Coming into spring, Jon Singleton had to know that if he was unable to perform in a manner similar to that which landed him in Houston, that he may spend some time in Fresno to start the season. Luckily for the Astros and their fans, Singleton is off to a hot start, going 5-for-10 with four doubles in the early going. The question now on everyone’s mind is can he keep performing at a similarly high level for the rest of camp and into the season?
Last week Ken Rosenthal wrote a piece detailing the roster battle between Jake Marisnick and Singleton, saying that only one player could make it to Minute Maid Park for opening day. If this is indeed the case, Singleton is winning the early rounds, while Marisnick has come on of late, going 3-for-10 with four rbi to go along with his plus outfield defense.
Evan Drellich caught up with Singleton after Monday’s game, and the first baseman talked about his new approach this season, “I take things a little more seriously. I get up, and I work with a purpose, and I’m much more focused when I do my work compared to just going through the motions. Before, I was just kind of trying to feel things out as they went along, and that didn’t work out so well.”
Whether it’s the competition for a spot on the roster or some great coaching, Singleton is saying the right things, and showing that he means what he says with his performance on the field.
Singleton, Marisnick, and the resurgent Robbie Grossman are tied for the team lead in at-bats, and each player is making them count. Grossman is 6-for-10 with a home run and three rbi, which could put more pressure on A.J. Hinch to add him to the 25-man roster ahead of Marisnick, who could receive regular playing time in Fresno. All of these factors seem to be working towards a happy ending for Jon Singleton when camp wraps up.
With the power potential that Singleton brings to the lineup, there is going to be a spot for him on the roster if he can just claim it. The next few days for the Astros include the Cardinals (Tues), Tigers (Thurs) and Nationals (Fri). The Cards and Nats have solid pitching staffs, while it’s tough to argue the same for the Tigers after The H-Town Bombers put up 14 runs on them over the weekend. All kidding aside, these three games should be a good measuring stick for Singleton and his new form of preparation.
If he can hit for an average closer to his minor league total of .279, Singleton could become a lethal force in the middle of the Astros lineup through at least 2018, but that’s getting a bit ahead of ourselves. For now, we’re just looking forward to seeing Jon Singleton make strides while wearing an Astros uniform.
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