Live pick-by-pick analysis
• Keith Law's final mock draft
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Appel gives the Astros a future rotation-leading No. 1 starter who could hit the big leagues as early as 2014, thanks to present stuff and polish. Appel immediately becomes the club's top prospect, and could impact how they manage the likes of Lucas Harrell and Bud Norris moving forward. Both have been rumored in trades.
Whether or not Appel signs for MLB's recommended bonus or a little less, the Astros are wide open for their next few picks to take the best player on their board without regard to position or time table. It's worth noting that Appel, as a college senior, is not subject to the July 12 signing deadline. -- Churchill