Appel discusses choosing senior year over MLB

Stanford All-America pitcher Mark Appel had chosen education over professional baseball before -- Appel was drafted out of high school by the Detroit Tigers in the 15th round of the 2009 MLB Draft but decided to pursue an education and baseball career at Stanford instead.

Despite this precedent, Appel's decision to turn down turning pro a second time still felt like a shock.

After a strong 2012 season in which he went 10-2 with a 2.56 ERA and earned a Pac-12 Conference-best 130 strikeouts, Appel was drafted eighth by the Pittsburgh Pirates this past June. Yet the 6-foot-5, 215-pound right-hander again chose to pursue his degree and put off his lifelong dream of pitching in the major leagues. Here he explains why:

Stanford opens its season against Rice on Feb. 15.

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