SAN DIEGO – The wait for Mark Appel has been nearly endless, but now MLB’s first-ever pick in the 2013 draft has earned him his first major league call-up.
Abel will join the Philadelphia Phillies, who are visiting Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, more than nine years after being called the Houston Astros.
He was called up from AAA’s Lehigh Valley when his name was put on the COVID-19 roster, right-hander Conor Brugdon.
Prior to his call-up, Abell was one of only three players in Major League Baseball history who had not had a single game behind a tie despite being a Top 3 player in his draft year.
Brian Taylor (New York Yankees, 1991) and Stephen Chilcot (New York Mets, 1966) were the other two.
“I’ve really corroded on the inside for years, he told Abel in March of 2021. But I’ve come to terms with who I am, what has happened in my life, in my career as a baseball player. I still live a lot of joy in spite of everything.”
Abell temporarily left baseball in January 2018, after five years of frustration at the Astros and Phillies. He notably suffered several injuries, as well as criticism for the fact that he did not live up to the expectations built on him.
But only a few months later, he decided to get back in the game.
Now 30, Appel 5-0 with 1.61 ERA in 19 appearances on the hill with Lehigh Valley.
In his first pro baseball campaign in 2014, he posted 6.91 miserable era. Ultimately, he was sent to the Phillies in December 2015, notably in exchange for another gunner, Ken Giles.
“Hipster-friendly tv trailblazer. Problem solver. Infuriatingly humble introvert. Reader. Student. Subtly charming bacon maven.”