2013 MLB Draft: Why the Astros should draft Mark Appel at 1-1

Pounding the table for the Stanford right-hander

Saving the best for last.

Ya, that's right I said it Mark Appel is the best player in the 2013 MLB Draft. I'm tired of hearing about power and how Kris Bryant and Jonathan Gray should be selected by the Astros because they have power. Power doesn't mask the fact that there are questions about Bryant contact ability and where he will in fact play. Phil Nevin says hi!

Gray wasn't even considered the best pitcher on his team to start the college season and now suddenly he's harnessing a 100 MPH pitcher that he couldn't control before. I realize pitchers develop and sometimes it takes just one thing to click for a player to become dominate but Gray was just busted for Adderall, which puts into question his sudden rise. At this point he's a two-pitch pitcher who in the past has struggled with focus issues. No, thank you.

Appel on the other hand has a proven track record and has three plus offerings to hitters and he only recently showed he could throw his change-up effectively. Right there shows me that he could continue to develop pitches. Throw in the fact that he's the most major league ready pitcher in the draft and Astros fans can't start dreaming about an opening day rotation of Mike Foltynewicz, Jarred Cosart and Mark Appel. Allow me to wipe the drool off your chin.

The Astros have said that along with scouting reports they are plugging in historical data of players to help in making their selection. With that in mind lets take a look at Stanford right handed pitchers who were drafted in the first round of the draft and see what they've produced in terms of WAR, from Baseball Reference. There have been 11 Stanford right handed pitchers drafted in the first round, none with the first selection. They've combined to produce 175.8 WAR, which is an average of 14.65 WAR.

Some of the more successful pitchers drafted are, Jack McDowell, Rick Helling, Jeremy Guthrie and Mike Mussina.

Mussina is especially interesting because he was underrated his entire career and of the 175.8 WAR sum he had 83 of it. Even if Appel becomes something similar to Jeremy Guthrie, who currently has 18.7 WAR, that's still pretty good. Is it worth a number one selection to get a Guthrie? Of course not, but neither is the floor of any other player in this draft.

Appel is the not only the safest pick but he's also got near as high a ceiling as everyone else at the top of the draft as a number one starter.

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