clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Phillies call up Mark Appel

The Philadelphia Phillies have promoted former #1 overall draft pick Mark Appel to the major leagues

Reading Fightin Phils Double-A Affiliate Baseball Team Media Day Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

The Philadelphia Phillies, who are dealing with a shaky bullpen that needs reinforcements, announced last night that they were purchasing the contract of pitcher Mark Appel from AAA Lehigh Valley.

Obviously, we don’t normally do posts about minor roster moves by National League teams, but Appel is a special case. In 2012, Appel, the Friday night starter for Stanford University, was in the mix to go #1 overall in the MLB Draft. The Houston Astros took Carlos Correa there instead, Byron Buxton went second, and Appel ended up dropping to the Pittsburgh Pirates at #8. This was the first year of the draft pool bonuses, and while the Pirates attempted to squeeze out as much as possible to maximize what they could pay Appel, he opted to return to Stanford.

The Astros ended up taking Appel #1 overall in 2013 and signed him, but Appel didn’t have the success as a pro that was expected of him. Houston ended up sending him to Philadelphia after the 2015 season as part of the package to acquire Ken Giles from the Phillies.

Appel struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness in the Phillies system, and ended up being designated for assignment after the 2017 season, clearing waivers, and being outrighted. In the spring of 2018, Appel announced he was “stepping away from the game.” The Phillies placed him on the restricted list, and he didn’t pitch for the next three years.

Appel opted to return to the game in 2021, splitting the year between AA and AAA. Working as a reliever for AAA Lehigh Valley in 2022, Appel put up a 1.61 ERA in 19 relief appearances, and now, at long last, is set to make his debut in The Show.

Once Appel officially throws a pitch in the big leagues, there will be only four players in MLB history who were taken first overall in the June Draft but haven’t played in the majors — Steve Chilcott, Brien Taylor, Brady Aiken and Henry Davis.