Sherten Apostel, the 20 year old Texas Rangers minor league third baseman who is currently playing for the Hickory Crawdads in the low-A South Atlantic League, is somewhat under the radar right now. He didn’t join the Rangers organization until August 17, 2018, when he was sent as the player to be named later to Texas from Pittsburgh, joining lefthanded pitcher Taylor Hearn as the return in the Keone Kela trade. He only played in 12 regular season games for Spokane last year, and started the 2019 season slowly for Hickory.
However, in a system that is light on impact hitters, Apostel probably has the best chance of developing into an impact middle-of-the-order hitter. The native of Curacao is a righthanded hitter listed at 6’4”, 200 lbs., and has shown both power potential and a discerning eye at the plate in his brief professional career. He also, despite his large size, has a decent chance at sticking at third base, and should be an asset with the glove if it is necessary for him to move over to first base.
Apostel stumbled out of the gate this year in his introduction to full season ball, and through May 14, was slashing just .184/.271/.281, with 13 walks against 40 Ks in 129 plate appearances. That wouldn’t be good for a slick-fielding shortstop, much less a corner infielder whose bat is his calling card.
However (Arbitrary Endpoints Alert!), since May 15, Apostel has kicked it into another gear. Over that time, he has slashed .307/.433/.644, with 10 walks against just 18 strikeouts in 119 plate appearances, with 8 home runs. If he keeps this up, he could potentially see Down East sometime before the end of the year.
The 8th home run of that stretch happened last night, and was the final at bat of the game for Apostel before he was ejected due to an altercation that occurred when Charleston River Dogs catcher Anthony Siegler decided to play Fun Police and confront Apostel for apparently not running hard enough on his way to first base.
You can check out Baseball America’s writeup of the episode and the video here, and I encourage you to do so, because you can see how ridiculous Siegler acts...while everyone is watching the ball, he keeps turning and looking down the first base line to monitor Apostel, and then steps in front of him as Apostel is heading towards home plate so he can get in Apostel’s face. Melvin Novoa, who was on base and scored on the home run, ends up taking a swing at Siegler, the benches clear, and Apostel and Novoa will probably be getting a week off.
At least we know Siegler would never pimp a home run...right?