The Houston Astros first two picks in the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft were pitchers.

Stanford RHP Mark Appel (pictured) was No.1 overall pick in this year's draft. UC-Irvine RHP Andrew Thurman was the Astros second selection in the draft. Thurman was No. 40 overall, and the first pick in the second round.

"(Appel) just checks all the boxes for us," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told MLB.com. "We see him as a future ace and the type of player we need to be adding to the organization. He makes us better. He makes us significantly better."

Appel was selected No. 8 overall last year by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates were unable to come to terms on a contract with Appel and he returned to Stanford for his senior season. He is also a semi-finalist for the National Pitcher of the Year Award presented by the College Baseball Hall of Fame.

The MLB First-Year Player Draft continues Friday with Rounds 3-10 and concludes Saturday with Rounds 11-40.