Mark Appel makes MLB debut almost written for Hollywood

Mark Appel took a long road to the majors, but finally made his Phillies and MLB debut on Wednesday and took the performance right from a movie script. 

If taking the road less traveled is an admirable trait, then baseball fans should certainly admire Mark Appel.

The No. 1 pick in the 2013 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros took a path that, frankly, would rarely end up with a player seeing a major league mound. After being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2015 and struggling thereafter, Appel stepped away from baseball in early 2018. Then, in 2021, he returned and attempted to revive his career.

On Wednesday night against the Atlanta Braves, he was able to complete that comeback — or at least the first chapter of it.

Phillies: Mark Appel shines in much-anticipated MLB debut

Coming in for the top of the ninth inning, Appel took the hill and actually looked the part of a former top-overall pick. He pitched a scoreless frame for the Phillies to keep the deficit at a minimum, something seemingly stolen out of the screenplays in Hollywood.

The only thing keeping it from being a true moment worthy of the silver screen was the fact that the Phils were trailing 4-1 when Appel came into the contest and pitched his scoreless inning to begin his MLB time at long last. In the movies, of course, it would’ve been to make a save and secure a win, likely in the World Series or something like that.

Even if it wasn’t a complete Hollywood triumph, though, Appel delivered a moment that would make Billy Beane (or Brad Pitt, rather) say, “How can you not be romantic about baseball?” For a player to go through his struggles, leave the game for three years, then make it to the majors in just over a year since starting a comeback is legendary stuff.

And even if his debut did come in a Phillies losing effort, it was worthy of a Hollywood movie that any baseball fan would watch.

Source: FanSided

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