Stanford Pitcher Learns Hard Lesson in Economics

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bill-swift - June 7, 2012

In case you didn't know it, the 2012 MLB Draft has been going on for the last couple of days. If that is news to you, don't worry--you are not alone. The MLB Draft doesn't get near the attention that the NBA and NFL drafts do for a pair of reasons.

It has to frustrate teams, but sometimes these blasted kids would rather go to school than join a professional team's farm system (score one for higher education). For a player to choose to go to college or remain in college is a common thing.

For those guys that do sign, unless you are an elite talent like Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg, chances are you are going to work in the minors for a few years before making the big league roster.

When the draft started on Monday the majority of analysts and talking heads believed that Stanford pitcher Mark Appel was the obvious choice to go number one in the draft. Not only was he considered a top-notch player, but the team he'd be going to--the Houston Astros--was in need of pitching talent meaning his time in the minors could be relatively short.

Imagine the surprise when Houston went with 17-year old Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa instead!

In all fairness, Correa is a talented player. His defensive skills are solid and he has the ability to become a 20-30 home run hitter per season. However, the deciding factor ended up being money in this case.

The Astros had wanted Appel, and had already begun preliminary talks with him. According to reports, Houston offered him $6 million, over half of the $11.2 million budget they had to work with all their draft picks. Appel wanted more so Houston passed on him.

Word is that Correa is close to a contract (somewhere in the $5 million range) and should sign soon. Appel ended up not getting picked till the number eight pick which belonged to the Pittsburgh Pirates. With a draft budget of $6.6 million Appel will end up having to take a lot less.

Way to use that Stanford education Appel.

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