25-Year-Old First Baseman – Houston Astros
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Singleton had a down year at Triple-A Fresno, hitting .202, albeit with 20 home runs. He did walk 88 times for a more respectable .337 on base percentage, but he's not going to get the call hitting at...
Jonathan Singleton Contract Information:
Signed a long-term deal with the Astros in June 2014. The deal covers five guaranteed seasons, with three club options. It has the potential to be worth $35 million, and features $10 million in guaranteed money.
Singleton, who was removed from the Astros' 40-man roster during the offseason, may find playing time at Triple-A Fresno difficult to come by, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports.
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Jonathan Singleton: MLB Games Played By Position
Jonathan Singleton: Minor League Games Played By Position
Jonathan Singleton Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Jonathan Singleton Defensive Stats
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Houston Astros Roster
MajorsAltuve, Jose (2B)
AAADowns, Darin (P)
AADavis, J.D. (3B)
A+Bostick, Akeem (P)
AAmador, Japhet (1B)
RookieAdcock, Brett (P)
Jonathan Singleton: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
After a disappointing 95-game audition with the Astros during his rookie year, Singleton struggled during spring training and opened 2015 with Triple-A Fresno. He spent most of last season there, hitting .254/.359/.505 with 22 home runs and 83 RBI, helping the Grizzlies win the PCL and Triple-A National Championships. The 24-year-old only logged 58 plate appearances with the Astros last season, as Luis Valbuena and Marwin Gonzalez were the preferred options at first base when Chris Carter was slumping. Singleton should get the opportunity to win the Astros' starting first baseman job during spring training with Chris Carter non-tendered in the offseason, the club may seek out a more reliable option altogether.
Singleton had a real chance to break camp as the Astros' starting first baseman, but failed to stand out (.154 spring batting average) in the competition against Jesus Guzman, Japhet Amador and Marc Krauss. The powerful lefty didn't let his spring slump bother him, however, as he smashed 14 homers in 54 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City before Houston finally called him up in June. A solo home run in his MLB debut gave Astros fans and fantasy owners a small taste of his power potential, but there were plenty of growing pains on display as the season progressed. The most alarming stats were Singleton's contact (57%) and strikeout rates (37%), and while he somewhat redeemed himself by exhibiting patience inside the batter's box (13.8% walk rate), a paltry .168/.285/.335 triple slash far outweighs the 14 home runs he hit in 95 big league games. Despite a poor rookie season, Singleton is still the favorite to open 2015 as the Astros' starting first baseman, but don't be surprised if he ends up back in the minors if his struggles carry over from the year prior.
After serving a 50-game suspension for marijuana use, Singleton made his season debut at Low-A Quad Cities in May and advanced to Triple-A Oklahoma City in less than a month. There, the 22-year-old left-handed hitting first baseman hit .220/.340/.347 with six home runs in 73 games. While it seems likely that Singleton will require more seasoning at Oklahoma City before the Astros bring him up, his recent addition to the Astros' 40-man roster indicates he is likely to make his major league debut at some point this year. Even after the lost development time, Singleton is just 22 years old, and he has very little blocking his path to becoming a regular in the middle of the rebuilding Houston lineup once he's determined to be ready for the big leagues.
Singleton overcame a brutal midseason slump to string together a pretty nice season, hitting .284/.396/.497 with 21 long balls as a 20-year-old in Double-A. As a first baseman, Singleton is going to need to hit home runs consistently, especially if his batting average is not going to be north of .300. He silenced some of his critics with his 2012 campaign, but he will need to build on the progress to cement his future. The Astros' move to the American League should not do much to change Singleton's long-term positioning: teammate Brett Wallace doesn't offer much in the way of defense, which means first base should belong to Singleton when he is ready to take the reins. That will likely come in September of 2013 or later, as Singleton was given a 50-game suspension in January for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program after testing positive for marijuana use.
Coming over to the Astros in the Hunter Pence deal, Singleton immediately became the top hitting prospect in Houston's farm system. He reportedly has excellent raw power, though that has yet to manifest itself through nearly 1,000 minor league at-bats. He needs to improve his pitch recognition a little bit (123 strikeouts in 449 at-bats), but improvement is possible and likely. Singleton is worth a flyer now in dynasty leagues, while the price is still low.
Singleton, who just turned 19-years-old last September, established himself as the Phillies' best offensive prospect behind Domonic Brown after hitting .290/.393/.479 with 14 home runs and nine stolen bases in 376 at-bats for Low-A Lakewood last season. The Phillies opted to move Singleton off first base and into left field this winter in order to give him a clearer path to the majors (the team clearly must feel he'll arrive in the majors before Ryan Howard's contract expires). Singleton reportedly looked good in his new position during Instructional League play and could move quickly through the minors. He has excellent power potential to go along with a stellar eye at the plate (62:74 BB:K ratio last year).