Houston Astros pick Stanford pitcher Mark Appel first overall

The 'Stros have held the top pick the last two years

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SECAUCUS, N.J. - The Houston Astros have selected Stanford pitcher Mark Appel with the No. 1 pick in the Major League Baseball draft.

Appel was considered a possible top pick last year, but Houston passed on the hometown kid and instead chose 17-year-old shortstop Carlos Correa from Puerto Rico. Appel slid to Pittsburgh at No. 8 but turned down a $3.8 million offer and returned to Stanford for his senior season.

The move paid off for Appel, a hard-throwing righty with a fastball in the mid-90s (mph). He went 10-4 with a 2.12 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 106 1-3 innings this season for the Cardinal.

The draft, which is held over three days and 40 rounds, started Thursday night with the first two rounds at MLB Network Studios.

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