The Astros have selected pitcher Mark Appel with the first pick in the 2013 draft. Appel was supposed to be the first overall pick last year but fell all the way to number eight after the Astros made Carlos Correa the first overall pick.
Instead of signing with the Pirates, Appel decided to go back to Stanford for his senior season. Appel put together another solid season, going 10-4 with a 2.12 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 106 & 1/3 innings pitched. The decision to return to Stanford seems to have payed off. Appel will get somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 to 8 million dollars as the first overall pick.
Appel is the most polished pitcher in the draft and is close to being big league ready. He features a mid-nineties fastball, a slider, and a changeup.
Now the process of signing Appel becomes priority number one for the Astros. Scott Boras is Appel’s agent, meaning negotiations could go on for a while. Boras is infamous for being the most difficult agent in the business.
The sooner the Astros can get a deal done with Appel, the sooner we will see him in an Astros uniform. If the Astros and Boras can come to an agreement quickly, we could see Appel pitching at Minute Maid Park by September. But, more than likely, this will turn into a long drawn out process, ultimately delaying Appel’s arrival in Houston.