Sixteen-year-old Luis Heredia to start in rookie ball for the Pirates

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They’re letting a 16-year-old pitch professionally in the Pirates’ organization? And here I thought there were laws about exposing minors to obscenity …

That talent and maturity is why management’s plan for 2011 — though not yet formally announced — is to assign [Luis] Heredia to Bradenton of the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, an extraordinary step for a player his age. The Pirates are known to have had only one previous 16-year-old at that level in the past 40 years.

Pirates joking aside, Heredia is one to watch. He made Keith Law’s list of guys who fell just short of his Top 100 prospects list, which is pretty spiffy for a 16-year-old.  He’s big and has big velocity for his or any other age.  When you consider how much growing 16-year-old athletes usually have ahead of them, the ceiling on Heredia seems to be high, high, high.

Former number one pick Mark Appel DFA’d by the Phillies

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Life comes at you fast.

The Phillies have designated pitcher Mark Appel for assignment. Appel was the number one overall pick, taken by the Houston Astros, in the 2013 draft before being dealt to the Phillies in 2015. He was selected one slot ahead of Kris Bryant and 31 slots above Aaron Judge, by the way.

Appel, who is somehow already 26, posted a 5.27 ERA and 60/53 K/BB ratio over 82 Triple-A innings in 2017. He’s had a history of bone spurs and other ailments that have hindered his development.

It could still come together for Appel in a new location — the Phillies have seven days to trade or waive him — but at this point you can’t consider him a prospect.