Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported the news, which was notable because Appel was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2013 draft. The Houston Astros made that pick, and Appel has yet to establish himself at the major league level, even after Philadelphia traded for him in 2015.
Appel is just 26 years old and figures to still have plenty of baseball ahead of him. But at this point, he is a clear case of a failure to live up to elevated expectations. The Stanford product is yet to appear in a Major League game, which starkly contrasts some of those players selected in the same draft as him.
Zachary D. Rymer of Bleacher Report shared the list, which reads as a who's who of some of the best young talent in the game:
Zachary D. Rymer @zachrymer
Mark Appel went No. 1 in 2013. Also in that first round: Kris Bryant (2), Jon Gray (3), Clint Frazier (5), Hunter Renfroe (13), Tim Anderson (17) and, just about at the very end, Aaron Judge (32).2017-11-20 23:16:24
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com detailed Appel's career, which included a decision to return to Stanford for his senior season after the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted him No. 8 overall in 2012.
It seemed like a sound move at the time, considering he was the No. 1 pick the following year, but he underwent an appendectomy in 2014 and finished with a 9.74 ERA in the high-A California League. He also pitched just 38.1 innings in 2016 thanks to shoulder issues and bone spurs in his right (pitching) elbow.
He tallied a 5.27 ERA in 82 innings in 2017 with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle noted the Phillies now have seven days to either trade him or place him on outright waivers following Monday’s move.