Draft Notes 6/3/12: Is Appel the Top Pick?

Less than 24 hours until round one of the 2012 MLB draft begins, so let’s get down into the nitty-gritty latest, including that nasty rumor ESPN’s Jim Bowden is sharing.

– According to Bowden, now an analyst for ESPN, but formerly the Nationals general manager, the Astros have decided to take Stanford right-hander Mark Appel with the first overall pick in this year’s draft. If that is the case (Bowden is quoting an unnamed source), it would mark the second consecutive season in which a pitcher from the Pac 12 was selected with the first pick. If Bowden is indeed correct, that is.

– According to Steve Melewski, of MASN Sports, the Orioles have narrowed down their choices for the fourth overall pick to four players: shortstop Carlos Correa, lefty Max Fried and right-handers Kyle Zimmer and Kevin Gausman. That is assuming that the top three picks, in no particular order, are Mark Appel, Byron Buxton and Mike Zunino.

– Florida backstop Mike Zunino continued his torrid start to the NCAA tournament with a three-run homer in the Gators 15-3 win against Georgia Tech that sent them on to the super-regionals. Numerous mock drafts have Zunino going as high as third overall to Seattle, although the last time they went the catching route (Jeff Clement) they ended up on the wrong end of things.

– The Phillies don’t pick until the supplemental first-round (pick #40), but they’re already set on a certain type. Assistant GM Marti Wolevar said in an interview yesterday that the Phils would “definitely” be pursuing a position player with the pick. Reading in between the lines you get the idea that the entire organization knows that the team’s window at another World Series run is closing fast and that they’ll need players who can make an immediate impact.

If you were wondering how much your team has to spend in the top ten rounds, a new policy instituted by the new collective bargaining agreement, here’s a helpful list provided by Baseball America.

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