Astros tab Mark Appel as first pick in MLB Draft

Thursday's MLB Draft provided some surprises, but pretty much went according to plan. The Houston Astros took Stanford right-hander Mark Appel, the player they had been tied to most closely, first overall, while the Chicago Cubs bucked the conventional wisdon that had them taking either Appel or Oklahoma righty Jonathan Gray second overall and took San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant. The Rockies jumped on Gray third, and the Twins took Texas high school righty Kohl Stewart fourth, the worst kept secret of the Draft.

The Indians caused some ripples by taking Georgia high school outfielder Clint Frazier fifth, leading to the Marlins taking UNC third baseman Colin Moran sixth and the Red Sox taking Indiana high school lefty Trey Ball seventh. The Royals made a questionable choice in Stephen F Austin shortstop Hunter Dozier eighth, and an all-too-happy Pirates team plucked up another Georgia high school outfielder, Austin Meadows, ninth overall. The top ten was rounded out by the Blue Jays taking California high school righty Phil Bickford in the tenth position.

Other highlights in the first round include the Mets grabbing a pure hitter of first baseman in Dominic Smith at 11, the Pirates taking high school catcher Reese McGuire (linked to them at 9) 14th, Nevada right-hander Braden Shipley falling all the way to the Diamondbacks at 15, and the Rays stealing Arkansas righty Ryne Stanek all the way down at 29. Kansas City's strategy with Dozier came to light when they took Indiana State lefty Sean Manaea, projected to be a top five pick before a hip injury killed his stock, at the top of the competitive balance round, 34th overall. The Royals will likely end up signing Dozier to a below-slot deal and allocate more money to sign Manaea.

For all of the picks made yesterday, which include the first two rounds and the first two competiitve balance rounds, click here. Today's Draft coverage will begin at 12:30 PM exclusively on, while Saturday's coverage begins at 1 PM.

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.