In a year full of excellent stories, the tale of Mark Appel was one of the best. Drafted 3 times and twice in the top 10, expectations were sky-high for the right-handed pitcher after being drafted #1 overall by the Astros in 2013.
A true ace from Stanford, Appel had a 2.57 ERA in 47 starts for the D-1 baseball powerhouse. Things started fine enough for the young Appel. He had a 3.79 ERA between A- and A-ball in 2013. Nothing crazy, but fine for your pro debut.
Things went downhill from there.
He had a 6.19 ERA in 2014 and a 4.37 ERA in 2015. He was sent to the Phillies during that offseason in the Ken Giles deal.
Appel wasn’t much better as a Phillies’ farmhand. He had a 4.46 ERA in 2016 and a 5.14 in 2017. Then he stepped away from baseball until 2021.
In 2021, the Phillies gave Mark Appel a second chance.
He started out slowly back at AA Reading. He ended the year at Lehigh Valley but with a disappointing 6.06 ERA between both stops. Then, 2022 happened.
Appel surprised at AAA in 2022. In 40 IP, Appel had 3.15 ERA. After mid-season injuries, Appel got his chance at the major leagues. He made his debut against the Atlanta Braves on June 29. Adam Duvall became his first strikeout victim. He pitched a total of 6 games for the Phillies, recording an ERA of 1.74.
Things didn’t look great coming into 2023 for Appel. New arms in the Phillies bullpen seemingly meant another season starting in AAA. He struggled in Spring Training, allowing 7 ER in 5.2 IP.
Ultimately, the Phillies released him…but not because of his ability. Appel would’ve had to start at AA Reading after making his MLB debut. Instead, the Phillies gave him a chance to latch onto another team before the end of Spring Training.
Mark Appel took it in stride, thanking the Phillies for the chances—being traded for, being welcomed back, and getting a chance at the big leagues.
Appel had mentioned on Twitter the day before that this season was most likely his last, statistically speaking. There were many younger guys coming up and he wasn’t getting any younger.
Mark Appel will always be a part of the wonderful 2022 Phillies. But, for now, his Phillies’ journey has come to an end.
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