Appel left professional baseball prior to the 2018 season. “I’m 26, have a degree from Stanford, have many interests beyond baseball, which I still love, but I have a lot of things that are close to my heart, ”he told Bleacher Report at the time of his decision. “I like to challenge my mind. My last four years in baseball have challenged my mind. “
Before turning pro, Appel had a phenomenal career at Stanford that saw him post a 2.57 ERA and a strike-to-walk ratio of 4.22 in 47 starts. Appel’s outlook was so promising that he was drafted with a top-10 pick twice: first by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012 (No.8), then again by the Houston Astros in 2013 (n ° 1).
Baseball America ranked Appel as the second best player in this class of 2013. Here is part of BA’s preliminary report on him:
It shows everything scouts are looking for in a frontline pitcher. He’s 6-foot-5, 215 pounds with an impeccable delivery, and he’s a solid athlete who played high school basketball. Appel’s fastpitch is in the mid-90s and hits 98mph, and he maintains his speed in the thick of games. Its slider is a more pitch that generates oscillations and misfires with its clear and late pause.
Still, the Astros gave up hope of Appel becoming that frontline pitcher when they transferred him to the Phillies in the winter of 2015 as part of a seven-player trade involving closer Ken Giles. (Vince Velasquez is the only other player involved in the trade who remains with the organization that acquired them.) He couldn’t find a better footing with the Phillies, which ultimately resulted in his (seemingly) untimely retirement. Appel joined the Phillies’ organization in March to start his comeback attempt.
After Saturday’s game, Appel now has a career ERA of 5.05 and a strikeout ratio of 1.99.