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MLB Mock Draft 2012: Mark Appel Goes No. 1 Overall To Astros

The 2012 MLB Draft is right around the corner and most feel that Stanford Cardinal pitcher Mark Appel will be the first player selected. The Houston Astros have the No. 1 overall pick in the first round and desperately need pitching help, and it appears to be nearing a consensus that Appel will be that player for them.

Here is a scouting report from Hardball Times on Appel and what he throws on the mound.

Stanford right-handed pitcher Mark Appel is one of the candidates to go first overall to the Houston Astros in the 2012 draft. With a four-seam fastball that touches 100 mph and sits 94-96, a two-seam fastball around 92-94 with a ton of arm-side run, a sharp slider from 82-84, and a changeup from 81-83 with plenty of depth, he has the tools to perform well in the big leagues. But there have been some serious concerns with his stats this year that are making a lot of people pause.

The two main concerns are Appel's lack of strikeouts this season and the number of innings he is throwing. While his strikeout numbers are still good (9.44 K/9), they aren't quite the elite number you look for out of the first pitcher picked in the draft. He has also thrown upwards of 100 innings and still has some season left to play.

Neither of these are huge red flags, but Appel will come with a few minimal concerns should the Astros indeed select him No. 1 overall.

For more on Appel and the Stanford Cardinal, check out Rule of Tree.