Astros Prospects Appel and Phillips Earn Promotions


Mark Appel and Brett Phillips were both promoted to their respective next levels on Wednesday of this week, putting to bed the speculation surrounding them both in recent weeks.

Appel, who the Astros used the first overall pick in 2013 to draft, had been at double-A Corpus Christi this season where he had compiled a 5-1 record.  Despite the glowing win-loss total, the peripheral statistics like his 4.26 ERA and 1.44 WHIP are glowing reasons why other talented arms in the Astros’ organization have been able to circumvent some levels of the minor league system while Appel – turning 24 in July – has been skipped over.  Lance McCullers made the jump from Corpus Christi to the big club at the age of 21 and has enjoyed great success. Vince Velasquez was promoted to the majors just before his 23rd birthday.  His makeup and “stuff” made him a candidate to come up and contribute.  His control has been an issue at the big league level.

Now, Appel will get his shot at triple-A hitters and perhaps poise himself to be a contributor to the Astros second half.  He could also be getting a vote of confidence to show other organizations that he is a valuable asset, in case Houston decides to include him in a deal before the deadline.

Oct. 14, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Houston Astros pitcher Mark Appel plays for the Salt River Rafters during an Arizona Fall League game against the Surprise Saguaros at Salt River Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Maverick Phillips has been outstanding this season at high-A Lancaster.  Batting leadoff and playing right field, the left-handed slugger has had his foot on the gas since the season began.  While the California League is notorious for being a hitter-friendly environment, you would still be hard-pressed to explain away Phillips’ production. Phillips was one of three JetHawk players represented in the high-A All-Star team. After the All-Star game was over, he was informed that he was moving up to Corpus Christi.

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He has hit 15 homers, stolen eight bases, and driven in 53 RBI in his 66 games this season.  Those are great numbers to accompany his .320 batting average and .967 OPS.  Yes, this guy is legit, and it was only a matter of time before he forced his way to Corpus.  The combination of power, speed, and hit are alluring with this talented young outfielder, and we’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on him as he takes his talents to Whataburger Field.

Stay tuned to Climbing Tal’s Hill all season for updates on all things Houston Astros from the minors to the big club.

You can follow Phillips at @Brett_Phillips8 and Appel at @MAppel26 on Twitter.

CTH’s C0-Editor Eric Interviewed Phillips here Keeping Up with the Astros Prospects: Brett Phillips and here Stealing Second with Astros Prospect Brett Phillips (with/interview)

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