Astros strike deal with No. 1 pick Appel

The Houston Astros announced Wednesday that they have officially signed Stanford pitcher Mark Appel, the top overall pick in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

Financial terms were not disclosed by the team, though Baseball America reported that Appel will receive a $6.35 million signing bonus that is considerably less than MLB's assigned slot value of $7.79 million for the No. 1 overall choice.

The Astros also owned the top pick last year and passed on Appel, who was selected by Pittsburgh with the No. 8 pick. The right-hander returned to Stanford after failing to come to terms with the Pirates.

Appel, 21, went 10-4 with four complete games and a 2.12 ERA as a senior this season at Stanford. He compiled 130 strikeouts in 106 1/3 innings and held opposing hitters to a .203 batting average.

"Drafting and signing Mark Appel was a top priority for our organization this year," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a statement. "We are an organization focused on winning championships in the future and we expect Mark to be a big part of that effort."

Appel, a Houston native, is Stanford's all-time strikeout leader with 372.

The Astros have yet to determine where Appel will begin his pro career, though he's expected to pitch in the minors at some point this summer.