The first-base position appears to be one of the most unsettled as Astros Spring Training approaches. Brett Wallace and Jesus Guzman are probably the frontrunners, but a few more candidates could work their way into the picture. One of those players is Jonathan Singleton.
Singleton’s disappointing 2013 season has been well chronicled. I will be the first to admit that Jonathan’s indiscretion that resulted in a 50-game drug suspension knocked him down a couple of rungs on my list of Astros prospects. I began to wonder if he was mature enough to succeed on a long term basis. But, despite the setbacks, mlb.com still views the 22-year old as the top 1B prospect in all of baseball.
In a video interview conducted at the MLB Rookie Development Camp, Singleton speaks about how he never got into a groove in 2013 and had trouble catching up and making adjustments after the suspension. He seems to have gained some humility and maturity over the past 12 months.
A successful winter in Puerto Rico may have helped Singleton get his confidence back. In 35 games with Cangrejeros de Santurce, Jonathan blasted a league high nine homeruns while posting a .933 OPS.
Singleton will be in big league camp with the Astros next month to give Astros fans a glimpse into the future. If he continues to show advancement in his game, Jonathan could make Brett Wallace expendable sooner rather than later. But, even if he has an outstanding spring, I don’t expect Singleton to be called up until later in the summer. Marc Krauss and Japhet Amador may be considered better short term solutions while the young prospect gains valuable experience in the minors.