Astros Rumors: Appel Working on “Teleball” by Mississippi Matt Smith March 27, 2014 KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Leaking out of Houston’s spring camp this week was the news that top draft pick Mark Appel is perfecting a never-before-seen pitch — one that could do no less than revolutionize the sport, say awed observers. “It’s insane,” said a source, who preferred to remain anonymous. “He controls the ball with his freaking mind. It rises up out of his pitching hand and floats to the plate on its own. He’s already getting all kinds of movement on it — now he’s working on spins. Once he’s got it down it’s going to be completely unhittable.” Though Christy Mathewson was said to be secretly working on such a pitch in his later years, no pitcher is known to have successfully executed it in a big-league game. “Leave it to the Stanford kid to pull this [stuff] on us,” said the source, who claimed that during practice Appel had struck out 37 consecutive batters, and then “willed” a ball into Jose Altuve’s pants.