Stanford righty Mark Appel, expected to be a first round selection in the 2012 MLB Draft, took some time to talk about this season. He's 1-2 with a 3.43 ERA. Previously selected in 2009 by the Detroit Tigers, Appel discussed not signing with the Tigers, as well as pitches he's been working on.
Call Of College
It was not too difficult of a decision, especially since they did not offer any money in the end. They drafted some guys who were being advised by Scott Boras in some early rounds and they knew they would be spending a lot of money. I guess if they didn't sign them, they might have had some money leftover to offer, but it still would have been tough to say no to a Stanford education and the Stanford experience, it is a pretty unique and special opportunity, and I am very pleased with the decision.
I was born in Houston, Texas and lived there until I was 12 years old, so my favorite team is the Houston Astros (although we have had some tough years of late). But my favorite memory as both a player and a fan comes from when I was living and playing in California. I was invited to attend the Houston Astros pre-draft workout. My whole family and a few of my childhood friends got to come out and watch me pitch a few innings in Minute Maid Park. I also got to meet one of my all-time favorite Astros, Craig Biggio. As both a fan and a player, it was a dream come true and really a great experience.
The Right Mix In 2010
I feel that everything is just coming together this season. I had never been a starter before in my career until this summer, which was a huge step into getting to where I want to be. I am definitely a long ways away and still have tons of work to do, but seeing some results from the work and effort I have put in is rewarding. The efficiency in my innings is what is most noticeable to me, and that is mainly because of the changeup and mixing up speeds. Coach Filter does a good job of calling the pitches and Zach Jones, our catcher has a lot of experience behind the plate, so it is great learning all I can from those guys just about different situations and the right pitches to make.
The offspeed stuff is coming along just fine. The slider has been one of my better pitches throughout high school and college and right now I'm working on location and setting hitters up with the fastball to punch them out with the slider. My changeup has improved greatly from last year. I threw it a lot this summer in the NECBL, and I now feel comfortable throwing it in any count. Having three pitches has allowed me to be efficient to let me go deep into games and keep the hitters off balance.
Taking The Ball
My preference is definitely to be a starter, but realistically, I am willing to take whatever role to help the team win games. I feel that I have showed the coaches that I can help the team best by starting, but it comes down to their decision. Both starting and relieving are a lot of fun in their own ways. Starting is great because you know when you are going to pitch and get to go out there and pitch 6, 7, 8 innings. But relieving is fun too because you have to be ready at all times, and when you go in (especially as the closer), it is a high intensity moment with adrenaline flowing.
Call Of The Field
I chose baseball [over basketball] because I love the game and I knew that I had a better opportunity to get into college and earn a degree with baseball and potentially be able to play at the professional level. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love both sports and sometimes wish I could be out on the hardwood, but I know that God has a plan for me here at Stanford, playing basebal
Make It Count, Make It Fun
Ever since playing little league baseball back in Houston, Texas, I have been blessed with great coaches that have helped shape me into the competitor I am. One of the most important things I have learned over the years that helps me out greatly is that you never know when your last game is going to be. Going out there and taking nothing for granted really makes the game fun and worth all the time and effort that I put into i
About That First Round Talk...
The first reaction I have is that God is good. Without the talents and opportunities he has blessed me with, I would not be where I am today, I know that for certain. It is an honor to be mentioned in the discussion, but I try not to think about it too much. So many things can change from now until the draft, so I don't want to get ahead of myself. I'm just going out there, taking it day by day, enjoying every moment of it, and I will let the results take care of themselves.