2012 (Pick 8) - Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford
Career Stats/Accolades: 10.1 IP, 1.74 ERA, 1.161 WHIP, 5 K, 0-0 W-L
One year after drafting one of the best pitchers of this generation, the Pirates drafted a player that is considered to be one of the biggest busts in MLB history. Mark Appel's baseball career has been tumultuous to say the least. After declining to sign with the Pirates in 2012, Appel was taken with the first overall pick in 2013 by the Houston Astros.
He played an injury-riddled five seasons in the minors (and was traded to the Phillies in 2015) before stepping away from baseball in 2018. In 2021, he came back to the game, playing a season and a half in the minors before being called up and making his Major League debut for the Phillies in 2022, 10 years after being drafted by the Pirates.
He played well as a reliever for six games in the Majors in 2022, but was released by the Phillies following a poor Spring Training in 2023. He has been optimistic about his journey, and is by all accounts a great guy who just hasn't found his way in the Majors.