With the eighth pick in Monday’s MLB first-year player draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected Stanford righthanded pitcher Mark Appel.
Appel, a Pac-12 All-first team selection and Collegiate Baseball All-American, has compiled a 10-1 record and a 2.27 ERA in his junior campaign, including a 7-0 record and 2.07 ERA in the Pac-12 conference. The Houston, Tex. native has struck out 127 batters this season, good enough for the third-best tally in the entire country.
While many MLB experts and scouts expected Appel to go first overall to the Houston Astros, who selected 17-year old shortstop Carlos Correa instead, Appel now brings his talent to a team in need of pitching talent and depth.
By selecting Appel, the Pirates have now taken Pac-12 righthanders with their first overall picks in the last two drafts. In 2011, the Pirates selected UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole with the first overall pick, who completed his career with the sixth-most strikeouts in Pac-10 history. In 2010, the Pirates also selected a righthanded pitcher, taking Jameson Taillon, a high school prospect from The Woodlands, Tex., with the second overall pick.
Appel is the 23rd Stanford player to be selected in the first round since 1987, and the third Cardinal pitcher to be picked in the first round in the last four years. In 2009, the Washington National selected Cardinal closer Drew Storen with the 10th overall pick, and in 2011, the Los Angeles Dodgers picked Chris Reed, Storen’s replacement as Stanford’s closer, with the 16th overall pick.
After capturing a regional title this past weekend, Appel and the rest of the Stanford baseball team will travel to Tallahassee, Fla. this weekend to play in the NCAA Super Regionals against the host Florida State Seminoles.