Here are some highlights from the press conference announcing Mark Appel as the newest Astros draft pick.
- No mention of signing bonus as Jeff Luhnow says they won't discuss contract details. He did say it was a very substantial commitment and one of the largest in team history. He also had nice things to say about Boras Corp. and the speed at which the negotiations moved along.
- The tentative plan is for Appel to spend some time in Florida before going to short season Tri-City in the New York/Penn League, then Low A Quad Cities and possibly Double-A Corpus Christi.
- Boras was very impressed with Appel. "Having seen Mark over the past two years, I think the Astros are going to be getting a very special player."
- Another funny from Boras. After Appel said he couldn't control whether the Astros would have the No. 1 pick overall this year. "I think Mark is being humble. We had a plan after turning down Pittsburgh and all the Astros had to do was hold up their end in September. He's already shown he can control Major League Baseball."
- Appel: "God has blessed me. First, by giving me the ability to play baseball at a high level and then by letting me play for my hometown team."
- Appel will have an innings limit this year, though the Astros declined to discuss the actual number.
- Mike Elias also has effusive praise for Appel, saying that "the sky's the limit with him."
Overall, it was a nice introduction of Appel to the Houston media. What stood out to me most was how impressed Boras seemed to be with Appel. He's represented a lot of players and once compared Oliver Perez to Sandy Koufax. Maybe it was posturing, but if he's that on board with Appel's character, the Astros might have a mighty fine pitcher very soon.