Mark Appel, the No. 1 draft pick in 2013, finally made his big league debut last season, just shy of his 31st birthday. The right-hander is now without a team again.
Appel was released Monday by the National League champion Philadelphia Phillies. He had an 11.12 ERA in six Grapefruit League appearances this spring, walking six and allowing three home runs over 5⅔ innings.
Phillies manager Rob Thomson said that Appel wasn't going to make the team and that the organization didn't have a spot for him in Triple-A.
The No. 1 pick by Houston in the 2013 draft out of Stanford, Appel got a $6.35 million signing bonus. He finally made his big league debut last June 29, and he had a 1.74 ERA while throwing 10⅓ innings in six appearances for the Phillies.
Appel made it to Triple-A for the Astros in 2015 before being sent to Philadelphia in a multiplayer trade. He decided to quit baseball after the 2017 season following injuries and ineffectiveness but rejoined the Phillies organization in 2021.