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Orioles draft target: Mark Appel

By Dan Connolly

7:44 PM EDT, May 31, 2012

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From now through Monday, we'll profile six players the Orioles might target with the No. 4 overall pick in Monday night's amateur draft. Today: Mark Appel

Name: Mark Appel

Position: Right-handed pitcher

Age: 20

Height/Weight: 6-feet-5, 215 pounds

Bats/Throws: R/R

Hometown: Houston

School/Class: Stanford University/junior

Skinny: Considered most polished pitcher in the draft. ... Has been Stanford’s ace/Friday night starter for past two seasons. ... Went 9-1 in his first 14 starts for the Cardinal this season with a 2.37 ERA in his first 110 innings, striking out 116. ... Has a mid-90s fastball that can run up to high-90s, a hard slider and improving changeup. ... Perhaps it is a lack of deception, but hitters seem to square him up more than they should. ... Has nearly a 5-to-1 strikeout-walk ratio. ... Four of 14 starts were complete games. ... Was prep player of year in baseball and basketball in 2009 in Northern California, where he went to high school. ...  Was drafted in the 15th round in 2009 by the Detroit Tigers and did not sign. ... His older brother played on the two-time, Division III national championship Washington University (Mo.) basketball team.

Why the Orioles will take him: The Orioles are continually looking for pitching, and a polished starter with a pitcher’s body and strong baseball acumen can’t be ignored.

Why the Orioles won’t take him: He has Houston roots, so the Astros have been rumored to be suitors with the first pick. And, frankly, despite the hype, he may not be the Orioles’ top pitching target.

Connolly’s take: If Appel is still on the board at four, the Orioles would consider grabbing him. The sense is he won’t be there – and that the Orioles like some other starters as much as, maybe more than, Appel anyway.

More on the draft ...

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