Did Appel make the right move? 

May, 30, 2013
5/30/13
6:37
PM ET
Mark AppelAP Photo/Phil SearsMark Appel took a major risk by not signing with Pittsburgh and returning to Stanford.
Stanford ace right-hander Mark Appel began the spring of 2012 with a chance to be a top-10 pick, perhaps even No. 1 overall. There were a number of clubs that graded him the best player available. For reasons beyond the talent on the field, Appel fell to No. 8, failed to sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates and went back to Palo Alto for his senior season.

It was a bit of a risk, particularly with high attrition rate for pitching prospects, not to mention the loss of negotiating leverage since he cannot make the identical decision this season, having now exhausted all of his college eligibility.

With the Cardinal failing to qualify for NCAA regionals, Appel's college career has come to a close, and it appears the move to return will pay off once he's taken off the board next Thursday, as he's expected to be a top-three pick. Scouts tend to agree he made the right choice to return to school, with a caveat.