All Things Astros and a whole lot more
It shouldn’t be surprising if Mark Appel makes a meteoric rise to the major leagues in 2014. Yes, 2014.
Sure, the Astros could take the safe route and allow their top pick in the 2013 draft to incubate at Corpus Christi and Oklahoma City this season. That wouldn’t be a shock either. But college players drafted with the #1 pick of the draft often spend very little time in the minors. Especially pitchers.
Take these for collegians for example:
Gerrit Cole, University of California.
Steven Strasburg, San Diego State.
David Price, Vanderbilt.
Baseball America will release its latest version of Astros’ top prospects on Monday. Appel was certainly considered for the top spot, and he certainly should be the Astros’ top pitching prospect when that list is revealed.
Jonathan Mayo has Appel ranked #4 behind Carlos Correa, Jonathan Singleton and George Springer. Like Appel, Correa (2012) and Springer (2011) are former #1 picks for the Astros. All three will surely be part of the next-gen Astros.
Correa continues to make Jeff Luhnow’s surprise 2012 pick look very good, especially when you consider the money saved helped to lure Lance McCullers with the second pick in that draft.
Meanwhile, can you remember a time in Astros’ history when the organization had as many players who could fit into a can’t miss category. We can debate the names on that list, and even though it’s a short list, reasonable minds could write as many 5-6 names on the list.
Barring injury, the only thing that should slow down Appel’s date with the majors is a desire to keep him away from Super 2 status and buy an extra year of team control. Otherwise, Appel could be wearing a jersey by the All Star break.