MLB Draft: Houston Astros Select Mark Appel 1st Overall
The Houston Astros went with home grown talent in the first pick for the 2013 Draft. They choose starting pitcher Mark Appel from Stanford, and he projects to be a future ace for their staff.
Appel features a three-pitch mix in his repertoire with a plus fastball that sits in the mid 90s with great movement. He also offers a hard slider and a circle changeup that has outstanding movement.
The best thing about all of these pitches is that he can throw them all for strikes, and he has very good mound presence. Houston elected to bypass Jonathan Gray in favor of Appel, because he was their guy.
The only issue that scouts are concerned with him is that his stuff doesn’t generate as many swings and misses as you would expect. There is a consensus among all scouts that he will be top of the rotation starter when all is said and done.
Houston elected to bypass Jonathan Gray in favor of Appel, because he was their guy.
They had a chance to draft him last year, but they went another direction. The interesting aspect about Appel is that he had a chance to be in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization last year, but elected to go back to school and finish his degree.
He not only did this, but he also improved as a pitcher by staying in school for another year. This gave baseball scouts another chance to see if he could improve upon the areas, which they thought he needed to work on.
He finished his collegiate career on a high note, and looked better in his senior season as compared to his junior year. He struck out 8.11 per nine and allowed 8.41 hits per nine in his junior year, but those numbers improved to 9.51 strikeouts per nine and 7.10 hits per nine in his senior year. He also leaves Stanford as the career leader in strikeouts with 372.
He is the most polished pitcher in this draft and it will not be long before we see him in an Astros uniform.