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Mark Appel | Starting Pitcher

Team: Houston Astros
Age / DOB:  (23) / 7/15/1991
Ht / Wt:  6'5' / 225
Bats / Throws: Right / Right
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Recent News

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow indicated that with an injury in the Astros rotation or a strong showing in the minor leagues, Mark Appel could reach the major leagues in 2015.
The top overall selection from the 2013 draft, Appel had a rough season in 2014, compiling a 6.91 ERA, 1.60 WHIP and 78/24 K/BB ratio over 83 1/3 innings between High-A Lancaster and Double-A Corpus Christi. He finished the season strong though, and has looked terrific in the Arizona Fall league. Even if he does crack the Astros rotation in 2015, he's unlikely to make a major fantasy impact in redraft leagues. Nov 9 - 10:41 PM

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Date:

Astros prospect right-hander Mark Appel has tossed 12 scoreless innings over three starts in the Arizona Fall League.

Appel really struggled with High-A Lancaster this season, but he thrived after a promotion to Double-A Corpus Christi in late July and has kept it going so far in the Arizona Fall League. The 23-year-old tossed five scoreless innings in his latest outing on Monday and has allowed just four hits with a 12/3 K/BB ratio over his three starts. "I don't know if there's one thing I can pick out and say this is what I'm doing differently than in the season," said Appel. "I think it's a combination of continuing to work hard, not giving up and trusting my stuff. I've gotten here because I'd been doing some things the right way and I'm continuing on the same track I tried to finish the season on in Corpus Christi."
Source: MiLB.com
Oct 21 - 8:34 AM

Astros prospect RHP Mark Appel struck out 10 batters over eight scoreless innings on Tuesday for Double-A Corpus Christi, allowing just two hits and one walk.

The outing was the best of Appel’s career, as he set new personal bests with eight innings pitched and 10 strikeouts. The 23-year-old is finally showing the promise that made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft (and the No. 8 pick in 2012). Since moving up to Double-A Corpus Christi, Appel has pitched to a 3.15 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 34-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 34 1/3 innings (6 starts). This of course comes after he registered a dismal 9.74 ERA and allowed 10 home runs over 78 2/3 innings at High-A Lancaster. Appel will look to continue his late-season success in the Arizona Fall League.
Aug 27 - 4:41 PM

Astros righty prospect Mark Appel allowed one run over six innings for Double-A Corpus Christi on Friday, scattering five hits and one walk.

Appel only struck out two batters, and the run was as a result of a home run off the bat of Angels prospect Kaleb Cowart. Appel has looked better in the Double-A Texas League than he did in the High-A California League. Texas League batters have a .263/.333/.375 line against him during his four starts, during which he has put up a 7.5 K/9. His performance is solid, but more is expected out of the top pick in the 2013 draft.
Aug 16 - 10:35 AM

Astros pitching prospect Mark Appel tossed five scoreless innings Wednesday in his Double-A debut.

Appel was promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi this week despite posting a hideous 9.74 ERA in 44 1/3 innings at High-A Lancaster. And it was clearly the right move. The 23-year-old right-hander walked four in his debut but also struck out four and gave up only two hits. He is likely to finish out the 2014 season at the Double-A level but could move to Triple-A at the start of 2015. Appel was the first overall pick (out of Stanford) in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft.
Jul 31 - 8:25 AM

Astros prospect right-handed pitcher Mark Appel was promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi.

Appel made a few mechanical tweaks prior to his start on Saturday, and had his best outing of the season, allowing five hits and two runs while striking out seven batters. Appel was the first overall pick in the 2013 draft and has struggled mightily in 2014, but the Astros are keeping the faith in the process and clearly feel that Appel's most recent start shows that he is ready for a new challenge.
Jul 27 - 10:32 AM

Astros prospect right-hander Mark Appel was knocked around again Wednesday, allowing seven hits, one walk, and one run over 1 2/3 innings while striking out two batters for High-A Lancaster.

Appel's two-seam fastball sat 91-92 mph, but he struggled with his slider command despite having good movement. Appel's struggles this season have been well documented, and it will be interesting to see how the Astros handle it for the last six weeks of the season and in the offseason. Appel was expected to end 2014 in Double-A, if not the majors. Instead he's been consistently hit hard by batters in High-A.
Jul 17 - 9:03 AM

Astros pitching prospect Mark Appel recently received a cortisone shot in his right (throwing) wrist.

Appel's agent, Scott Boras, revealed that news to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle on Monday. Appel has posted a disturbing 9.57 ERA and 1.96 WHIP in 36 2/3 innings (10 starts) this season at High-A Lancaster, and maybe this wrist injury -- which Boras called "minor" -- is partly to blame. He was the first overall pick in 2013.
Jul 14 - 3:00 PM

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

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

Depth Charts

Batters
PosRoleName
C1Jason Castro
2Hank Conger
3Max Stassi
1B1Jon Singleton
2Dan Johnson
2B1Jose Altuve
2Ronald Torreyes
SS1Jed Lowrie
2Marwin Gonzalez
3Jonathan Villar
3B1Matt Dominguez
LF1Jake Marisnick
2L.J. Hoes
CF1Dexter Fowler
2Alex Presley
RF1George Springer
2Robbie Grossman
DH1Chris Carter
Starting Pitcher
PosRoleName
S1Scott Feldman
2Dallas Keuchel
3Collin McHugh
4Brett Oberholtzer
5Brad Peacock
6Samuel Deduno
7Vince Velasquez
8Michael Feliz
Relief Pitcher
PosRoleName
R1Luke Gregerson
2Pat Neshek
3Chad Qualls
4Josh Fields
5Tony Sipp
6Darin Downs
7Jake Buchanan
8Will Harris
9Kevin Chapman
10Michael Foltynewicz