10:09 AM - June 30, 2012 by MMChrisS
#1 - Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford - Appel projects as the most MLB ready player in the 2012 draft. He could conceivably be in the Majors in just a couple of years. When you combine Appel with last yearís No. 1 pick, Gerrit Cole, and 20-year-old Jameson Taillon, itís easy to see three top of the rotation guys that will anchor the Piratesí staff in the near future. Appel throws four pitches (three plus pitches including a change-up with good movement) and his fastball is already Major League ready at 94-98 MPH. He threw as many as 130 pitches in a game at Stanford which suggests that he has a very strong arm already.
Appel was the No. 1 ranked prospect by Baseball America in the 2012 draft. The main reason he slipped all the way to Pittsburgh at the number eight pick is because he is represented by agent Scott Boras. Boras is notorious for being difficult to negotiate with and the signability of his players is always in question. Comparisons to Justin Verlander and Mark Prior abound. Most experts think that Appel will see the majors no later than 2015 with many saying he could be ready by 2014.