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Former top draft pick Appel stepping away from baseball

Mark Appel, image- Jay Floyd
Following a difficult stretch in the minor leagues, former first overall draft choice Mark Appel has announced his plan to walk away from the sport that made him a multi-millionaire without ever reaching the big leagues.

In an exclusive piece from BleacherReport, Appel admits that he may be the biggest bust in MLB Draft history.  The 26-year-old righty also shared that he is planning to take an indefinite break from baseball.

Appel, the top draft pick in 2013 by Houston, signing for a reported $6.35 million, joined the Phillies organization following the 2015 season when he was included as part of the return in a trade for reliever Kenny Giles.

Sporting a disappointing 5.06 ERA through 81 games over five professional seasons, Appel isn't convinced his future is in baseball, so he'll take time to do other things and he doesn't seem sad about the decision.

"Maybe we should all get together and have a party," Appel says with a laugh in his Houston home. "I don't know what the future holds. I'm pursuing other things, but also trying to become a healthy human."

Having spent time on the shelf with injuries in recent seasons, Appel has had plenty of time to ponder the decision. He seems to have peace of mind with what he has, or has not, accomplished.  The Stanford product responded on Twitter to a question about if it bothered him, being an all-time bust with the following quote.

I think it would if baseball was my identity. @iamjoonlee and I got to talk a lot about identity perspective. Putting your whole identity in something as fleeting as baseball (or living up to expectations) is a dangerous way to live. I'm rooted in much longer lasting things.

It's certainly possible that after a break from the game, the Texas native could get the itch to pitch again. But, whatever is to come for Appel, here's wishing him the best.


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