Mark Appel has made a quick ascension from being the first overall selection in last June’s draft to being invited to his first Spring Training in just two weeks. The right-hander will first have to fully recover following an emergency appendectomy that he underwent on Thursday. MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that he’ll be ready by the time the Houston Astros arrive to camp.
Upon joining the organization Appel threw just 38.0 IP over ten starts to close out the year, mostly with the team’s Class-A affiliate. He did pitch to a 3.79 ERA and 1.184 WHIP, showing strong poise on the mound.
There’s certainly few expecting the 22 year old to crack Houston’s Opening Day roster. Such a move is not completely out of the question – just look at the jump Jose Fernandez made a year ago, joining the Miami Marlins rotation out of camp en route to winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award – but it would require a phenomenal camp for the inexperienced Appel, who’s likely just being invited to camp to start the process of acclimating him to how the organization develops their players. Appel may be on an expedited schedule to get to Houston, but there is zero reason for the team to make a foolish decision and rush him. Talk of him making the rotation out of camp will be much more realistic a year from now.