Appel has sharp outing; is promoted to Quad Cities


Stanford grad Mark Appel wasn't long for the Tri-City ValleyCats and Troy, N.Y. and that's just fine with him and the Houston Astros.

Appel delivered a sharp, quality outing for the ValleyCats on Tuesday, throwing three scoreless innings, striking out five, in a game eventually won by the Aberdeen Ironbirds in 10 innings.

Appel allowed three hits and has not walked a batter in five professional innings.

After the game it was learned that Appel would make his next start with the full season Single-A Quad Cities on Sunday. Evidently three cities were not enough for the overall No. 1 pick of the Astros in this year's First-Year Player Draft.

Appel will make the start against Dayton in the Quad Cities ballpark on the shores of the Mississippi River in Davenport, Iowa.

"I think by the end of the summer we're trying to get up to five or six innings, but I'm taking it day-by-day," Appel told's John Parker. "It depends on what the coaches and front office want. I have faith in the Astros' development team, and I know they don't want to be overly aggressive or try to rush things prematurely."

Tentative plans call for Appel to reach Double-A Corpus Christi by the end of August. Those plans, of course, will have a lot to do with Appel's results along the way.

"The big difference for me was that there was less adrenaline," Appel said. "It wasn't a big deal like my first start, it was more businesslike, and I think that's part of the reason it turned out better."

Appel gave up a triple on the first pitch he threw in his debut. That probably seems like a long time ago already.

"All three pitches were working pretty well," he said. "I got some good swings-and-misses on the slider and changeup, and my fastball was better down in the zone than the other night. I even got a couple guys to chase the fastball up out of the zone."

Appel will be joining the Astros' overall No. 1 pick from last year in shortstop Carlos Correa. Quad Cities reported it will be the first time that consecutive No. 1 overall picks will appear on the same roster in Minor League baseball history.

— Palo Alto Online Sports


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