My opinion is Appel and Manaea have the potential to be true Ace pitchers, and Manaea has farther to go to get there. Stanek could be quick to the majors, but lacks a dominant strikeout pitch. They could all make their case to go very early. The prep pair of outfielders from Georgia, as well as a few college bats, could sneak into the top 5 as well. If the draft happened today, the Twins would have a shot at getting one of the top 3 pitchers, in my opinion.
We hear a lot about players getting called up at a time to delay free agency by a year - and agents talk about how costly it is for their clients - yet, as Brock points out, Appel has likely delayed free agency by his own choice. Who knows, maybe he goes straight to the pros, but I doubt it.
The Giants drafted a player a few years back and signed him to slot, with the promise he would be a September call-up. I wonder if their is language in the CBA that would prevent that, a sorta loophole that would allow the player to get a "major league deal".
Although it would be awfully redundant (although not as much after the trades this offseason), I dont think you go for need, or look at your system when youre that high in the draft...therefore, I would seriously consider one of the two GA HS outfielders if they are there. They have the highest upside of anyone in the draft IMO...Manaea is the only pitcher I would want to consider at #4.
Other than injury, Apple has the highest floor, though. He could start in the majors right now. He should he a 2 or at worst a 3. There is no downside, performances wise, to drafting him....relative to other players....given what we know today. I have no idea how you pass on a guy that is Likely to be a good starting pitcher. Lots of guys have potential, but Apple has that and a very low likelihood of not reaching that, relative to others risk.
I disagree on Appel's floor. Also worry about injury after how Stanford has used him, which may be why I disagree on the floor...I also worry about his ability to miss bats at the major league level.
Pittsburgh offered Appel $900k over slot (roughly 30% over), which I thought was a strong offer and necessarily came at the expense of the rest of their draft class. We'll see how things play out over the next few drafts, but I'd imagine that offers 30% over slot will be rare for top of the draft players (although all bets are off if we see any more Harper-types).
I think the real story on Appel is that he and Boras played chicken with Houston on the Astros' offer of $6 million. Appel was the local kid and at the top many draft boards. When they passed on $6 million and the Astros passed on Appel, there was only a couple teams that could offer as much without going over slot (or barely over slot). Before they knew it Appel was in free fall. When Pittsburgh took Appel and offered him 30% over slot, the amount was still $2 million below what was on the table days before. Does Boras look at Appel and say, "Oops, sorry?" Or does he fire the kid up about the insult of it all and send him back to school?
Sure Appel is the de facto boss, but when the most successful agent advises his client on a course of action, its tough to imagine a 22 year-old having the backbone to go against him. And its likely Appel was of the same mind. No doubt he has an ego that was bruised when Houston said, we like you best but we want you to accept below slot. The natural reaction is to tell them to pound sand. Maybe they truly believed Houston was bluffing and would take him regardless. Either way, I believe they compounded the mistake of not taking the $6 million by not taking Pittsburgh's $3.8 million. Another year of wear and tear on his arm and the risk of injury or regression are very real. I hope it works out for him but hubris is a killer - it just doesn't kill the agents. Boras will be fine however it works out.
I highly doubt that Boras called all the shots... Any agent good agent is going to lay out the risks/rewards with a course of action. Appel likely said he wanted as much money as he could get... and Boras said this is the best way to do it, but here are the risks... If Boras didn't do that, he wouldn't be Appel's agent right now.
There is of course the possiblity that what we heard coming from the Appel camp was the truth of it: Mark just wanted to stay at Stanford for his senior year.
Even if it was Boras's counsel to decline the Pirate's offer, has Boras ever gotten burned?
Possible I guess, but if he wanted to stay at Stanford, why hire Boras? And why not send a note to all MLB teams that he wasn't signing. Happens a lot with high school players. I think he wanted to stay at Stanford rather than sign for what he was offered.
As for when has Boras been burned, the answer is not often. He is good. The two recent examples that come to mind are:
1) Publicly blowing up at Amaro after he balked at the 4-year $44 million deal Boras thought he had for Ryan Madson. Lashing out squelched any chance to recalibrate the deal for less money of fewer years. He then rejected a multi-year offer for Madson from the Marlins. Ultimately, Madson signed with the Reds for one year $10 million. Madson promptly blew out his elbow. Madson has signed this season for $3.5 million with a chance to double that by meeting all incentives.
2) The Appel deal. Turning down a $6 million dollar offer and afterward only being able to generate a $3.8 million offer seems like a big miss.
All that said, I am not an Appel apologist. He blew it more than Boras. I just expect Boras to be smarter than that. I don't expect it of Appel.
soon to be 3) Michael Bourn.
soon to be 4) Kyle Lohse.
Appel didn't want to go back to Stanford, if he did he would have went on that conference call after the draft with the beat reporters in Pittsburgh and told them so. But he didn't talk at all, because he was heartbroken his plan didn't work.
LIkely, likely, likely. Sure, he could be awful, But given what we know today, has anyone read anything by any credible scout that he is worse than a 3, and is not likely to be a 2 or 1?
Either I'm not typing well, or people are not trying hard to read my posts. Odds. Likelihood. Percentages. What we know today.
Yes, there are no certainties in life, but given what we know, given everything you've read on line, given all that, relative to other players available, are people actually confident he won't be a 3 at worst, relative to how confident they are about other players? You have to draft someone......are you more or less confident in Appel's ability to be a legit starting MLB pitcher than other available players?