Given a second chance to snatch a hometown pitcher who profiles as a future staff ace, the Houston Astros couldn’t resist.
The Stros opened the Major League Baseball amateur draft Thursday night by selecting Mark Appel, a right-handed power arm on the fast track to Minute Maid Park.
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ASTROS TOP PICK
Mark Appel (RHP, Stanford): The No. 1 pick in the draft is a big, powerful pitcher with a mid-90s fastball who was 10-4 with a 2.12 ERA with 130 strikeouts in 106 innings this year.
RANGERS TOP PICKS
Alex Gonzalez (RHP, Oral Roberts): The 23rd overall selection has a low-90s fastball, excellent command and was 9-5 with a 1.83 ERA and 126 Ks in 113 innings.
Travis Demeritte (SS, Winder-Barrow HS, Ga.): Boom-bust candidate who hit .404 with 12 homers and 37 RBIs in 89 at bats his senior year.