Appel looking to break the bust label with the Phillies this spring
Acquired in the Ken Giles trade last offseason Mark Appel was a major mystery coming into the Phillies organization.
Once the first-overall pick and a consensus top-30 prospect Appel struggled with injuries with the Astros. Not much changed when he reached the Phillies organization, as he made only eight starts in Lehigh Valley before being shut down with an arm injury.
Through two innings against the Yankees in spring training Appel managed three strikeouts and had some filthy pitches. A wild pitch in his first inning of work resulted in two runs being scored by the Yankees, and a hanging breaking ball gave New York a long double.
Appel finished his two innings with three strikeouts, two hits, and two runs allowed against the Yankees.
Aside from those miscues, Appel looked filthy on the mound with great movement on his fastball. He flashed a cutter, slider, and another breaking ball the Yankees could not touch.
His first strikeout came against one of the Yankees top prospects Tim Fraizer, who was acquired in the Andrew Miller trade.
Entering spring training this year Appel is expected to return to Lehigh Valley and lead a starting rotation filled with prospects. Jake Thompson, Zach Eflin, Ben Lively, and Nick Pivetta are expected to join Appel with the Iron Pigs, creating a dynamic rotation.
If Appel can stay healthy and keep his great stuff in control there is an opportunity to join the Phillies after the trade deadline as a starter.