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Mark Appel | Starting Pitcher

Team: Houston Astros
Age / DOB:  (22) / 7/15/1991
Ht / Wt:  6'5' / 225
Bats / Throws: Right / Right
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Astros right-handed pitching prospect Mark Appel went five innings for High-A Lancaster on Friday, allowing five hits, two walks, and four runs (three earned) while striking out three batters.
Appel has struggled in 2014, and his last three starts have lasted five innings while allowing five or six hits and striking out two or three batters. While it is common for prospects to struggle in their first full season of professional baseball, Appel has yet to have a dominant outing in 2014 and has had only one good start. Don't do anything rash and drop him, but his struggles have placed a dark cloud on his long-term future. Jul 5 - 12:09 PM

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Astros prospect RHP Mark Appel turned in another shaky outing on Sunday, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits in five innings for High-A Lancaster.

It's been a disastrous season for the 2013 No. 1 overall pick, and his overall inconsistency and lack of success have given reason for folks to be concerned about his long-term future. After receiving over a month off to get things straightened out in extended spring training, Appel, 22, has pitched to a 16.39 ERA, allowed 22 hits (five home runs) and struck out only seven batters in 9 1/3 innings spanning three starts. He's been able to throw strikes at a 68 percent clip this season in seven total outings, but the stuff and command which made him an outstanding amateur prospect are now suddenly missing.
Jun 23 - 1:49 PM

Astros right-handed pitching prospect Mark Appel was hit hard on Thursday, allowing three singles, two doubles, and a home run as part of a three inning, four run performance for High-A Lancaster.

Appel has scuffled in 2014, allowing 23 earned runs in 17 1/3 innings. The High-A California League was viewed as a conservative assignment that Appel should dominate and move on, but he has been hit hard and is sporting a 11.94 ERA and a 2.250 WHIP.
Jun 13 - 8:17 AM

Astros pitching prospect Mark Appel has been diagnosed with tendinitis in his right thumb.

That would be the thumb on his pitching hand -- obviously an important appendage for a guy who throws baseballs for a living. Appel, the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft, will be skipped on his next turn through the High-A Lancaster starting rotation. He was shelled for 10 runs over just 1 1/3 innings in his latest rough outing.
Jun 5 - 3:39 PM

Astros pitching prospect Mark Appel will be scratched from his start Thursday at High-A Lancaster.

Appel, who was rocked for 10 runs over just 1 1/3 innings last Saturday, is going to get nearly two weeks of rest. His next outing will be June 12. The No. 1 overall pick from 2013 is off to a sluggish start as a pro.
Jun 4 - 10:33 PM

Astros pitching prospect Mark Appel is likely to be scratched from his start Thursday at High-A Lancaster to get some extra rest.

Appel, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, was lit up for 10 runs over just 1 1/3 innings last Saturday and owns a rough 6.23 ERA on the season. The Astros will practice patience with the 22-year-old righty, who is no longer a fantasy factor for 2014.
Jun 4 - 8:47 PM

Astros pitching prospect Mark Appel was smacked around for 10 runs over just 1 1/3 innings Saturday in his return to the High-A Lancaster rotation.

Appel walked one and surrendered 10 hits, including three that left the yard. The former No. 1 overall pick was making his first start since being sent to extended spring training after he had trouble adjusting to the team's piggyback rotation system. Appel should eventually get on the right track as long as he's not injured, but obviously it's been a discouraging start to the 2014 campaign.
Jun 1 - 8:38 AM

Astros pitching prospect Mark Appel has rejoined High-A Lancaster.

He's expected to start on Saturday. Appel was sent to extended spring training in late April after having trouble adjusting to the team's piggyback rotation system. He's feeling good now, though, and has a chance to advance through the Astros' system quickly.
May 29 - 8:51 PM

Mark Appel could rejoin one of the Astros' minor league affiliates as early as next week, according to Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow.

"He feels great, I’ve been texting him," Luhnow said. "Probably one more start in extended and then that’s it, Tuesday. Probably Lancaster, but we’ll see how it lines up with the openings." Appel returned to extended spring training after starting the year with High-A Lancaster due to trouble adjusting to the pitching routine, but he was hitting 98 mph with his fastball in his last extended start and appears to be ready to roll. Appel could reach Double-A Corpus Christi before too long.
May 21 - 10:54 PM

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Tuesday that pitching prospect Mark Appel is "fairly close" to joining a minor league affiliate.

Appel was sent to extended spring training in late April after having trouble adjusting to the team's piggyback rotation system. He had been assigned to High-A Lancaster and seems likely to go back there once the Astros deem him fit to return to action.
May 13 - 7:58 PM

Astros pitching prospect Mark Appel has been sent back to extended spring training.

Appel isn't injured, but general manager Jeff Luhnow said the hurler's stuff "wasn't as crisp as it normally was" as he tried to adjust to the team's piggyback rotation system. Last year's No. 1 overall pick struck out 13 in his first 13 innings at High-A Lancaster but posted a 6.23 ERA. He should rejoin Lancaster's rotation before long after he irons things out in extended spring.
Apr 25 - 4:58 PM

Astros prospect right-hander Mark Appel lasted only 2 1/3 innings on Wednesday, allowing six hits, three runs, and one walk while striking out two batters for High-A Lancaster.

While the scoreboard had Appel nearing triple digits with his fastball, scouts at the game had him sitting 89-91, which is below the mid-90s heat usually employed by Appel. Sometimes decreased velocity is a product of an injury and other times the pitcher has an off night. The Astros have yet to release any information.
Apr 24 - 9:32 AM

Mark Appel threw one inning Wednesday in his first Grapefruit League action of spring.

Appel was slated to debut last week but didn't get into a game until Wednesday's relief appearance. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft allowed one hit while striking out two in the game. With a January appendectomy behind him, Appel will make his first start at Minute Maid Park Sunday against Veracruz of the Mexican League before being reassigned to the minor leagues to start the season.
Mar 26 - 11:49 PM

Mark Appel (appendectomy) will make his Grapefruit League debut on Friday.

Projected to face the Marlins, the No. 1 pick from last year will throw an inning or two. Appel's recovery from a late January appendectomy had been slow, but he turned a corner recently and is ready to face big league hitters. He'll begin the season in the minors.
Mar 19 - 12:54 PM

Mark Appel (appendectomy) will throw his second bullpen session in four days on Saturday.

"I’ll be throwing again (Sunday)," he said. "And then I’m hoping to throw live batting practice hopefully some time early next week, maybe Tuesday or Wednesday. From there either pitch in a game (when) that homestand starts. Thursday, Friday or Saturday, that’s a good estimate of when I’ll be out there." Appel remains optimistic that he'll be ready to start the minor league season on time.
Mar 14 - 11:38 AM

Depth Charts

Batters
PosRoleName
C1Jason Castro
2Carlos Corporan
1B1Jon Singleton
2Jesus Guzman
2B1Jose Altuve
2Enrique Hernandez
SS1Marwin Gonzalez
3B1Matt Dominguez
LF1Robbie Grossman
2L.J. Hoes
CF1Dexter Fowler
2Alex Presley
RF1George Springer
DH1Chris Carter
Starting Pitcher
PosRoleName
S1Scott Feldman
2Jarred Cosart
3Dallas Keuchel
4Brad Peacock
5Collin McHugh
Relief Pitcher
PosRoleName
R1Chad Qualls
2Jesse Crain
3Anthony Bass
4Matt Albers
5Tony Sipp
6Josh Fields
7Darin Downs
8Jose Veras
9Josh Zeid
10David Martinez
11Jose Cisnero