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No. 1 pick Mark Appel will make his pro debut Friday

Jul 3, 2013, 11:51 AM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers v Houston Astros Getty Images

Mark Appel is scheduled to make his professional debut Friday with a start for low Single-A Tri-City less than a month after the Astros drafted him No. 1 overall.

Appel, who agreed to a $6.35 million signing bonus that was nearly $1.5 million below the recommended slot amount for the No. 1 pick, has been working out at the Astros’ spring training complex for the past couple weeks.

When asked about Appel’s timetable, general manager Jeff Luhnow toldĀ Chris Abshire of “We’re not going to set any schedule on him, but we will assess him after every game. We don’t want to create too many set expectations for Mark.”

In other words, he’s a 21-year-old college senior and if he dominates low-minors hitters like he should the Astros could move Appel pretty quickly through the farm system. He’ll be on a pitch and innings count, but Luhnow and the Astros have declined to reveal any specifics.

  1. gdobs227 - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    So, in the majors a couple of weeks from now, right? At least that’s what Harold Reynolds would have had me believe on draft night. I always put 100% faith in everything HR says, so I fully expect this to happen.

    • hittfamily - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:15 PM

      I think Harold is great at some things he does. Swing analysis, situational explainations, mechanics etc. He just should not open his mouth regarding anything that has to do with the future. As soon as I hear “This is what ________ should do”, I know something stupid was said.

  2. specialkindofstupid - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    GM Jeff Luhnow added: “We will know Mark is ready once it’s clear he’s capable of getting major league hitters out.”

    Andrew Friedman, the GM of the Tampa Bay Rays who are currently in the middle of a series against Luhnow’s Astros, responded: “He’s ready. Give him to us and we will pitch him tomorrow.”

    • hittfamily - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:11 PM

      Speaking of Friedman, he signed Ryan Stanek yesterday to slot money, which is kind of shocking. Prior to 2012, Stanek was thought of as a top 5 prospect. He had a good year at Arkansas, just not a top 5 year. Keith Law rated him at #12 in the draft, and BA rated him at #13. The Rays got him at 28. Being just a junior, most thought they would need to offer him over slot money to have a chance to sign him. They didn’t have too, as he signed for the exact assigned allotment.

      We passed the Yankees and signed Stanek! Joy!

  3. stex52 - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Hang on Astros fans. The cavalry may or may not be coming.

    If these low level A prospects start working out, 2016-2016 has a chance of being much better.

    Jeez, that’s a long time.

  4. 161andriver - Jul 3, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    I live less than an hour from where they play, and of course will be out of town that day.

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