Astros sign No. 1 pick, Stanford star Mark Appel

Stanford's Appel, No. 1 pick in MLB draft, signs with Astros

Astros sign No. 1 pick, Stanford star Mark Appel
June 19, 2013, 2:45 pm
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Mark Appel returned to Stanford for his senior year and became the school's all-time strikeouts leader. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

The Astros have signed the top overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, Mark Appel.

Appel was the eighth overall pick in 2012, but chose to go back to Stanford. The decision paid off. He improved his numbers -- going 10-4 with a 2.12 ERA with 130 strikeouts in 106 1/3 innings -- and became Stanford's all-time strikeouts leader. The Astros took notice.

"He went back to Stanford, had a tremendous senior year, improved on a very good junior year, and basically dared us not to take him," said Jeff Luhnow, the Astros' general manager.


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