Mark Appel had a weird season, as the former No. 1 overall pick was awful at Single-A with a 9.74 ERA in 12 starts and then made headlines over the weird quasi-controversy of him throwing a bullpen session in Houston.
However, he finished the season pitching well at Double-A and has been fantastic in the Arizona Fall League.
Appel threw five shutout innings in an AFL start Monday, giving him a streak of 12 straight scoreless innings in an environment where hitters almost always dominate and the league’s overall batting average often approaches .300.
His stock has certainly dropped since going first overall in 2013–one spot ahead of Cubs prospect Kris Bryant, the consensus minor league player of the year–but Appel figures to begin next season at Double-A and Triple-A and could be a factor for the Astros by the All-Star break.