Mark Appel ready to start ‘new chapter’ with Phillies

Mark Appel is ready to turn the page with the Phillies.
Mark J. Rebilas/Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

When the Houston Astros dealt former first-overall pick Mark Appel to the Philadelphia Phillies in a package for Ken Giles, many were shocked.

The Stanford product has struggled in the minors, sure, but he was just a little over two years removed from the draft.

He held a 5.12 ERA in his professional career and admittedly heard the "murmurs," according to Philly.com.

"It’s part of the territory," Appel said. "It even started before I was in pro ball. I went back to school [at Stanford] for my senior year. I was labeled ‘greedy.’ Then I get picked [first overall] and I’m labeled with ‘high expectations.’ Then I struggle in the minors and now I get labeled a ‘bust.’ Right? Now I’m traded to the Phillies. .."

Appel, 24, owned a 4.48 ERA in 12 starts at Triple-A last season, but has had flashes of brilliance in his short career. In 2014 at the Arizona Fall League, Appel had a 2.61 ERA across seven starts.

Still, he knows he hasn’t lived up to his sky-high expectations.

"I think the expectation of being a first-overall pick was very high," Appel said. "If I’m being honest, I don’t think I’ve reached that expectation. That’s on me. Being here in Philadelphia, it’s a new chapter."