Back to school: Appel tasked with teammate report

Prospect doing interviews, taking notes for presentation

Back to school: Appel tasked with teammate report

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Despite being a No. 1 overall pick, right-hander Mark Appel is participating in the same rituals the Astros' other young players are doing this spring. Young players are getting singled out each morning so the veterans can find out more about them.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch has given Appel the assignment of making a presentation about every player on the team, which means Appel has spent the past few mornings interviewing his teammates and taking notes in a small notebook.

"It's been fun, and I think he kind of assigned me with this task of getting to know all the guys on the team, guys I hope to be playing with for a long time and take it one step further and do a little presentation for the team on some of the guys," Appel said. "I'm going to have fun with the task."

Astros counting on youth

Appel said he hasn't been going "super in-depth" with the interviews, but has enjoyed finding out about their backgrounds and families.

"It's fun going around and getting to ask guys about their lives," he said.

When Hinch, who like Appel is a graduate of Stanford, was asked about the difficulty of the assignment, he didn't back down.

"He's got a week," he said. "He's a Stanford boy. He'll figure it out."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.