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Astros sign No. 1 pick Mark Appel

Jun 19, 2013, 1:49 PM EDT

Mark Appel AP AP

Making official what was reported earlier this week, the Astros announced that they’ve come to an agreement with No. 1 overall pick Mark Appel.

Appel, who turned down $3.8 million from the Pirates last year as the No. 8 pick, is expected to receive around $6.35 million. That means returning for his senior season at Stanford turned out very well for Appel, but it also means the Astros would save around $1.45 million compared to the recommended slot bonus for the No. 1 pick, which they can then use to sign other picks.

As a senior Appel went 10-4 with a 2.12 ERA and 130/23 K/BB ratio in 106 innings, holding opponents to a .203 batting average and just two homers in 395 at-bats. Appel is from Houston and Astros owner Jim Crane talked about the right-hander returning home, adding that “hopefully it won’t be too long until he’s ready for the big leagues.”

Last year the Astros passed on Appel with the No. 1 pick to take high school shortstop Carlos Correa, who’s currently hitting .304 with an .830 OPS in 55 games at low Single-A as an 18-year-old.

  1. kelshannon19 - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    So what you’re saying is the Astros are going to be goooood with these two.

  2. specialkindofstupid - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Sounds like a good deal for Appel, the Astros, and parents everywhere hoping to show their children the merits of (going to and) finishing college.

    • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:06 PM

      This has nothing to do with going to adn finishing college and everything to do with leverage.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:31 PM

        I think what he is trying to say is…this is a time in which going back to and finishing college paid off. Regardless of the why’s…it working out can’t be disputed.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 19, 2013 at 7:26 PM

        I suppose, but it could have been anything. It’s Elway using baseball as leverage against the Colts. One thing that’s great about baseball is they don’t make you go to college.

  3. GoneYickitty - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    It still doesn’t necessarily work out better for Appel. It’s hard to tell because how soon he would have made the major league roster for the Pirates will remain an unknown, but if we assume he would spend roughly the same amount of time in the minors before being promoted to the majors, he’s getting an extra $2.55M for delaying arbitration and then free agency eligibility. So he may have cost him a year of free agency and if that is the case, $2.55M is a drop in the bucket.

    Of course, if he ends up never amounting to anything it was a pretty good move. Maybe that’s what he was banking on.

    • paperlions - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      That assumption likely is incorrect though as scouts across the board thought Appel was better this year than he was last year (i.e. he continued to develop in college and should require less development time in the majors than he would have otherwise).

    • paperlions - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      He is also not likely to cost himself much, if anything with respect to FA as he is likely to sign a deal long before he gets there….unless he is a bust or gets hurt over the next few years, in which case he got $2.55M more than he would have earned…plus, he avoided going through boot camp.

    • raysfan1 - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      One also has to take into account why he slipped down the draft board last year too, namely concerns about signability. If he’d made it clear he’d sign with the Astros last year, he might have been the first pick last year, gotten 1st pick money, and be making his MLB debut soon.

  4. stex52 - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    I think rasfan1 is onto it. If he had been interested in 6.3 MM$ last year, he could have had it. The Astros needed a break on their #1 so they could sign McCullers at #31. He signaled max dollars and slipped in the draft. Sure, they signed Corriea for a lot less, but the key was just to have money left over to slot-plus McCullers.

    It’s hard to judge the value of that year of service. Appel could be a star or a bust in four years. But in my opinion, both sides did just fine.

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