Stanford pitcher Mark Appel has been selected by the Houston Astros with the No. 1 pick in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft.
Appel had hoped to go No.1 overall in the 2012 Amateur Draft, but he fell to the the Pittsburgh Pirates at No. 8. The Pirates and Appel did not come to a contract agreement, so Appel returned to Stanford for his senior season in hopes of raising his draft stock.
The right-handed pitcher is considered one of the top two pitchers in the draft this year, along with Oklahoma Sooners junior Jonathan Gray. Most consider Appel the safer and more polished of the two pitchers. The starter possess a 94-95 mph fastball than he can run into the upper 90s on occasion. Appel also throws a slider and a changeup, although he still needs improvement commanding his secondary pitches.
Appel dominated his opponents this season, posting a 2.12 ERA in 14 starts. The right-hander fanned 130 batters over 106 innings while issuing only 23 walks.