With the eighth pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, the Pirates selected RHP Mark Appel from Stanford. The 6’4″ junior is widely considered as the best pitcher in the draft and was even tabbed by some to be the number one overall pick. However, his association with Scott Boras seemed to scare a lot of teams away until the Pirates got on the board. Baseball America had him ranked as the #3 prospect in the entire draft.
Appel is a power throwing righty who consistently sits in the 92-95 range with his fastball and has reached the upper 90′s at times. He also throws a slider and a change-up. Over 15 starts with Stanford this year, he is 10-1 with a 2.27 ERA. In 119 innings, he has struck out 127 and walked 26.
Now comes the tough part, as previously mentioned, Appel is being advised by Scott Boras. We don’t quite know yet how things are going to play out because of the new rules to signing bonuses this year. If the Pirates pay over-slot for Appel, it means they either can’t sign anyone else, or they will have to give up their 1st round pick next season, so things are going to get interesting.
Here’s the Pirates’ selection of Appel: