“Whatever happens, it won’t be the Pirates’ fault.”
Those were the very last words someone from the Mark Appel camp had for me a couple weeks ago, and no, I have absolutely no idea what they mean. Didn’t know then, I don’t know now that the team and the No. 8 overall pick are fast approaching Major League Baseball’s signing deadline of 5 p.m. today."I'll tell what that means.
Great news for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In what was seen as both a fortunate fall for, and bold move by the Pirates that ended with them taking Stanford RHP Mark Appel, the Pirates may have cemented yet another strong draft in 2013 with still yet 11 months to go.
If it were say 2011 (Francisco Lindor), 2010 (Javier Baez, Chris Sale) or even 2009 (Jacob Turner, Aaron Crow, Grant Green) there were players available that were either comparable, more talented or more signability than Appel. Lindor, Baez, Sale and Turner would all have been top 5, possibly number 1 picks in this year's draft.
And the 2013 Draft is already shaping up to be possibly stronger than both 2011 and 2012. what 2012 lacked in overall talent 2013 makes up for in leaps and bounds. The projected first round is shaping up like the 2008 draft but with more power arms at the top and better high school prospects throughout the first round.
Then there is the prospect of the left over money that was originally tabbed for Appel. As documented by Tim Williams over at PiratesProspects.com, 14th Round pick Walter Buehler is the biggest benafactor of the Appel situation should he not sign. The money that was left over to sweeten the pot for Appel now shift's to Buehler, and we know how the Burgh love's their projectable prep arm's, especially those of the top 50 variety.
By my count that's two prospects with better upside and potential than Appel. Not to mention the lottery picks that are up for grabs tomorrow. If the Pirates great fortune this year continue's, they could end up with two top 50 talent's, and future battery mates in Buehler and Wyatt Mathisen, and three top 50 pick's in next year's draft.
If that is what we get if Appel doesn't sign, Thank you. Thank you very much.