Phillies rookie Mark Appel shares important life lessons after long-awaited MLB debut
Last week, baseball fans had the honor of witnessing a lifelong dream come to fruition.
For Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Mark Appel, making his debut was the culmination of nearly a decade on and off in the minor leagues. But at 30 years old, the former first-overall pick had overcome the odds and earned his moment.
In addition to becoming famous as the first-overall pick with a tumultuous journey, Appel is making a name for himself online, with inspirational Twitter threads. And after his debut, he posted another.
The key takeaway? Recognize significant moments instead of letting them pass you by.
"“There’s a lesson in there for all of us… Each moment is powerful.It could be the moment you step on the mound for the first time in your MLB career. Or it could be a simple conversation with a friend. However big or small, it could be the moment that changes your life forever.Whatever moment you are in, be present and stay focused, even if you struggle. Do your best, even if you fail. Keep going, even if you have to start over.”"
Appel knows all about starting over. After the Phillies designated him for assignment in the winter of 2017, he announced ahead of spring training 2018 that he’d be stepping away from the game indefinitely.
By the time Appel announced he’d be attempting a comeback in 2021, he’d been labeled the ‘biggest draft bust’ in MLB history. He was officially one of three first-overall picks who’d never made his debut, and people assumed it would remain that way.
But after moving to the Triple-A bullpen full-time this season, Appel finally unlocked the potential people saw in him over a decade ago. He posted a 1.61 ERA over 19 appearances, finished seven games, and earned five saves, numbers too good to be ignored.
Now, over his first three big-league appearances, he’s yet to allow a run. He’s finished three games. More than that, he’s achieved what only 10% of minor leaguers do. He made it.
This is his moment.