Mark Appel is headed to the majors nearly a decade after being selected first overall.
Philadelphia placed right-hander Connor Brogdon on the COVID-19 IL in a corresponding roster move.
Once one of the top collegiate pitchers at Stanford, Appel was chosen with the No. 1 draft pick in 2013 by the Houston Astros. He began his professional career with high expectations but struggled to find his footing in the minors. Houston traded him to the Phillies before the 2016 season as part of a package for closer Ken Giles.
Shoulder injuries and inconsistency continued to hamper Appel's progression in the Phillies' system. After posting a 5.27 ERA at Triple-A in 2017, he elected to step away from baseball before resuming his career three years later.
The 30-year-old finally found his groove on the mound as a reliever in Triple-A this season, going 5-0 with a career-best 1.61 ERA and 0.93 WHIP across 28 innings for the IronPigs.
Before getting the call Friday, Appel was one of only five former first overall picks who had never reached the majors.