Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
Class: Senior; Height: 6-5; Weight: 215
Appel entered the year as the number one consensus player in the country after failing to sign with the Pirates following his selection in last June’s draft (8th overall). And despite the added pressure and risk associated with any potential injuries, the 6-foot-5 right-hander has taken his game another step forward this season.
Through his 14 starts, Appel has struck out 130 (11.00 K/9), walked 23 (1.95 BB/9), and has surrendered just 17 extra-base hits in 106.1 innings of work.
Projection: Appel has long been on the draft radar, showing a lot of promise as a 19-year-old sophomore in 2011 (7.16 K/9 and 2.24 BB/9 in 104.1 innings) and then taking a large developmental step forward last season (9.51 K/9 and 2.20 BB/9 in 123 innings). And the fact that he took his game to another level this season with the added pressure should not be overlooked either.
Appel, without question, is the top prospect in this year’s draft class, an elite-type arm with front-of-the-rotation potential. And at the very least, the 6-foot-5 right-hander needs less than a full season of fine-tuning in the minors.
Ceiling: 5.0-win player
Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Above-Average
Drafted: Top Five
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