CORPUS CHRISTI - The Astros announced Sunday that 2013 No. 1 overall pick RHP Mark Appel will join the Hooks from Houston's Advanced-A affiliate, Lancaster, in the California League. The Stanford product is Corpus Christi's probable starter Wednesday against San Antonio.
RHP Chris Devenski is slated to follow Appel in a tandem start.
Appel, rated the 13th best prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com, went 2-5 with a 9.74 ERA in 12 starts for the JetHawks. His last start for Lancaster came Thursday, when he worked six innings against the Stockton Ports, Oakland's High-A affiliate. Appel picked up his second victory after he allowed two earned runs on five hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.
Following an off-season appendectomy that sidelined him for much of Spring Training, he broke camp with the JetHawks, but returned the Astros' training facility in Kissimmee, Fla. for just over a month after an April 23 start. Appel made his return to Lancaster May 31 and later strung together three straight starts in which he worked five innings and allowed three earned runs June 22-July 4, going 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA.
Owner of the Houston minor league system's best slider entering the 2014 season according to Baseball America, Appel was a two-time Louisville Slugger First Team All-American at Stanford and left Palo Alto as the program's all-time strikeout leader. During his 2013 senior season, he went 10-4 with a 2.12 ERA and four complete games en route to first team All-Pac 12 conference honors.
Appel was drafted three times: in the 15th round out of Monte Vista High School in Danville, Calif. by Detroit in 2009, eighth overall by Pittsburgh in 2012 and first overall by Houston last year. He became one of just 17 players in history to be selected in the first round of two different June drafts.