As you are hopefully well aware of by now, Houston Astros top prospect Jonathan Singleton has been absolutely killing it in Triple-A. The powerful first baseman has a slash line of .343/.429/.776 with six doubles and a triple in the 2014 season. His seven home runs and 23 runs batted in are both tops in the Pacific Coast League.
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According to Evan Drellich, the first day the Astros would have feasibly entertained the idea of calling up Singleton was April 19. He does a great job of explaining it the reason why in his article, but it was basically the same reasoning George Springer took so long to call up — money and years of team control.
Astros fans didn’t exactly need a great reason to beg for Jon Singleton’s promotion to an anemic Astros offense, but Drellich giving a date sent twitter into a frenzy.
It’s no surprise fans are clamoring for the arrival of Singleton. The platoon of Marc Krauss, Jesus Guzman and Chris Carter at first base is anything but fun to watch. However, as much as it hurts to watch Carter strike out in 47% of his at-bats so far this season, it is way too early to bring up Singleton.
First, at 22, Singleton would be the youngest player on the Astros. That’s not always a bad thing, but it’s not like he is 24 like Springer. Calling up particularly young players before they are absolutely ready can sometimes have bad results (see: Lyles, Jordan).
Age aside, the simple fact of the matter is that Singleton does not have the track record yet to be called up. This is a guy who hit .220 against these same Triple-A pitchers last season. Yes, Singleton is absolutely tearing up those pitchers now — but it has only been 16 games. I think the Astros need to let this guy get his feet under him before bringing him up to face big league pitching.
All of this is not to say that I don’t think Singleton can and will make a huge impact on the Astros. I am very high on Singleton, and still was last year in the midst of a tough year. By all accounts, Singleton has cleared up his off-field issues from last year and appears to have lost easily 20 pounds from when I saw him in OKC last season.
Singleton’s time will come and when it does, I want to see him stick in Houston. Astros fans should hope the front office gives him at least another month or two to build up his confidence and work on any remaining holes in his swing before he has to come up and face the best pitching in the world every day.