STANFORD (CBS Sports) — Stanford senior right-handed pitcher Mark Appel gambled on himself by passing on a chance to sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates after they picked him No. 8 overall a year ago, and it appears Appel is about to win big.

Appel could well be the first overall choice of the Houston Astros in Thursday afternoon’s MLB first-year (amateur) player draft. But even if he isn’t chosen No. 1, he will almost surely obliterate the approximately $3.8 million he turned down from the Pirates last year.

“It worked out for him,” one rival agent said, saying Appel will very likely also easily beat the $6-million figure some suggested the Astros might have been willing to spend on him last year.

READ MORE from CBS Sports on Appel’s draft prospects.

(Copyright 2013 CBS San Francisco and CBS Interactive. All rights reserved.)


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