Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford - SSI pre-draft $0.02


=== What's Lame About 'Im? ===

Stanford and U-Cal pitchers aren't the kinda guys you think of when you think of the gravel-chewing Jack Zduriencik.  The sense lingers, that you are talking about a Brandon Morrow, Greg Reynolds, Gil Meche type here...

Put Gil Meche's head on Appel's body, in fact, and you could get a video past an FBI video recog program.  Same butter-smooth delivery, same glassy 94 MPH, same full array of pitches, same ability to spot everything to different places in the strike zone ... and same puzzling lack of results.


=== Dr. D's Vibe ===

This entire Sudoku puzzle revolves around the concept of P-I-T-C-H-A-B-I-L-I-T-Y.

The paradox is that Brandon Morrow, and Gil Meche, and Gerrit Cole, those guys all visually seem to be closer to the big leagues than their peers.  The problem is that they are farther away because they are so slow to grok pitch sequences.  They are so slow to absorb the concept of expanding the strike zone, of crossing hitters up, of upsetting timing.

You get a Brandon Morrow and he comes to camp and he looks like he's won three Cy Young awards.  The part about knowing what a hitter is thinking, how are you going to zero in on that by watching a bullpen?  Let me read that last sentence again.

Dr. D has told you many times -- lately with respect to one Brandon League -- that he has no use for athletes who won't think out there.  They don't talk with the batter; they talk AT him.  They feel no need to listen, to look around, to see the soft spots in a chess position.  It's all about them, because of ego or fear or laziness or whatever.  I just go execute my game, and if I make my pitch I should win, right?



Pittsburgh has, if you can believe this for once, done it right with Gerrit Cole.  They've left him in class A, and he's doing great there. Bring him along slower than his peers, not faster.  Let him absorb a feel for the pitch sequence.

If the Mariners drafted Mark Appel, and let him sit out 2012 ... let him pitch A/AA in 2013 ... gave him a full year in AAA in 2014 ... then Earl Weavered him in 2015 ... well, slap me silly, you might have an "overnight sensation" Cy Young winner in 2016.

Here, check the 7th paragraph in this article.  It's the kind of thing you're talking about -- Brandon League, Gil Meche, Brandon Morrow. Mark Appel doesn't need to improve this or that pitch.  Mark Appel needs to room with Jamie Moyer.


My $0.01,

Dr D



Taro's picture

Buxton in-game swing is incredibly raw ( agreed with Doc ) and Appel is Cole 2.0 with less heat. I suppose thats fine because it sounds like they may go #1 and #2.
Don't like betting on either Zunino or Correa to hit (too much flame out potential). Gioloto has too many similarities to Cole-Appel. A thrower, not a pitcher (not to mention destined for TJ). Don't like his chances of pulling a Bundy.
Usually I don't like to reach, but I agree with G that David Dahl looks like a better bet than the consensus top 5. He doesn't project for 30+ HRs, but excellent mechanics, speed, approach, and batting eye could make him an impact all-around CF down the line.
Dahl is also a great Safeco fit. Lefty top-spin hitter with a great eye at the plate and the instincts and speed in the OF to play up at CF.
Heres an article on praising Dahl's baseball instincts and his efforts to improve:,-...
I'll take the talented, hard-working ballplayer over a raw athlete every time.


But which Upton is a question. I won't argue his raw talent, and if he was there at #3 I'd have no problems with taking him, but he'd be a project. I don't mind just waiting for a talent to grow into his skillset but I'm always a little leery of taking a tools-package instead of a ballplayer. Still, he could be dynamic when he polishes his game.
I just think Dahl is the best overall combination of upside and baseball skills, and being a lefty he fits us well. Some people, I guess, believe he's not a future CF, but he's got enough speed and glove, and a better arm than any of the guys playing center for us (since Wells doesn't play it).
Maybe he goes and plays plus D in a (right) corner, but I certainly view that as a distant backup plan. He looks to me like the best all-around ball player in the draft, and in a year where there look to be a lot of mediocre potholes to negotiate around I can't help liking Dahl. If my Ackley comp was "John Olerud with wheels" then I guess Dahl is "Raul Ibanez with speed and an arm." I'd "settle" for that - Randy Winn had significantly more WAR than Ibanez simply because with his speed he could and did play center with the same basic line in his prime. Of course, I'd love for Ackley to turn into Olerud for me very shortly, too - that prediction hasn't quite come through yet.
Check back in 5 years when Dahl is nobody and Zunino is an MVP candidate...

Butch Siemens's picture

Great photo of Mark Appel on the mound... who took it?

Butch Siemens's picture

Great photo of Mark Appel on the mound... who took it?

Add comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.