The first overall pick in the 2013 draftmade his long-awaited MLB debut Wednesday night during the Philadelphia Phillies’ game against the Atlanta Braves.
With the Phillies trailing the Braves 4–1, Appel took the mound during the top of the ninth at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. He kept the defending champs off the board, needing just 10 pitches to get out of the frame. He finished with a strikeout and a hit permit and received an encouraging ovation from Philadelphia fans.
Now 30, Apple was selected nine years ago by the Houston Astros. The Stanford product sprung around minors and was eventually traded to Philadelphia in December 2015. Appel left baseball in February 2018 due to injuries and ineffective play. He returned to the Phillies organization in 2021 after three seasons away from the game.
He was called last Saturday, which set the stage for Wednesday night’s MLB success.
“It’s so surreal,” Appel said of his debut. “I was trying to hold back the tears. It was emotional. It was special.”
Joining 2017’s Royce Lewis (Twins), 2019’s Adley Ratsman (Orioles) and 2020’s Spencer Torkelson (Tigers), Appel is the fourth No. 1 overall pick to make an MLB debut this season.