For Mark Appel, A Move to the Bullpen Has Reignited His Career

Mark AppelPhoto: Frank Klose/Sports Talk Philly

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Mark Appel’s name was beginning to find its way onto a list that no ballplayer wants their name attached to, “Biggest MLB Draft busts of all-time.” 

And why shouldn’t it. The 1st overall pick in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft is approaching 31-years old, owns a 5.01 MiLB ERA, retired for three-years and hasn’t stepped foot on a Major League mound. 

Appel could’ve called it a career, took his millions and went home to California. Instead he did what many pro athletes don’t do, he put his pride aside and changed. 

A starter for the majority of his baseball life, Appel made adjustments to his grip, his approach, and most importantly his role. He moved from the rotation to the bullpen and the results have been eye opening.

Appel is 5-0 with a 1.61 ERA, 24 Ks, and a 0.93 WHIP in 28.0 innings pitched since moving to the ‘pen. He’s also five-for-five in save opportunities for the Triple-A Lehigh Valley. 

His velocity, yeah that’s back too. Appel’s fastball sits in the 96-98 MPH range according to scouts who have watched him with the IronPigs. His off-speed stuff has been just as electric. 

Appel’s early season surprise has been enough to (finally) get the call to the Big Leagues.  He will be available from the bullpen for the Phillies on Saturday in San Diego. 

Now the questions becomes, what can Appel become for the Phillies?

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Farm Report: Mark Appel Promoted to the Big Leagues

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Nine years after being drafted 1st overall by the Houston Astros, Mark Appel will finally be making it to the Big Leagues. 

Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki is reporting Appel will join the Phillies in San Diego. He will be replacing Connor Brogdon who will be place on the COVID-IL.  

What a wild, weird journey it has been for the former top prospect in baseball.

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Report: Cole Hamels Looking to Make a Comeback

Cole_Hamels_pre-gamePhoto: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Editor

New York Post baseball scribe Jon Heyman dropped an interesting nugget, former Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels is targeting next season to make a comeback.  The 2008 World Series MVP hasn’t pitched in a Major League game since September 16, 2020, with Atlanta.  “Hollywood” turns 39-years old in December and seems to be enjoying his vacation in Ocean City, NJ.

 

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Sixers End Draft Night With Signing of Champagnie to 2-Way Contract

By Matt Gregan, Sports Talk Philly 76ers Editor

The headline move of the night for the Philadelphia 76ers was their trade sending the No. 23 pick (which turned into David Roddy) and Danny Green to the Memphis Grizzlies for De'Anthony Melton. However, that was not the team's only move on draft night.

According to Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice, the Sixers signed St. John's forward Julian Champagnie to a two-way contract.

Champagnie played three years at St. John's, where he averaged 19.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2 steals and 1.1 blocks per game as a junior last season. He is a high-volume 3-point shooter, although he had limited success in that department. Over his last two seasons at St. John's, he took 6.3 attempts per game from 3-point range and knocked them down at a 35.6% clip. He has the ability to shoot coming around screens, off the dribble and in catch-and-shoot situations, but he will need to improve his efficiency in order for his outside shooting to truly be a threat at the NBA level.

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Sixers Trade No. 23 Overall Pick, Danny Green to Grizzlies for De'Anthony Melton

By Matt Gregan, Sports Talk Philly 76ers Editor

The Philadelphia 76ers, after much speculation in recent days, pulled the trigger on a trade on draft night. The team, according to multiple reports, acquired guard De'Anthony Melton from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for the No. 23 overall pick (David Roddy) in the NBA Draft and veteran wing Danny Green.

Melton played a key reserve role off the bench for the Grizzlies last season. In 22.7 minutes per game, he averaged 10.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals while shooting 37.4% from 3-point range on 5.1 attempts per game. He is a proven outside shooter, connecting on 38.8% of his 3-pointers over his last two seasons.

He is also known for being a solid defender who plays with physicality and, despite being listed at just 6-foot-2, is capable of guarding multiple positions. He has a 6-foot-8 wingspan which, when combined with his defensive intensity, allows him to play bigger than his size would indicate.

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