Astros hope to lock up high school Draft picks

Astros hope to lock up high school Draft picks

Astros hope to lock up high school Draft picks

HOUSTON -- The Astros signed top overall pick Mark Appel, a pitcher from Stanford, for about $1.5 million less than the assigned slot value of $7.8 million, which should allow Houston to make a run at some high school players they took later in the Draft who have college commitments.

Also unsigned are 10th-round pick Austin Nicely, a left-handed pitcher from Spotswood High School in Penn Laird, Va., and 11th-round pick Devonte German, a right-handed pitcher from Bishop Manogue High School in Reno, Nev.

Nicely is committed to Virginia and German to Nevada.

The top remaining unsigned picks are third-rounder Kent Emanuel, a left-handed pitcher from North Carolina, and his college teammate, Brian Holbertson, a catcher. The Tar Heels are participating in the College World Series, so the Astros can't sign them until their season is over.

"We're hoping to sign all of our top 10 picks, and we're actually hopeful we can sign some of the high school kids we drafted after the 10th around, potentially, as well," general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "Our plan is to maximize what we get out of the Draft and have the recourse to sign most, if not all, the players we have an interest in signing."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.