Stanford pitcher Mark Appel, viewed by many as a potential first-overall pick in this year's MLB Amateur Draft, has decided to return to school to pitch another year over signing with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Appel fell to the 8th pick and went to the Pirates, but could not come to terms with the team on the details surrounding a contract.
The 6'5 Appel pitched to a 10-2 record last season, with a 2.25 earned-run average and led the Cardinal into the NCAA Super Regionals. With the MLB reining in the amount that teams are allowed to give their picks as signing bonuses, the Pirates were limited to less than $4 million. According to Yahoo!, their final offer was $3.8M.
Appel released a statement, noting ''After much thought, prayer and analysis of both opportunities, I came to the conclusion the best decision is to remain at Stanford continuing my studies, finishing my degree, and doing all I can to assist the Cardinal baseball team in our goal to win a national championship. I greatly valued the prospect of a professional opportunity and I will pursue a professional baseball career after getting my Stanford degree.''
The Pirates also commented on the development, with Pirates GM Neal Huntington saying, ''Selecting Mark was a calculated risk, as we knew he would be a difficult sign. As an organization, we need to continue to take these types of calculated risks. While we would've preferred to add Mark to the group of talented prospects in our system, we wish Mark, and his family, nothing but success in the future.''