Phillies’ Mark Appel offers MLB simple solutions to key MiLB issues

Phillies minor-leaguer Mark Appel’s latest Twitter thread offers logical solutions to key MiLB issues

Philadelphia Phillies minor-leaguer Mark Appel wants to help Major League Baseball solve its Minor League Baseball problems, which seem to be getting worse by the day.

In a thoughtful and logical Twitter thread on Tuesday, the self-proclaimed ‘Career minor leaguer’ laid out the biggest hardships minor leaguers must endure and overcome if they want a chance at reaching the majors.

Appel’s thread is thought-out, sensible, polite, and self-aware. He acknowledges that as a former top draft pick (the Houston Astros selected him first overall in 2013), he is in a far better financial position than most of his peers, a large portion of whom are living under the poverty line, meaning they make less than $13,000 per year. As a top draft pick, his paycheck is an outlier, the exception to the norm of being a minor leaguer.

The big payday did not prevent Appel from struggling in other ways, though it certainly alleviated one of the greatest hardships his teammates endured. He’s been traded (the Phillies acquired him in the Ken Giles trade), gotten injured, needed surgery, been designated for assignment, stepped away from the game in 2018, and returned last year to attempt a comeback. And on top of it all, the pressure of making good as the number-one pick was immense; less than half a decade after being chosen before anyone else, Appel was labeled “the biggest draft bust” in MLB history.

All this to say, rare is the MLB player who has an easy journey through the minor leagues.

Regardless, the solutions Appel proposes are nothing new. It’s basic logic that people should be treated like human beings at their place of work, paid a living wage to do their jobs, and that if an employer wants their employees to succeed, they will do everything to eliminate obstacles, rather than piling them in front of their path. Yet somehow, these concepts are foreign and ridiculous to MLB, which has done everything it can to continue underpaying minor leaguers.

What the media, fans, and players are seeing (and have been seeing for decades) is the mistreatment of their fellow human beings. The structure of the minor leagues is not only unsustainable, but morally bankrupt and unacceptable.

The good news is that there are simple solutions, as Appel laid out in his thread. The only question is if the billionaires at the top will finally do the right thing.