(SECAUCUS, N.J.) — The Houston Astros drafted Stanford pitcher Mark Appel with the top pick in the Major League Baseball draft on Thursday night.
“I talked to him and told him: ‘Welcome home,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “It’s a kid’s dream to go first in the country, first in the draft and to be taken by your hometown team. It just doesn’t get any better than that. It’s also really a great opportunity for us.”
Appel had the chance to be a top pick last year, but the Astros passed on the hometown kid. He slid to the Pittsburgh Pirates with the eighth-overall pick, but chose to turn down the $3.8 million offer and return to Stanford for his senior season.
The hard-throwing righty went 10-4 with a 2.12 ERA for Stanford last season, and he is expected to earn about double the amount he passed up from the Pirates.
“No matter what happened in the draft, I knew I had done everything that was in my control to put myself in the best situation possible,” Appel Said.
It was the fourth time the Astros had the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.
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