STANFORD -- Pitching prospect Mark Appel stands by controversial agent Scott Boras and the decisions after the 2012 major league baseball amateur draft that led the All-American to return to Stanford for his senior season.
"I don't think any team is unwilling to negotiate with Scott Boras," Appel said Thursday during Bay Area college baseball media day. "I can't tell you what the teams were thinking because we never talked to any teams. Whether teams made assumptions that weren't true, obviously we saw what the result was."
Boras served as an advisor to the 6-foot-5 right-hander, who rejected a $3.8 million offer from the Pittsburgh Pirates after falling to eighth in the June draft. At one point, Appel was projected to be the overall No. 1 pick in a draft that underwent new restrictions to reduce spending imposed by a new labor contract.
In offering the most detailed explanation of what happened since the draft, Appel said his decision had nothing to do with the Pirates' long-term struggles in the standings. Appel kept his college eligibility because he did not hire an agent.
"At the time of the draft, they were the hottest team in baseball," he said. "They were fun to watch. It wasn't about the Pirates. I had to make a decision that was best for my career going forward."
Appel acknowledged some people view him as a pawn for Boras and other agents fighting with baseball's owners. But he dismissed the idea.
"It wasn't Scott Boras' decision," Appel said of returning to Stanford. "He's my advisor. He laid it out in a way that made sense. It was a conscious decision. I knew what I was getting myself into."
Appel also isn't worried his decision will haunt him in this year's draft should he receive a less lucrative offer.
"It's not all about money for me," the former Monte Vista High-Danville star said. "There are a lot of things I value greater than money. Money means a lot to a lot of people. It seems like a social status. I'm not defined by how much I earn or will earn."
The man with a 95 mph fastball rejected the notion that his professional career will be stalled by playing at Stanford instead of in the minor leagues. The Cardinal open the season Feb. 15 at Rice.
"I don't understand how people can say I can't keep working and getting better at Stanford," Appel said. "The work I am putting in at Stanford is just as good and just as hard as anywhere else."
Appel is one of three Cardinal players named to Baseball America's preseason All-America first team. The others: outfielder Austin Wilson and first baseman Brian Ragira.
He will finish classes next month for a degree in management science and engineering.
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.