College Baseball Daily continues our countdown to the start of the 2013 college baseball season by checking in on the Top 100 Players in the country. We will be adding players day-by-day until we get to number one!
Number 2 on our Top 100 Countdown is Stanford’s Mark Appel. The 6’5 right-handed pitcher from Houston was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the eighth overall selection of the 2012 MLB Draft.
During his freshman season, Appel made 24 appearances including three starts. He went 2-1 on the season with an ERA of 5.92, striking out 26 in his 38.0 innings pitched. As a sophomore, Appel earned his way into the Friday night starting position in the Cardinal rotation. In his 17 starts, Appel went 6-7 with an ERA of 3.02 on the year. In his 110.1 innings pitched, Appel struck out 86 while walking 29.
As a junior, Appel entered the season coming off of a strong summer where he played on both Team USA and in the Cape. He was named the top prospect on Team USA following his performance in the summer of 2011. During the 2012 season, Appel made 16 starts, posting an ERA of 2.56 with a record of 10-2. In his 123.0 innings pitched, Appel struck out 130 while holding opponents to a batting average of just .213.
Appel’s fantastic junior season earned him a variety of awards and honors including being a First Team All-American Selection, NCBWA Pitcher of the Year, a Dick Howser Trophy semifinalist and a Golden Spikes finalist in addition to being selected with the eighth overall pick of the 2012 MLB Draft.
From a scouting perspective, Appel is one of the most talked about players in college baseball and his decision not to sign after being selected in the first round of the 2012 draft allows him to enter the 2013 college season with all eyes on him. His fastball has been reported to touch as high as 99 and his ability to pound the zone is far superior to that of other college arms. In addition to his high-velocity fastball, Appel also has a fantastic slider that is viewed by many to be his best pitch as well as a strong changeup. As someone who has already proven himself on the college stage, Appel is one of the top players to watch for in 2013.