Before I did the pitching rotation Astros in Fantasy post, I wanted to see them each pitch one time in spring training games. With that decision, it’s time to get to my sleeper pick of the year. Drum roll please, my sleeper pick for the 2015 MLB season is Jon Singleton. No fireworks or applause? Before you click the x to close this post, give me a chance.
Why does a former top prospect become a sleeper?
Singleton joined the Astros via trade with tons of promise, and quickly became a player to watch for the Astros. He missed some time in the minors after testing positive for marijuana. Singleton was offered a contract extension while in the minors in 2014, which he signed, and was in the Astros uniform the next game. With a player who test positive for a drug like marijuana, you have to ask yourself why he would risk getting caught?
Part of Singleton’s issues in 2014 was not with his batting-eye, but probably a feeling that he had to prove to the fans that he deserved the contract extension. He was automatically inserted into the meat of the Astros lineup, and the pressure to produce got in the way of playing the game he loves. People who get the opportunity to be in Florida during spring training say that Jon Singleton seems different this year. Maybe he realized that this is a game, and will be able to have fun playing again.
With as bad as 2014 was, there is nowhere else to go but up from here. He’s a sleeper because of his 20+ homer potential and the batting average he showed in the minors.
What happened in 2014?
As you can see, Singleton’s rookie year didn’t go as planed. I did not include Singleton’s first and last minor league totals into the average. As you can see, his stats dropped across the board from his minors stats. This is normally the case because of the improved talent in the majors, but a big drop like this is hard to explain. While his batting average was terrible, he almost had a decent on-base percentage. He strikes out a lot, but also walks his fair share of the time.
Jon Singleton’s Fantasy Rankings
Needless to say, Singleton’s ranking is very low. According to fantasy pros, Singleton’s ranking is 316 overall. Unless you are in a 20-team league, he is probably not draftable. However, keep and eye on him at the beginning of the season. If he gets off to a hot start, jump on him.
If you are in a 20-team league, expect to jump on him in the 16th round for his power potential. In AL only leagues, if he gets the first base job, he is worth a spot on your bench if he starts hitting.
Jon Singleton’s Projections
Projection below is from Fantasy Pros,
This is a consensus projection from five different sources. The number of at-bats in the projection above tells me that most people either think that Singleton will get hurt, or is unable to keep the hold on first base. Either way, the outlook on Singleton is not a positive one right now.
My Projections: .230/ 17 HR/ 56 RBI/ 5 SB
What others are saying about Singleton?
From Razz Ball
"“I want to write a Singleton sleeper post, but time will tell if I have the opportunity after the rankings. He already signed a five-year deal with the Astros, so he’s not being demoted. His splits are bizarre; he hit over a hundred points higher vs. lefties. That’s bizarre because he’s a lefty. Yeah, that makes no sense, but it tells me he’s not a platoon guy. He’s just a guy that was struggling. Okay, he’ll hit for a .220-ish average, who cares? Random Italicized Voice, he’s 23 years old and he could hit 35 homers. Hayzeus Cristo, finally a reason to listen! (UPDATE: Sadly, or sad emoji if you’re under 16 years old or over 75 years old, Singleton looks ticketed for the minors to start the year, or until there is an injury.) 2015 Projections: 31/15/39/.238/1″"
From CBS Sports, “To be honest, I believe the only competition I have is myself,” Singleton said. “I feel like I’m the only person who can prevent myself from reaching the potential I need to reach or getting out of the game what I need to get out, but if I prepare and I work and I leave it all out there, there’s nothing really else to worry about.”
If Jon Singleton does start the year in the minors, he will probably not be worth taking up a bench spot. Monitor his hitting and defense in spring training, because if he falters, Evan Gattis will probably welcome taking the first base mitt instead of chasing balls in the outfield.
Singleton has broken the fantasy circle of trust, but he could be late round steal or free agent gold if he shows his potential. Many people will be sleeping on Singleton this year, so keep an eye on him while you sleep.
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