Former No. 1 pick Mark Appel, 30, gets big league call-up from Philadelphia Phillies

Mark Appel, the 2013 No. 1 overall whose baseball career included a three-year absence from the sport, will be called up to the major league for the first time Saturday at the age of 30.

The Philadelphia Phillies are bringing right-hander Appel from Triple-A Lehigh Valley because reliever Connor Brogdon is on the COVID-19 injured list, interim manager Rob Thomson told reporters Friday night.

“Totally blown away. I have so many thoughts I want to share, but I can’t find the words, so I’ll just say, I’m grateful,” Appel said tweeted Saturday morning. “Today I get to play a game that I love as a Major League Baseball player.”

Appel has spent the last two seasons playing in double- and triple-A’s for the Phillies. He has a 5-0 record and 1.61 ERA in 19 appearances for Lehigh Valley this season.

He rejoined the Phillies organization in 2021 after announcing in February 2018 that he was retiring from baseball after sustaining injuries to his labrum and rotator cuff that ultimately required surgery.

The Pittsburgh Pirates, one of the most decorated pitchers in NCAA history, drafted Appel eighth overall in 2012, but he returned to Stanford for his senior season, and the Houston Astros picked him for the first time in 2013, one spot ahead of Kris Bryant . Appel joined the Phillies when he was picked up in a December 2015 trade that sent Ken Giles closer to Houston.

The Phillies play the third game of a four-game series against the San Diego Padres on Saturday after splitting the first two.

Information provided by ESPN’s David Schoenfield was used in this report. Former No. 1 pick Mark Appel, 30, gets big league call-up from Philadelphia Phillies

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