Phillies

Appel is a nice redemption story. Hes 30 now, but hes the former #1 overall pick who, after taking 3 years off of baseball looks to regained the love of the game. He was recently promoted to AAA and hes pitched very well. In 3 games he has a 1.54 ERA and has struck out 11 batter in 11.2 innings. Walks have been an issue, as hes given 12 free passes

No, its not Mickey Moniak. The Phillies are set to call up former #1 overall pick Mark Appel. This according to MLB.Com’s Todd Zolecki. Appel will step in for reliever Connor Brogdon who is heading on the Covid IL.

Appel has been pitching for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and doing so out of the bullpen. After years of struggling as a starter, Appel was converted into a reliever this year and its rejuvenated his career. This season, with the Iron Pigs, Appel has a 1.61 ERA in 19 appearances. Our own Jamie Lynch was wondering when this call would come.

 

This is awesome on many levels. Appel was a rarity in baseball. A player that was drafted TWICE in the top 10 of the MLB draft. The first time he was drafted 8th overall by the Pirates but he didnt sign. The next season he went #1 overall to the Astros. But shortly after signing things started falling apart for Appel and he was eventually included as one of the big pieces in the Ken Giles trade.

Even with a change of scenery though Appel struggled. He ultimately decided to step away from baseball at the age of 26. Then, before the 2021 season he set out to make a comeback. The Athletic did a great piece on Appel’s journey back to baseball that is absolutely worth checking out.

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While Appel is 30 years old, having success this late is not unheard of. Former #1 overall pick Matt Bush made his Major League debut with the Texas Rangers at the same age. The talent is still there, now its just a matter of seeing it in the big leagues. And luckily for Appel he currently plays a position the Phillies desperately need because I dont know how much more Jeurys Familia anyone can take.