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MLB Draft 2012: Mark Appel Makes His Case for 1-1

At least, that's what FanGraphs is hearing. Eno Sarris has a very nice article over there on Appel and the importance of his changeup to his effectiveness.

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"The changeup has become a go-to pitch for me this year - not necessarily for strikeouts, but for a change of pace, to get strikes in any count," Appel pointed out, and the pitch has certainly gotten better results as the season has progressed.

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I like that, along with his size and fastball velocity. But, the problem with his secondary pitch that Sarris details later on is more worrisome.

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He does have another breaking pitch. When asked if it was a slider, curve, or slurve, Appel admitted the pitch sometimes looked more like a slider and sometimes more like a curve, but was "more slurvish than anything." He also pointed out that it was the pitch he's thrown the longest, other than his booming fastball. Every year, he gets a better feel for it, but the changeup is still the go-to non-fastball pitch.

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That's probably the biggest reason why Appel hasn't been getting Strasburg-like hype. He's going to need to work on that pitch in the minors and refine it, which will lengthen the time he spends down there. I'm not sure Kevin Gausman or anyone else in this class of pitchers has a brighter future than Appel, but that doesn't mean I'm super-excited about him. Yet.

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For more on the MLB draft, check out our draft Story Stream here. For more on the Houston Astros,check out The Crawfish Boxes.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.