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.

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“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.

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

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