Time to Shine: Jon Singleton
The Astros are far from being a competitive team in the AL West, but at least now they’re giving playing time to guys that figure to bring them back to competitiveness. Houston signed first base prospect, Jon Singleton, to a heavily team-friendly deal. The deal is a five year, $10 million dollar contract with 3 additional club options. If the options are exercised, the deal could reach a maximum value of $35 million. He was also called up to the Astros and will make his debut today against the Angels.
Singleton has long been a hot prospect. He has been on Baseball Prospectus’ Top 101 list dating back to before the 2011 season, peaking at #25 in the 2013 version of the rankings. 2013 is also when he sat out the first 50 games due to a second failed drug test. It wasn’t for PEDs. Earlier this year, Singleton frankly discussed his battle with drugs and alcohol with the Associated Press. After returning to the lineup after his suspension, Singleton struggled to find his groove. He posted a .220/.340/.347 slash line in 73 games at AAA Oklahoma City. This year has been an entirely different situation. In 54 games he’s put up much better numbers. His slash line this year is .267/.397/.544 with 14 home runs.
Before everyone gets all crazy and goes out to pick up Singleton, you need to remember that he has a ton of swing and miss in his game. Last year he struck out in 30.3% of his plate appearances. He has brought it down to 21.7% this season, but I expect that will head back up to the 30% range when he hits the big leagues. Of course, if your looking for power, Singleton definitely will bring that to the table. His home ballpark will certainly help with the power numbers. Left-handed batters (like Singleton) have a 3.34% home run percentage at Houston’s Minute Maid Park which is the 5th highest in Major League Baseball.
Most likely Singleton will be snatched right up in your league. If you need power and can deal with the strikeouts, but all means go get him. I own him in a deep keeper league with minor league rosters and I’m going to keep him down on the farm until I am sure he can handle the majors.