Mark Appel, righthanded pitcher and former #1 overall pick of the 2013 MLB Draft, is taking an “indefinite break” from baseball, per a story from Bleacher Report. Appel is quoted in the story that he’s “pursuing other things, but also trying to become a healthy human.” While the “retire” word isn’t used, it certainly sounds like Appel is contemplating walking away from the game for good.
Its been a strange road for Appel, who was considered the favorite to be the #1 overall pick in the 2012 draft. But the Houston Astros passed on the Houston native and instead selected Carlos Correa, with Appel sliding all the way to #8 overall, where he was taken by Pittsburgh. Appel opted not to sign with the Pirates — who were somewhat limited in what they could offer him due to the new slot bonus restrictions that had been implemented -- and returned to Stanford for his senior season.
The Astros selected Appel first overall in 2013, passing on third baseman Kris Bryant to do so, and inked Appel to a $6.35 million signing bonus. Appel’s pro career has been checkered, however, and marred by injury. He was sent to the Phillies after the 2015 season as part of the package that brough Ken Giles to Houston, and Appel has pitched just 120 largely ineffective innings in the Philadelphia organization.