As a part of a series of moves to cut down on the team’s 40-man roster, the Phillies decided to designate for assignment right-handed pitcher Mark Appel. Mark Appel was the Houston Astros’ first-overall pick of the 2013 draft. Highly touted out of college, Appel has failed to live up to his pre-draft hype as a professional pitcher.
After being selected by the Pirates eighth overall in 2012, the Houston Astros selected Mark Appel with their first overall pick, the following year, once he decided to finish his senior season at Stanford University. Mark Appel was dominant in his senior season at Stanford as he posted a 2.12 ERA in 106.1 innings, so expectations were high for the young right hander.
His minor league career started off strong as he posted a 3.79 ERA across two single-A levels in 2013, but he quickly saw that success dwindle. He pitched to an atrocious 6.91 ERA in 2014 and was mediocre in 2015 posting a 4.37 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. His lack of promise in the minor leagues made him expendable, so the Astros capitalized on what value he had left and included him in the deal that netted them Ken Giles in December of 2015. The Phillies were banking on his potential and a change of scenery to hopefully revive his career.
However, he never lived up to the hype as he continued to struggle in Philadelphia and even ran into injuries. In 2016, he fell victim to shoulder problems and eventually saw his season end in June due to surgery that removed a bone spur in his elbow. His inability to put away hitters combined with subpar control saw his 2017 season go poorly once again. The Phillies decided they were done waiting for him to pan out and thought it was not worth it to keep him on the 40-man roster, so he he designated for assignment earlier today.
While his track record is poor, it would not be surprising at all to see a handful teams inquire about his services due to his raw potential.