Former Astros’ first-round pick promoted to Major Leagues

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Philadelphia Phillies promoted pitcher Mark Appel, the Houston Astros’ 2013 first-overall pick, to the Major League roster.

He did it. Former No. 1 overall pick Mark Appel was called up by the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night to replace Connor Brogdon (COVID IL) on the active roster, Matt Gelb of The Athletic reported.

Appel was drafted by the Houston Astros with the first-overall pick in 2013, signing to a bonus of $6.35 million. Everyone knows Appel’s story by now, but there are holes in his ballad many still do not know.

At the end of the day, Appel is a big leaguer, and it took almost a decade. The righty went to Twitter, where he has been vocal recently, on Saturday morning to share his excitement.

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"“Completely overwhelmed,” Appel said. “I have so many thoughts I want to share but can’t find the words, so I’ll just say this: I’m thankful. Today, I get to play a game I love as a Major League Baseball player.”"

Appel has been excelling in Philadelphia’s system. The righty had a 1.61 ERA for Triple-A Lehigh Valley through 28 relief innings. More recently, Appel further opened up to why he left the game and what he overcame.

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The Astros traded Appel following struggles in the Minor Leagues to the Phillies in December 2015. Along with Vince Velasquez, Brett Oberholtzer, Tom Eshelman and Harold Arauz, Appel was dealt for Ken Giles and Jonathan Araúz.

Appel becomes the sixth player drafted by the Astros in 2013 to make his debut, joining Kent Emanuel, Tony Kemp, Jacob Nottingham, Jason Martin and Tyler White. Emanuel is with the Phillies, too, while on a rehab assignment recovering from the UCL surgery he underwent with the Astros.