Mark Appel, a 6-foot, 5-inch right-handed pitcher whom the Houston Astros made the first player selected in Major League Baseball’s 2013 amateur draft, currently is laboring for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. His record is 3-3 with a 4.46 earned run average. I bring this up because (a) I want an IronPigs cap and (b) because the Astros’ 2013 draft plans were hacked by Chris Correa, then the director of scouting for the St. Louis Cardinals. Last week Correa was sentenced by a federal judge in Houston to 46 months in prison for breaking into the Astros’ player analysis database. As an Astros fan, I suppose I should be gratified by this hefty sentence. The heftiness is based in part on the fact that
To this point, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that that baseball world is familiar with Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers. Some likely took note of the cleats he wore on his Major League debut, while others might’ve become familiar with him for the stuff he has done to opposing batters since then. Either way, the top prospect broke into the bigs for the first time last season to give the Astros 125.2 innings of solid production. Then, like all years must, 2015 gave way to 2016. 2016 has offered a bit more of a quirky look for McCullers, to say the least. In fact, through 62.1 innings this season McCullers has posted quite the odd season, and it all starts with his FIP.