When catcher Mike Zunino went third overall to the Seattle Mariners, Pirates fans were upset. Then Mark Appel fell to fifth overall. Then he fell to the Cubs at sixth. When the Cubs didn’t choose him, hopes were getting up that he would fall to the Pirates. Then the Padres chose Max Fried at seventh. Keith Law tweeted that the Pirates were to choose Mark Appel of Stanford University.
Appel, 20, just finished his junior year at Stanford University and was projected as a potential first overall pick in the 2012 Draft. In his junior year, Appel was 9-1 with an ERA of 2.37 and a 1.02 WHIP in 110 innings pitched over 14 starts. Appel was a strong strikeout pitcher, putting the K up 116 times for a K/9 of 9.49, while only walking 24 batters for a BB/9 of 1.96.
Baseball America says:
Appel was No. 3 on BA’s latest Top 50 and fourth on the BA 500. He’s a 6-foot-5 pitcher with a solid frame, fastball up to 97 mph, plus changeup and above-average slider. The fastball tends to be true, but Appel’s control has been good enough for him to be the Cardinal’s ace all spring. He’s finishing strong, getting Stanford to super regionals with a 10-1, 2.27 season that includes a 127-26 strikeout-walk ratio in 119 innings.