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MLB

MLB notebook: Astros sign No. 1 pick Appel

| Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 8:03 p.m.

Mark Appel received high praise from MLB commissioner Bud Selig on Wednesday when the No. 1 overall pick signed with the Houston Astros.

Speaking at a MLB diversity business summit at a convention near Minute Maid Park, Selig praised Houston's rebuilding.

He then likened Appel, a right-handed pitcher, and Houston's 2012 No. 1 pick, shortstop Carlos Correa, to two of the franchise's greatest stars, Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell.

“The Astros are on their way to building the foundation that every club needs for sustained success, and I believe this club has the right people in place to execute their very sound plan that is going to bring winning baseball back to the fans of Houston,” Selig said.

Appel, a polished and well-spoken Stanford graduate, was left speechless when told of the commissioner's remarks.

“That's, uh, it's very nice words that he said,” he said. “Just hearing that comparison is pretty special.”

Terms were not disclosed but Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said it was “the most significant investment” the Astros have ever made in an amateur player.

The 21-year-old Appel was 10-4 with four complete games and a 2.12 ERA this season. He had 130 strikeouts in 106 13 innings pitched.

The Astros had a chance to draft him last year but instead went with the 17-year-old Correa from Puerto Rico.

Appel slid to the Pirates at No. 8 last year but turned down a $3.8 million offer and returned to Stanford for his senior season.

Twins sign 1st-round pick

The Twins signed right-hander Kohl Stewart, the fourth overall pick in the draft two weeks ago.

The 18-year-old Stewart was the first high school pitcher drafted. The slot value of the signing bonus for the fourth pick determined by Major League Baseball's formula is $4,544,400.

Stewart posted an 0.18 ERA in 40 innings with 16 walks and 59 strikeouts this season over eight starts for St. Pius X High School in Houston.

D'Backs pitcher hit by line drive, leaves game

Diamondbacks starter Trevor Cahill left Wednesday's game against Miami after being struck in the hip area by a line drive in the first inning.

The ball off the bat of Marcell Ozuma careened off Cahill to third baseman Martin Prado, who threw to first for the final out of the inning. Cahill came out for the second inning and had a 2-1 count on Derek Dietrich when the trainer came out and, after some discussion, the pitcher left the game.

Padres' Cabrera on DL

Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera was placed on the 15-day disabled list because he injured his left hamstring.

Cabrera, the NL leader with 31 stolen bases was hurt during San Diego's win over the Diamondbacks on Sunday. Outfielder Jaff Decker was recalled from Triple-A Tucson to take Cabrera's place.

Indians' Perez not ready

Indians closer Chris Perez will throw at least one more bullpen session and may make another rehab appearance in the minor leagues before coming off the disabled list.

Perez has been sidelined with a strained rotator cuff since May 27.

Jeter making progress

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter took on-field batting practice for the first time since being cleared to increase his rehabilitation program for a broken left ankle.

Jeter took 21 swings Wednesday at the Yankees' minor league complex in Tampa, Fla. He looked comfortable at the plate, hitting balls to all fields.

The Yankees captain also increased his movement by taking grounders and fielding balls backhanded on the grass behind short and throwing to first.

Nats option Espinosa

The Nationals reinstated second baseman Danny Espinosa from the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Syracuse before Wednesday night's game against the Phillies.

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