Carlos Correa, George Springer and Jonathan Singleton: meet Mark Appel. The Houston native, who lived in the city until he was 12, became the next key piece of the Astros' organizational rebuild when the club Thursday made the Stanford senior right-hander the No. 1 overall selection of the draft. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Appel went 10-4 with a 2.12 ERA this season, striking out 130 and walking 23 in 106 innings. "We see him as a future ace," Atros GM Jeff Luhnow said. "He makes us significantly better." Luhnow called Appel after the pick was made and gave him a message of "welcome home." "We're absolutely thrilled that we selected Mark Appel," said Luhnow, who acknowledged the club saw the righty as the player all other prospects had to beat and none did during a year-plus evaluation process. The pick has a maximum $7.79 million bonus-pool slot value. Appel is represented by power agent Scott Boras, who said last Saturday said he didn't plan to overvalue his client during negotiations. "I don't think that anybody in the draft that I know is seeking what I would call dollars that are not within the realm of what everyone anticipated the draft to be," said Boras. "The expectancies of certainly everyone involved are within the traditional dynamics of what's expected in the process."
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