Appel No. 1 in first mock draft

Astros leaning toward a safer choice with the first overall pick

Updated: May 20, 2012, 12:03 AM ET
By Keith Law | ESPN Insider

We're 20 days away from this year's Rule 4 draft, and virtually nothing is settled at this point, starting with the first overall pick. As always, this is based on my conversations with sources throughout the industry, not my personal rankings of players.

Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford

The Astros' decision is still apparently up in the air, but the general feeling is that they'll take the college arm over the higher-upside, higher-risk outfielder, Byron Buxton … or that they'll take the best player who'll cut a deal below the $7.2 million slot figure and transfer the money to later picks.