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2022 player report card: Mark Appel

The 2013 first overall pick finally made his MLB debut

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

One of the feel-good stories of the 2022 season, was the arrival of Mark Appel to the major leagues. The number one overall pick of the 2013 MLB Draft never found his footing in the Houston Astros organization, before being shipped to Philadelphia in the Ken Giles deal. From 2016-2018 Appel struggled to stay healthy in the minors, leading up to his eventual retirement in 2018.

After three years away from the game, the right-hander returned to baseball in March of 2021. Appel would spend the next year competing in AA and AAA as he hoped to earn a chance to pitch in MLB.

Finally, after nearly a decade of hard work and setbacks, Mark Appel was promoted to the bigs on June 29th. The 31-year-old was used sparingly throughout the summer, but continually impressed when given the opportunity.

2022 stats: 6 G, 10 1/3 IP, 9 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 HR, 3 BB, 5 K, 1.74 ERA, 3.02 FIP, 0.3 bWAR

The Good

Appel was solid in the opportunities he was given, although they were not high leverage scenarios. He showed ability to pitch more than just three outs, as in three of his outings he worked two or more innings.

The former number one pick kept the ball in the yard and managed the game well when he stepped in. While it was a heartwarming story, it also produced solid performances from the former top prospect.

The Bad

There really was not much bad from Appel at the major league level in 2022. Sure you could ask for more punch outs but that’s not really important here. He did his job when called upon.

The one downside was he did have an elbow injury that caused his season to end prematurely, but that’s nothing to really hold against Appel.

The Future

At the conclusion of the 2022 season, Appel was outright off of the 40-man roster and sent to AAA. On November 10th, he elected to become a free agent, ending his Phillies tenure for the time being.

While a reunion is certainly possible, it would likely be on a MILB deal. It’s also possible that the former Astro earns himself a big-league contract with a different squad. Good relievers are hard to come by, and Appel’s 2022 season between AAA and MLB might be enough to convince a major league team to give him a shot.

Whatever happens, I will personally always root for Mark Appel, whether in a Phillies uniform or not.

Final Grade: B+

He did what was asked of him in limited chances and finally cracked the big leagues after grinding away for nearly a decade.