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MLB Draft 2012: Astros Select First Tonight

After months of speculation, the Houston Astros will finally be on the clock tonight. All signs point to them selecting Stanford pitcher Mark Appel with the first overall pick.

In addition to being one of the best players in this year's draft class, Appel has extra appeal to the Astros. He is a Houston native and his family had season tickets to the Astros.

But while the Astros appear to be leaning towards Appel, the Houston Chronicle suggests that it's not a done deal.

That’s when they’ll have to settle on one from what general manager Jeff Luhnow called a "universe" of seven players considered in the run-up to the team’s third-ever top pick.

It's unclear who is in that "universe" of seven players, but aside from Appel, LSU right-hander Kevin Gausman and high school outfielder Byron Buxton figure to get a look.

The draft begins at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network.

For more on the Astros, be sure to check out the Crawfish Boxes, and for more on the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft, head on over to Minor League Ball.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.