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Former No. 1 pick Mark Appel reaches the majors with the Phillies

FILE - In this file photo from Thursday, March 3, 2016, Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Mark Appel delivers to the New York Yankees during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game in Tampa, Fla. .  Appel is a major league baseball player nine years after he was selected No. 1 overall in the amateur draft.  Appel was promoted by the Philadelphia Phillies.  The right-hander, who turns 31 on July 15, went 5-0 with a 1.61 ERA in 19 appearances for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.  (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

FILE – In this file photo from Thursday, March 3, 2016, Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Mark Appel delivers to the New York Yankees during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game in Tampa, Fla. . Appel is a major league baseball player nine years after he was selected No. 1 overall in the amateur draft. Appel was promoted by the Philadelphia Phillies. The right-hander, who turns 31 on July 15, went 5-0 with a 1.61 ERA in 19 appearances for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)

PA

Mark Appel is a major league baseball player nine years after being selected No. 1 overall in the amateur draft.

Appel was promoted by the Philadelphia Phillies. The right-hander, who turns 31 on July 15, went 5-0 with a 1.61 ERA in 19 appearances for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

“Completely overwhelmed. I have so many thoughts I want to share but I can’t find the words so I’m just going to say this: I’m grateful,” Appel posted on Twitter on Saturday.

“Today I get to play a game that I love as a Major League Baseball player.”

Appel replaces right-hander Connor Brogdon, who has been placed on the COVID-19 injury list.

Appel was selected by Houston with the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft after a stellar college career at Stanford. He was an Astros fan growing up in West Houston and received a $6.35 million signing bonus from the team.

He went 10-3 with a 4.37 ERA while making a total of 25 Double-A and Triple-A starts in 2015, then was traded to Philadelphia on a multiplayer deal. But he announced in early 2018 that he was quitting the game, saying he was at peace with the decision.

Appel joined the Phillies organization prior to last season, and he went 3-6 with a 6.06 ERA in 23 appearances with Double-A Reading and Lehigh Valley.

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