Who is Mark Appel?

The early favorite for the number one pick in the 2012 MLB Draft?  Yes.  The staff ace of a top-five Stanford Cardinal team with title hopes?  Yes.  A devout Christian?  Yes.  A 6′ 6″ twenty-year old with a cannon for a right arm?  Yes.  If you are a casual baseball fan than you probably haven’t heard much about Mark Appel, yet. This draft class does not have the same hype as the Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg years, but don’t count out the talent of Appel, whose skills haven’t even peaked yet. I think that he has the highest ceiling of any pitcher taken in the last few years.

Mark was born in July, 1991 in Houston, Texas but later moved to California. He attended Monte Vista High School where he played baseball, and as a senior was drafted in the 15th round by the Detroit Tigers. However, Appel decided to accept a scholarship to attend Stanford and is currently majoring in Management and Science & Engineering. As a freshman, while working mostly out of the bullpen  Appel struggled. Over the course of 38.0 IP, Mark posted a 2-1 record with a 5.92 ERA, and a 26 SO/19 BB ratio.  Opponents batted .295 against him.

Everything seemed to change after that freshman year, as Appel clearly developed better control. As a sophomore, Mark went 6-7 in 110.1 IP, working as the Cardinal’s Friday night starter. He worked is ERA down to 3.02, with a 86 SO/29 BB ratio and opponent batting average of .277. These are good, but not fantastic stats. However his stuff, and performance in the famous Cape Cod League had led to Appel’s status as top RHP on the draft board.

Mark Appel will be taken in the first round of the MLB Draft, on June 4th. My guess is that he will be an Astro. Expectations are high, and he has a great supporting staff at Stanford. I will be adding a Mark Appel Tracker page to this blog to keep track of his starts and stats. I also reached out to Mark with a few quick questions and I will post his responses very soon. He is also fairly active on Twitter if you want to follow him: @mappel26. Check out this page for Bro Scout’s full scouting report on this future ace.