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TCB Astros March Madness 2014: Mark Appel vs Max Stassi

Pitching prospect Mark Appel vs catching prospect Max Stassi

The sweet sixteen of the TCB Astros Fan Favorite March Madness Tournament is underway. From now until the end of Spring Training 64 players will spend the next several weeks facing off in a head to head public vote to determine who advances to the next round and who will eventually be crowned the communities favorite Astros player. For more details check out the tournament introductory post.

The rules are simple, determine which player you want to advance to the next round and then vote. Vote subjectively, objectively, using your trusty magic eight ball or any other set of criteria. It's totally up to you how you want to vote! Votes for this round will last exactly 24 hours.

In this match-up

3 - Mark Appel

After dominating at Stanford, Appel was drafted with the first overall by the Astros in the Rule IV draft. He's got poise. He's got a fastball in the mid-to-upper 90s and four pitches he can command. Hitters beware. He's Kevin Goldstein approved and ready to fly through the minors to make an impact at the major league level.


7 - Max Stassi

The 23 year old catcher's Major League career got off to a start that was similar to his minor league career; plagued with injuries. In just his eighth Big League plate appearance, Stassi was struck in the face by a pitch and his season was over. Fortunately there was no perminant damage, and with Jason Castro's history of knee injuries, there will be plenty of playing time for whomever is named his backup this year. Stassi has real upside; his defense, game calling and pitch framing all recieve high marks, and while there's some question as to just how effective of a hitter he'll be at the Major League level, there's no denying that he has tremendous raw power, and could very well hit 20 homers if given sufficient playing time. -Ashitaka