Sunday, 20 May, 2018


Phillies prospect Mark Appel taking a break from baseball

Feb 25 2017 Clearwater FL USA Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Mark Appel throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the New York Yankees at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Noah Ferguson | 02 February, 2018, 00:37

After suffering from shoulder inflammation previous year Philadelphia designated Appel for assignment to make room on their 40-man roster. The Phillies removed the 26-year-old righthander from the 40-man roster in November and he was expected to transition to the bullpen this season at triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Appel returned to the locker room, screamed relentlessly, and then chucked about 80 baseballs through a particle board panel over the course of about 30 minutes. Houston shipped him to the Phillies in December 2015 as part of the trade that sent Ken Giles to the Astros, and Appel's struggles continued.

Mark Appel is stepping away from baseball, perhaps going down as the biggest bust in MLB history. If he never returns to the game, he'll become only the third No. 1 overall pick to never reach the major leagues. The former number one overall pick spoke with Joon Lee of Bleacher Report and said "I don't know what the future holds". The Astros, who had passed over him for Carlos Correa in 2012, selected him in 2013 surely imagining him hurling gems on the way to a World Series championship.

The full Bleacher Report story is a tough one to read at times, and certainly makes Appel a sympathetic figure.

"Sometimes you wonder what would what happen if one thing changed, how different your life would be", Appel says. The right-hander's professional career got off to a solid start but took a turn in 2014, when he posted a 6.91 ERA in 83 1/3 innings pitched.

'I had high expectations.

Appel was the obvious No. 1 pick in 2013 after he was the college pitcher of the year at Stanford.

"If I never get to the big leagues, will it be a disappointment?" If I get to the big leagues, what's so great about the big leagues if you're in an isolated place, you're hurt and you're emotionally unhappy?

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