HOUSTON — Appel’s agent is Scott Boras, who has a reputation for driving tough negotiations. However, Houston took and signed two Boras advisees in last year’s draft in high schooler right-hander Lance McCullers, Jr. and third baseman Rio Riuz, both of whom signed with the Astros.
Thurman is a big right-hander at 6-3, 200 pounds who throws in the low 90’s with great command and a solid changeup, plus a 12-6 curveball that has flashed as a quality pitch in the past. The Astros brass see Thurman as a mid-rotation starter at the major league level, similar to current prospect Nick Tropeano, who’s at Double-A Corpus Christi.
The last time Houston took two right-handed pitchers with its first two picks in the draft was in 1998, when the Astros tabbed Brad Lidge with the 17th overall pick and Mike Nannini in the supplemental first round.