PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Stanford right-handed pitcher Mark Appel with the eighth overall pick in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft Monday.
Appel was believed to be the best pitcher available in the draft by many scouts and draft experts. However, he was passed on by each of the teams ahead of the Pirates, falling right into their laps at No. 8.
“We were very pleased that he was still sitting there when it was our selection,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said, according to the team’s official website. “We don’t know why [other teams] chose players over him; different teams have different interpretations of players.”
At 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, Appel went 10-1 with a 2.27 for Stanford this season.
Appel released this statement upon hearing he was drafted by Pittsburgh: “I’m currently concentrating on winning a national championship and finishing my academic endeavors at Stanford. I will address the possibility of a professional career in due time.”
Huntington said he didn’t factor in the potential difficulties of signing Appel to factor into his decision, as the Pirates have approximately $6.6 million to spend on their draft picks for rounds 1-10.
Appel was the ace of the Cardinal staff the last two seasons.