is what makes it difficult for Appel in the court of public opinion, though. To most, he was being greedy by not accepting whatever was being offered. If he’d had Mr. Joe Average as an agent, the storyline may have been different. But with Boras, I think many people think he was trying to game the system.

        But if you’re honestly asking for my personal opinion what happened, I don’t think he was a Boras pawn. I think Appel simply used the leverage he had. He was okay with going back to Stanford for his senior year, finish his degree, be the big man on campus, and then go back into the draft a year later. “Getting injured” was a reasonable risk he was willing to take. I can’t say I would have taken the same risk he did, but it seems to have worked out for him.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        To most, he was being greedy by not accepting whatever was being offered.

        So let’s say slot value was $7M, and the Pirates offered him $50k, you think people feel he should have accepted it? What’s the point of slot values if you are going to undercut it?

      • specialkindofstupid - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        So let’s say slot value was $7M, and the Pirates offered him $50k, you think people feel he should have accepted it? What’s the point of slot values if you are going to undercut it?

        No, I would hope most rational people would believe Appel was well within his rights to tell the Pirates to place that $50k offer where the sun doesn’t shine if such a thing were to ever occur.

        As for the point of slot values, the point has changed. Before last year, slot values were just recommendations. Teams could follow them, or not, at their own leisure. But starting last year, whether or not a team chooses to follow the slot matters. They only have so much money to sign all of their draft picks. So, if a team pays their #1 draft choice the full slot price, or over slot price, they have less to spend on their other draft choices.

        So, for a team that needs a lot of help (which describes most every team picking at the top of the draft), if you draft someone #1 who is willing to sign for under slot value, it allows you to draft players who will require you to pay OVER slot in order to sign (such as high school kids who have the option to go to college if you don’t pay them what they desire).

        Appel was within his rights to demand slot price, or over slot price if that is what he was asking. But it does make sense why the Pirates (or any of the other 7 teams who passed on him in last year’s draft) would want to sign him for slot or below slot. It behooves teams to sign their #1 picks for as little as they can.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:32 PM

        But it does make sense why the Pirates (or any of the other 7 teams who passed on him in last year’s draft) would want to sign him for slot or below slot. It behooves teams to sign their #1 picks for as little as they can.

        I know how the draft and slotting works. However, the industry consensus is that the Pirates significantly low balled him, offering him millions below slot. If this is true, how is this Appel’s fault, and why should people hold it against him? The ones who do tend to be from the “damnit kid just stfu and take your millions”. So essentially take what’s given regardless of how much it is because I hate my life.

        So again, how is this Appel’s fault?

      • specialkindofstupid - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        So again, how is this Appel’s fault?

        I guess you’re going to have to point out to me where I ever wrote it was Appel’s fault. I do not see where I wrote such a thing, and didn’t mean to imply such a thing if I did imply it somewhere.

      • specialkindofstupid - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:53 PM

        Also: Obviously didn’t mean to insult your intelligence by breaking down the slot values. I just took your question (“What’s the point of slot values if you are going to undercut it?”) as a literal “Please explain to me why on earth a team would do this.” No offense intended.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 6, 2013 at 9:02 PM

        No worries, on the slot comments, I meant it literally. Seems dumb to me that MLB had such a hardon for slot values, and then teams undercut them. I’m very anti-draft because it’s a way to keep money in owner’s pockets and not to the players who do the actual work*.

        I guess I’m misinterpretting your comment:
        That may have been all that happened. His association with Scott Boras is what makes it difficult for Appel in the court of public opinion, though. To most, he was being greedy by not accepting whatever was being offered. If he’d had Mr. Joe Average as an agent, the storyline may have been different. But with Boras, I think many people think he was trying to game the system.

        Sounds like you are blaming Appel for what happened, when most likely Boras just advised him to not take the lowball offer.

  5. mc1439 - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    I’m pretty sure they are taking Carlos Correa again because he is that worthy.

  6. proudlycanadian - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    The Magical Mystery Draft is almost upon us. As the Astros passed on Appel and Boras last year, I expect that they will also pass on Boras and his client this year.

  7. tanzkommandant - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    What is the deal w/ Keith Law? When will he simply let this grudge w/ LaRussa go already? Notice the subtle jabs in this draft article, an event that has no connection to LaRussa whatsoever.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:18 PM

      I see zero mention of La Russa at all, am I missing something?

      • Francisco (FC) - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        It’s just THAT subtle.

  8. mdpickles - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    I guess trading back doesn’t happen in the MLB draft..lol.

  9. stex52 - Jun 6, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    Local guessing is all over the place. I have talked about this on two other threads.

    #1 Appel – probably want a cheaper choice.
    #2 Gray – a lot of people thought he was leading. He signaled negotiability. No idea of the effect of the Adderall thing.
    #3 Bryant – best position player in the draft, but represented by Boras. See #1.
    #4 Moran – Poor man’s Bryant.

    And I have no idea. But they keep saying this draft is for pitching. So I guess they go Gray and look past the Adderall thing. Purely a guess.

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      Gray makes sense. I think that they want nothing to do with Boras.

  10. stumpzzz - Jun 6, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    No one knows and no one cares….Astros suck.

    • apmn - Jun 6, 2013 at 6:07 PM

      Sour grapes from an Angels fan?

  11. rcali - Jun 6, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    BREAKING NEWS: Mark Appel just slipped on some dip spit and ripped his elbow ligament trying to catch himself! I wonder what Scott Boras has to say now?

  12. tycobbfromfangraphs - Jun 6, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Meanwhile the Twins are still giggling over having Buxton fall into their laps. Yes Yes the Astros saved some money so they could make a run at Lance McCullers Jr later but maaaaaaan Buxton is looking good.

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