We’re just a day away from the start of the 2013 MLB Draft …. eeeeeeeeeeee ….
- A change of heart from BA’s Jim Callis this morning has the Houston Astros now maybe willing to take Mark Appel at the top of the Draft, assuming the money is reasonable. Remember, the Astros can generally afford to pay Appel more than anyone else, so even if he gets under slot from them, it’s probably more than he’d get if he slipped a spot or two in the Draft (which is to say he’s got a strong incentive to play ball with them). Previous scuttlebutt had the Astros locked in on either Jonathan Gray or UNC third baseman Colin Moran (who would theoretically sign well under slot, allowing the Astros to sign some more big names later in the Draft). If the Astros take Moran, the Cubs would have their choice of Appel or San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant, without having to make the tricky Gray decision.
- Callis now says his sense is that the Astros will go with Appel, and the Cubs will take Gray. The implications here are huge, even moreso after Gray’s reported positive test for Adderall. While the positive test has generally been regarded by most as a blip, some nervousness about future conditioning issues would not be unreasonable. On the flip side, if the Cubs believe the talent is there, they could leverage this positive test into a lower signing bonus, and end up with more talent in the Draft than otherwise would have been possible. We’ll have to see what develops over the next 24 hours. It still seems like any of Appel, Gray, or Kris Bryant are a possibility for the Cubs, with Colin Moran having a slim, outside chance.
- Jesse Rogers spoke to one of Appel’s coaches at Stanford, and it’s a pretty good read for more background on the righty.
- Obviously things change rapidly, but as of Keith Law’s latest mock draft – on Monday afternoon – he had the Astros taking Colin Moran first, and the Cubs taking Mark Appel second.