The Houston Astros passed on Mark Appel last season; for the second year in a row, the Astros got their man. The Stanford University ace waited seven picks before his name was called last season, but this year, it was the first one anyone heard.
The Astros’ farm system has gotten much better since Jeff Luhnow took over, and today, it has gotten that much better, granted Appel sees time in the Minors. Not many people are sure he will be in the Minor Leagues for a long time. The word on Appel is that he is Major League ready right now, and I’m sure that is part of the Astros thinking process on this pick.
Appel was the best player in this draft. However, no one was exactly sure what the Astros would do. Last season, the Astros were creative with their draft and saved money to spend on later picks. This year, the Astros went with the best player available, and they won’t regret it. Appel is an all-around pitcher and will eventually be the ace of the Houston Astros’ pitching staff.
The one thing the Astros now have to worry about is how much money it takes to sign him. Like last year, I’m sure the Astros and Luhnow will be able to sign Appel. They wouldn’t have drafted him if they wouldn’t be able to sign him. The Astros’ GM and Scott Boras, Appel’s agent, have a good relationship, and I believe Luhnow and the Astros are going to be able to sign Appel.
One thing the Astros have playing in their favor is that Appel is Major League ready right now. If they can get him to sign relatively quick, Appel could be making his debut in September of THIS year.