Born: 07/15/1991 (Age: 22)
|Height: 6' 5"
|Tall frame; moves well; 6-5/225 is accurate; more athletic than he looks; 3/4 arm slot; long levers; creates a tough plane; hip rotation is perfectly timed; gets downhill well; very good momentum to the plate; generates a lot of torque with his lower half and trunk; very clean mechanics; easy velo; wrist pronates and snaps the ball out of his hand; briefly shows the ball in the back of his delivery.
|Lancaster JetHawks (High A, Astros)
|Premium arm strength; long toss is foul pole to foul pole; Sat 95-97 in the 1st and 2nd innings with multiple 97's; popped 98 in the 2nd inning once; features plenty of 2-seam bore; runs it, sinks it; commanded it well; well-above average pitch early; more 93-96 in the 3rd and 4th innings; movement was plus; command varied, but was solid overall; dipped to 91-94 in his last inning; seemed to tire; pitch lost some movement; command was loose; could be a plus-plus offering with sustained stamina, command.
|More of a short slider; good tilt; tight rotation; pitch dives to the glove side; thrown from the same slot so it's extremely hard to pick up; solid command; can throw it for strikes and chase; cuts it into the lefties often; lost some bite late in the game; plus pitch at the present.
|Did not see a changeup in this game, but he does throw one. Reportedly plus.
Mark Appel was as good, if not better than advertised in this look. The fastball flashed plus-plus potential with very good movement and solid command and he paired that with a plus slider. He tired late, his fastball and slider losing some velocity and movement. It appears as if this was not just an aberration- his fastball was a reported 88-91 mph two starts later- and consequently got sent down to extended spring training to "adjust" to professional baseball. In my opinion, it is hard to believe he lost that velocity within two starts. There are some questions Appel has failed to answer quite yet: can he bring all three pitches to the table on a given night? Does he care? Even in the start that I witnessed, he wasn't pitching with a purpose. After giving up a home run, he looked nonchalant. It appears to me that he can go through the motions and still find success, but I'm not sure he has that edge that sets elite pitchers apart from their peers. Appel has a high floor and might very well reach that floor in the coming seasons, but a pitcher with these premium tools at his disposal needs to be able to harness them and completely over match his opponent. I don't see Appel doing that at the major league level.