Houston Astros – No. 74
July 15, 1991 |
Career highlights and awards
Mark Stewart Appel (born July 15, 1991) is an American professional baseball pitcher. Appel plays in Minor League Baseball for the Houston Astros' organization. He was most recently a member of the Corpus Christi Hooks of the Class AA Texas League.
Appel attended Stanford University and played for the Stanford Cardinal baseball team. Named the NCBWA's Pitcher of the Year in 2012, he was projected as the first overall draft choice in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft, but fell in the draft due to signability concerns. Appel did not sign after ultimately being selected eighth overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates, returning to Stanford for his senior season. The Astros selected him with the first overall pick in the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft, and he signed with the Astros.
Appel attended Monte Vista High School in Danville, California. As a senior in high school, Appel was a relief pitcher, because other pitchers were perceived as more talented. In addition to baseball, Appel also played basketball at Monte Vista.
The Detroit Tigers selected Appel in the 15th round, with the 450th overall selection, of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. Appel did not sign, as he was committed to attend Stanford University. At Stanford, Appel received a scholarship to play college baseball for the Stanford Cardinal baseball team, competing in the Pac-10 Conference. Appel began his collegiate career as a reliever, and had several spot starts as a freshman, but became a starting pitcher during his sophomore season. In the summer of 2010, he played for the Newport Gulls of the NECBL, posting a 6–1 record and 1.87 ERA and earning First Team All-NECBL and Top Pro Prospect honors.  As a sophomore in 2011, Appel had a 6–7 win–loss record with a 3.02 earned run average (ERA) in 110 1⁄3 innings pitched.
Appel was named a First Team All-American before the 2012 season. As a junior, he pitched to a 10–2 record and 2.56 ERA. Appel was projected as a potential first overall pick in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft, but reportedly rejected an offer from the Astros for a $6 million signing bonus. Due to the high perceived bonus demands, Appel fell in the draft to the 8th overall selection, where he was chosen by the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, Appel did not sign with the Pirates before the July 13, 2012, deadline and instead played his senior year at Stanford. He turned down an offer of a $3.8 million signing bonus.
Appel graduated from Stanford after the fall semester, receiving a degree in Management Science and Engineering. For the Cardinal baseball team, Appel pitched to a 10–4 record with a 2.12 ERA and struck out 130 batters in 106 1⁄3 innings. The Pac-12 Conference honored him as their Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Appel was selected by the Houston Astros with the first pick in the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft. On June 19 he signed with the Astros for a signing bonus worth $6.35 million. Appel made his professional debut in July with the Tri-City ValleyCats of the Class A-Short Season New York-Penn League.
After making two starts for Tri-City, the Astros promoted Appel to the Quad Cities River Bandits of the Class A Midwest League. When Appel joined Quad Cities, teaming with Carlos Correa, this marked the first time that two consecutive first overall draft picks played for the same minor league team. The Astros ended Appel's season in August, with approximately 140 innings pitched on the season, between college and minor league baseball. For Tri-City and Quad Cities, Appel pitched to a 3–1 record in 10 games started, with a 3.79 ERA and 33 strikeouts with nine walks in 38 innings.
The Astros invited Appel to spring training in 2014 as a non-roster player. Appel underwent an appendectomy in January, which delayed his preparations for the 2014 season. He was reassigned to minor league camp, where he made his spring debut. He started for the Astros in their final spring training game, throwing three scoreless innings against the Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz of the Mexican League. The Astros assigned Appel to the Lancaster JetHawks of the Class A-Advanced California League at the start of the regular season. He struggled with his adaptation to the Astros' tandem starting rotation, and went to extended spring training after four starts. After a month, he returned to Lancaster. After pitching to a 2–5 record and a 9.74 ERA in 12 starts for Lancaster, the Astros promoted Appel to the Corpus Christi Hooks of the Class AA Texas League. Jeff Luhnow, the Astros' general manager, noted Lancaster's "hostile pitching environment", and stated that it was the Astros' intention to have Appel pitch in Corpus Christi in 2014 regardless of his performance in Lancaster. Appel finished the regular season with a 1–2 win-loss record and a 3.69 ERA in seven games for Corpus Christi. The Astros then assigned him to the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League after the season, where he had a 2.61 ERA and 24 strikeouts to eight walks in 31 innings pitched, while limiting opponents to a .167 batting average against.
Appel was born in Houston, Texas. His family moved to San Ramon, California, when he was 12 years old. Appel's father, Patrick, works as a lawyer for the Chevron Corporation. Patrick and Appel's mother, Sondra, lived in Beijing for a time. Appel has an older brother, John.
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- "Appel throws for second time this week | astros.com: News". Houston.astros.mlb.com. March 15, 2014. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
- "Ultimate Astros » Mark Appel pleased after spring debut". Blog.chron.com. March 21, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
- "Mark Appel makes 1st spring training start, pitches Astros to 6–1 win over Veracruz". Fox Newsdate=March 30, 2014. Associated Press. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
- "Ultimate Astros » Mark Appel, Carlos Correa to start at Class A Lancaster". Blog.chron.com. April 2, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
- Jackson, Josh (April 26, 2014). "Appel headed to extended spring training | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". Milb.com. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
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- "Astros impressed with Appel's Fall League stint". Houston Astros. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
- McTaggart, Brian (June 19, 2013). "Appel's family ties in Houston run deep". MLB.com. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
- Drellich, Evan (July 26, 2014). "Faith, family help Astros prospect Appel endure early struggles: Prized prospect to be promoted to Class AA after early struggles". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
- Career statistics and player information from The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- "Mark Appel Profile – Stanford University's Official Athletic Site". Gostanford.com.