The first overall pick in this year’s First-Year Player Draft is set to make his professional debut. Mark Appel will start for Class A Tri-City in his first minor league start.
Drafted as the first selection of the draft by the Houston Astros, Appel received a $6.35 million bonus last month after he failed to sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012.
The Astros will keep close eyes on Appel’s work load but most pundits believe he will be able to contribute at the major league level in 2014.
Appel threw 106 1/3 innings this year with Stanford. He recently threw a side session at the Astros’ spring training complex in Kissimmee, FL.
With Stanford this year Appel was 10-4 with a 2.12 ERA. He recorded 130 strike outs and held batters to a .203 average while throwing four complete games.