In case you missed it, Mark Appel called it a career last week after some time down in the minors. You may not know who Mark Appel is, and I do not blame you. Let’s take a little trip to the past and take a look at the 2013 MLB Amatuer Draft.
The 2013 MLB Draft was full, and I mean full, of talent. The Houston Astros were in the midst of a rebuild and have been stockpiling top pick after top pick in hopes of creating a roster that could compete for a World Series title one day (Dwight Schrute camera glance).
They were beginning to finally see their future stars come in the organization and saw a slight glimpse of what could be in the future. But first, they had to make a choice of who they would select with the first pick overall in the draft. There were a few options that could’ve made sense. There was Oklahoma’s stud Jon Gray that could have been the ace to their future rotation. There even was a young third-baseman from University of San Diego who just won all sorts of offensive awards in college by the name of Kris Bryant. Maybe you’ve heard of him. But no, the Astros select Stanford’s very own right-hander Mark Appel.
In what may have seemed like a solid pick to give the Astros a strong arm to plug into their rotation may be considered the Sam Bowie of the 21st century. Kris Bryant has come up to win Rookie of the Year, MVP and a World Series ring thus far in his young career. Mark Appel on the other hand… Never even made an appearance in The Show..
The Astros are so lucky that they won a World Series without that selection haunting them for years to come. Maybe I am biased because I am a Cubs fan and I’ve been watching the rise of KB for the past few years but he is the real deal. Mark Appel is now just an afterthought and he owes the 2017 World Series Champion Astros team a gargantuan-sized thank you for keeping the “greatest bust in MLB history” title off people’s lips.
Appel is only the third #1 selection to never make it to the majors. One of the others, Steve Chillcott (1966), preceded Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson. Appel might join Chillcott in preceding a Hall of Fame bat. It’s early, I know. But KB will continue hitting baseballs to the moon while Mark Appel could thrive on Wall Street. But the public will always remember him in the negative light.
By the way, Brien Taylor (1991) was the third guy to never make the majors. Just a little bar trivia for you there.