Prospect Update: Mark Appel Wins 2015 Debut

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Baseball is a game of routine. The typical ground ball hit to second base for a 4-6-3 double play. A batter getting jammed for an infield fly out. It is a little strange that the Corpus Christi Hooks sent Mark Appel to the mound in the second game instead of the season opener.

Or maybe it’s a motion to get Appel back into a routine that led to success while pitching for the Stanford Cardinals. Perhaps this is just grasping at straws; Appel’s first 2015 start came on a Friday night.

Whatever the reasoning, he showed up with a strong first outing. The benefactor of a 5-run first inning from the Hooks’ offense, Appel attacked the strike zone frequently. Of the 63 pitches thrown in 5 innings, 42 were for strikes. The only run he surrendered came off the bat of Aledmys Diaz, who hit a solo home run in his second at-bat.

Appel’s pitching line: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

The Hooks’ wasted little time in giving the Cardinals any hopes of winning. Tony Kemp led off with a single while Carlos Correa drew a free pass. Colin Moran then hit an RBI double, which scored Kemp and sent Correa to 3rd base. Telvin Nash and Tyler Heineman followed with singles. Eventually, five runs would cross the plate.

Through the first two games of the Hooks’ season, other top prospects are doing quite well. Kemp is 6 for 9 while Carlos Correa is 4 for 7 with two walks. In Thursday’s opener, all but two of the starting nine recorded a hit. They made progress in Friday’s game as all but one in their lineup recorded at least one hit.

Kyle Westwood, pitching in tandem relief of Appel, closed the game with 4 innings of work yielding one run and striking out one batter. The Hooks conclude their season-opening series against the Cardinals with a 6:10 game with probable starting pitchers Josh Hader (LHP)  and Thomas Lee (RHP).

Next: Should Jed Lowrie Remain the Astros Third Hitter?

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