Mark Appel could make professional debut in July

Scott Halleran

The No.1 overall pick reported to the Astros spring training facility on Sunday to begin a throwing program.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft Mark Appel could make his professional debut during the first week of July, Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle is speculating.

Appel reported on Sunday to Kissimmee, FL, the spring training home of the Houston Astros. The right-hander has not pitched in three weeks, so he will begin a throwing program after meeting with Astros trainers and the team's pitching coordinator, Smith notes.

Houston general manager Jeff Lunhow told Smith that the team wants Appel to feel comfortable with his schedule before he takes the mound in a game. Appel will likely throw a few innings in simulated games over the next ten days, then report to short-season Tri-City.

If the schedule holds, Appel will likely make his professional debut the first week of July with Tri-City, then work his way up through the system. Lunhow told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com that Appel is expected to make a stop Low-A Quad Cities before hopefully reaching Double-A Corpus Christi by the end of the year.

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