The Astros have officially signed their first round draft pick, pitcher Mark Appel from Stanford. After inking the deal earlier today Appel was introduced to the media at 3:00 Houston time.
The Astros did not disclose the terms of the deal, but other sources are reporting that Appel’s signing bonus will be $6.35 million. If that is indeed the case, the Astros will have saved almost $1.5 million that can be used to sign other draft picks. Even though the reported figure is less than slot value, it is still the biggest bonus ever paid to a draft pick.
Jeff Luhnow said “This is the most significant investment the Astros have made in a player in their history”. I guess the $100 million paid to Carlos Lee doesn’t count.
Luhnow said Appel will go to the Astros spring training facility in Florida for workouts next week. Appel is expected to join the Astros short-season A -League Tri City ValleyCats for a stint before moving on to Low-A Quad Cities. Appel will be limited to a certain number of innings pitched for the 2013 season.
After growing up as an Astros fan, Appel was excited to be joining the organization. Appel said he researched the team after being drafted and is on board with the way they are rebuilding.
Appel has the potential to be the ace of the Astros staff for years to come. Jeff Luhnow summed it up best when he said: “This is a big day for our organization”.