Jon Singleton Needs to Stake His Claim as the Houston Astros First Baseman
2016 will be the third season in the Majors for Houston Astros first baseman Jon Singleton. It will also be, unfortunately, his last chance to show what he is made of at the Major League level, at least in Houston. The underperforming slugger has every opportunity to do so, but time is ticking with top prospect A.J. Reed knocking on the door. A former number one prospect himself, Singleton had (and still has) the potential to be a franchise player for the Houston Astros, and maybe we can see his true ability this upcoming season.
In the first game of the twenty-four-year old’s career in 2014, he struck out a pair of times and hit a homer, pretty much epitomizing Singleton’s rest of the season. He finished the year with 134 strikeouts in only 310 at bats, third on the team while only playing 95 games. He did, however, show the potential to be a decent power hitter.
He ended his rookie season with 13 long balls as well as 13 doubles. The main problem, besides the strikeouts, was his .168 batting average. Since he was such a highly touted prospect, he still played 90+ games to see if he could find his groove, but never ended up doing so.
Jon Singleton’s second season in the Bigs was more disappointing than the first. He started off by being optioned to Triple-A to begin the season in Fresno, after hitting only .200 in Spring Training. He played very well in Fresno, even having a game with 10 RBIs and eventually earning a call-up back to the Astros.
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Again, the first baseman did not show much of the enormous potential he possesses in this season. He played behind Chris Carter and Marwin Gonzales at first, and behind Evan Gattis at designated hitter. He only played in 19 games and hit only one dinger.
This next season for Singleton is huge, to say the least. With the best first base prospect in the league itching to get to the Major League level, Jon has to focus and play how he knows he can play. He has the ability to hit 30+ home runs and play solid defense, he just has not shown it all quite yet. If he can improve, he can be a major contributor to an already powerful and dangerous (and in my opinion, top 5) lineup that the Houston Astros have, especially as a lefty.
This is the last chance for Singleton, and I really think he has the chance to shine this upcoming season. The pressure of someone behind you ready to take your spot will either make or break a player, and it is up to Singleton to decide what happens. Singleton might be part of a trade package with the hopes of rejuvenating his career somewhere else.