Appel recovering after appendectomy

Astros prospect expected to be ready for Spring Training

By Robert Emrich / | January 31, 2014 7:53 PM ET

Mark Appel, the top overall pick in last year's Draft, is expected to be ready for the start of Spring Training, despite undergoing an emergency appendectomy on Thursday, the Astros announced.

"Mark will be fine," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told on Friday. "He will report to camp on time. Once he arrives in Spring Training, we'll see where he is at health-wise and take it from there. We anticipate that he will either be ready to work out at the start of camp or very close to ready."'s No. 17 overall prospect made his professional debut on July 5, a little over two weeks after signing a $6.35 million contract. Appel gave up two runs over five innings in two appearances for short-season Tri-City before being promoted to the Class A Midwest League. There, the Stanford University product went 3-1 with a 3.82 ERA in eight starts for Quad Cities before being shut down after his Aug. 25 start.

One of 24 non-roster players invited to the Astros' Major League camp in Kissimmee, Fla., Appel is expected to pitch a full load this season. The team has not given any indication where the 22-year-old right-hander will open the year.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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