The Houston Astros have selected right-handed pitcher Mark Appel with the first pick in the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced tonight.


Appel, 21, went 10-4 with four complete games and a 2.12 ERA (25ER/106.1IP) as a senior this season at Stanford University. He recorded 130 strikeouts in his 106.1 innings pitched and allowed just a .203 opponent’s batting average. Appel is one of just 10 semifinalists for the National Pitcher of the Year Award as named by the College Baseball Hall of Fame.


Appel will be made available to the media tonight via conference call at 8 p.m. CT by dialing into 1-800-537-1097. The conference pass code is 9271435.


Appel’s been highly decorated in his four seasons at Stanford, having already won the Pitcher of the Year award in 2012. He is also a two-time Louisville Slugger first team All-American and is a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award and the Howser Trophy. Last week, he was named first team All-Pac-12 Conference. Appel is also a Senior CLASS Award finalist and was named Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week and Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week twice this season.


Appel finished his Stanford career as the program’s all-time strikeout leader and his 372 career strikeouts rank second among active NCAA hurlers. The Pac-12 Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year this season is sixth in program history with 28 career wins and fourth with 377.2 innings pitched.


“We’re absolutely thrilled that this came to a conclusion today and that we selected Mark Appel with the first selection in the draft,” said Luhnow. “We believe he is a premium talent and we  see him as a future potential ace. He’s exactly the type of player that we need to be adding to the organization. He makes us significantly better and we believe this is a special player that is going to be a part of our championship team someday.”


Appel becomes the third right-handed pitcher selected first overall in the draft in the last five years, joining Gerrit Cole (2011-PIT) and Stephen Strasburg (2009-WSH). He is also the third right-handed pitcher taken by Houston in the first round in the last five years, a list that also includes Lance McCullers (2012-supplemental) and Mike Foltynewicz (2010).




Position: Right-handed pitcher

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Height/Weight: 6-5/215

Age: 21

College: Stanford

High School: Monte Vista HS (CA)


This year marks the fourth time that the Astros have had the first overall pick in the MLB Draft. The previous three times were in 2013 (SS Carlos Correa), 1992 (IF Phil Nevin) and 1976 (LHP Floyd Bannister). Houston has had the second overall pick once in their history, which came in 1969 (RHP J.R. Richard).


The Astros will make another selection tonight at pick number 40, which is the first pick in the second round (approx. 9:10 pm CT).


Tonight’s portion of the draft included only the first and second rounds out of a scheduled 40, and will resume tomorrow beginning at 12 p.m. CT. Rounds 3-10 are scheduled for tomorrow and the draft will conclude with the final 30 rounds on Saturday, June 8.