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Mark Appel's first pitch and first strikeout as a pro pitching in his very first pro game in 2013 with the Houston Astros Single-A minor league affiliate Tri-City Valley Cats. Appel was the #1 pick in the entire draft in 2013. The game-used baseballs are authenticated by MLB.
No. 1 Pick Mark Appel's Debut Start in Pro Baseball
Houston Astros' No. 1 overall pick from the 2013 MLB draft Mark Appel made his debut for the Class-A Tri-City Valley Cats on Friday night.
Appel's first start was highly anticipated by Astros fans, who expect this kid to be the face of the starting rotation in a few years.
The Astros paid $6.35 million for Appel, and they certainly expect to get a lot out of him for that kind of money.
Appel took his first step toward making it to the MLB on Friday, and here's how it all went down.
Appel's first inning of pro baseball was a shaky one that started to go wrong on the very first pitch.
Tzu-Win Lin led off for the Lowell Spinners against Appel, and he drove the very first pitch of Appel's career over the center fielder's head for a lead-off triple. Lin later scored on a groundout.
After giving up two more hits, Appel was in a jam with runners on the corners and only one out. The best-case scenario would have been to force the opposing batter to ground into a double play, and he did his best to make that happen.
Appel did force a groundout, but the ball couldn't be turned for two, instead having the runner on third trot home to give Lowell an early 2-0 lead.
That's when it looked like Appel started pitching for real.
After retiring the final batter of the first inning with an eight-pitch strikeout, Appel shut down Lowell in the second, going one-two-three on just seven pitches.
Appel was done after just two innings, as the team just wanted him to shake off some rust. At the end of the day, this is what his stat line looked like:
2.0 IP 2 ER 3 H 1 K 0 BB 26 pitches (19 strikes) 9.00 ERA 1.50 WHIP