4/23/16: The former 2013 #1 overall draft pick took the mound against Pawtucket and went five innings, allowing 5H, 2ER, 1BB, 3K, throwing 91 pitches, 59 for strikes. Appel’s fastball sat 91-to-93 mph topping out at 94 mph. The fastball was fairly straight with some arm-side run when down, with downhill plane from his 6-foot-5 frame and three-quarters arm slot. While Appel was able to effectively control the pitch around the zone, his ability to command and hit his spots was hindered due to the amount of moving parts in the delivery. The fastball is above average in terms of velocity, but it played down to just an average pitch due to the lack of movement & command profile in this look.
The slider, at 83-to-86 mph, is his go-to secondary offering, and it showed late-two plane break at it’s best. The slider was an average-grade pitch that didn’t really have that consistent tight, late break, particularly down and away out of the zone to miss bats. Appel’s changeup was his clear third offering, and bordered on the line of fringe-average, lacking any real fade or drop. Appel’s biggest mistake of the day game on a first-pitch changeup to Pawtucket’s Justin Maxwell that floated up and in to the right-hander, who completely turned on it, pulling it to left field for a two-run home run over the bullpen for Appel’s only runs allowed. – Chaz Fiorino