The Pittsburgh Pirates failed to sign first round pick Mark Appel, the No. 8 overall pick, before today's 5:00 p.m. deadline. The Pirates will be guaranteed the No. 9 pick in next years draft as compensation for not signing Appel.
As a junior this year at Stanford University, Appel went 10-1 with a 2.27 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 15 starts, including five complete games. AppelĂ˘Â€Â™s 127 strikeouts ranked first among all Pac-12 pitchers, while he also struck out at least 10 batters in eight of his 10 starts. He also became the first Stanford 10-game winner since Jeff Gilmore in 2005.
The right hander from Stanford is making a calculated risk but draft insiders Keith Law of ESPN and Jim Callis of Baseball America have both said that Appel will be the best player available in the 2013 draft. Appel was the No. 1 player on some draft boards and turned down $6 million from the Houston Astros to be the No. 1 pick prior to the draft.
As of 4:59 p.m., the Pirates could have offered Appel $3.59 million (without being penalized) based on the allocated money they had available today for their draft pool.
Appel is advised by super agent Scott Boras.
Appel shortly after 5:00 p.m. released a statement on why he's not signing: "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 National Championship. I greatly valued the prospect of a professional opportunity and I will pursue a professional baseball career after getting my Stanford degree. I appreciate the love, support, and guidance from everyone who helped me make this decision.''
NOTES: The Pirates also didn't sign 4th round pick Brandon Thomas, OF, Georgia Tech University.