Stanford pitcher and top prospect Mark Appel will return to the farm for his senior year despite being draft eighth overall by the Pirates last year.
“At that situation, the best decision possible for me was to come back to Stanford,” said Appel. “I honestly believe that in the bottom of my heart, for a number of reasons.”
Appel was projected to be the number one overall pick in the 2012 draft, but was passed on by several teams. Speculation is that some teams were turned off by his adviser, notable agent Scott Boras.
“I’ve never thought about that,” Appel said in defense. “I don’t think any team is unwilling to negotiate with Scott Boras. As my adviser, I understand that he does a really good job for his players. I trust in his abilities. We have a relationship where we’re honest with each other. I can’t tell you what the teams were thinking because we never talked to any teams. Whether teams made assumptions that weren’t true or whatever it may be, obviously we saw what the result was. What happened happened. We just kind of have to go from there and make the best decision possible.”
It turns out that teams were right to skip him in the draft, and it only seems fitting that the Pirates, who have had 20 consecutive losing seasons, would be spurned by one of the top prospects in baseball choosing to return to school.