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Houston Astros’ Jon Singleton Needs More Time in Triple A

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The Houston Astros are set to announce their opening day roster today, and power-hitting first baseman Jon Singleton may not be laughing as the sun sets on April Fool’s Day. After getting off to a blazing start this spring, Singleton has cooled dramatically, batting just .200 after Tuesday’s 8-5 win over Atlanta.

Singleton is currently 10-for-50 in camp, including six doubles, which were largely collected early, and 18 strikeouts, which have come as camp has progressed. He has more walks (5) than rbi (4), and a little time on the farm could do the 23-year old some good. While his spring strikeout rate (36%) is lower than what he came in at last season (37%), the sample size is smaller, and the K’s are coming in droves as of late.

Unfortunately for Singleton, his greatest strength, his power, is the same strength that many others on the Houston Astros roster also possess. Chris Carter, George Springer, Colby Rasmus and Evan Gattis are the heavy hitters, with Jason Castro and Luis Valbuena also providing some pop.

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If the team decides to leave Singleton off of the roster, that would likely solidify a spot for Jake Marisnick as the opening day centerfielder, with Gattis or Carter sliding over to play first. Marisnick is an excellent defender, and would give the Houston Astros a very solid, speedy defensive outfield with the former third round pick playing in between Rasmus and Springer.

If the Astros decide to start the season without Singleton in Houston, the next question will be “when will he be called up?” Well, that depends on a few things. The most obvious being how well he performs in the minors. If he forces the team’s hand with some outstanding play, then they will make room for him. The other avenue would be via an injury to Gattis, Carter or Rasmus. Carter and Gattis will likely split first base duties, and if one of them goes down, Singleton would be a logical fit. If Rasmus goes down in left field, Gattis or Carter could also slide into the outfield, which again would leave some playing time at first for Singleton.

Consistency will be the key for Singleton wherever he winds up. He doesn’t have to hit .300, or even .250 for that matter. If he can hit .220 to .230 and provide the power that he has already shown in the big leagues, then he’ll have a roster spot in Houston. By hitting so well early, to just .200 now took some bad at bats, and a slew of no hit days to make possible.

Jon Singleton will produce in the big leagues–it just may not be to begin the season. It’s still much too early to give up on the potential that he brings to the plate.

Next: Spring Training is Not Broken

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