Astros to shut down No. 1 pick Appel
Mark Appel, the first overall pick in the 2013 MLB draft, will make two more starts with Low-A Quad Cities before the Astros shut him down for the remainder of the season, reports Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.
The 22-year-old owns a 4.50 ERA over his first 28 professional innings, and has thrown a combined 134.1 frames this year between his college workload and the minor leagues. The Stanford University product is scheduled to throw on Monday for Quad Cities.
“He didn’t say this, but he’s probably getting fatigued with the workload this year and all the intensity of being the first pick of the Draft and the expectations,” said Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow.
Appel began his professional career with Tri-City of the New York-Penn League, but was promoted to Quad Cities after just two outings with the short-season club.
The right-hander posted a 2.12 ERA with 130 strikeouts in 14 starts for Stanford in 2013, allowing a mere two home runs over 106.3 innings.
Appel owns a plus-plus fastball that sits at 93-96 mph and can climb to 97/98 mph on occasion, according to Nick J. Faleris of Baseball Prospectus. His best secondary offering is a slider that registers in the mid-80s, "but can flatten out and soften higher in the zone", and isn't a deadly chase pitch at present, Faleris writes. Appel round out his repetoire with a plus changeup that "can produce late fade and tumble and a lot of empty swings."