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Jonathan Singleton | 1B, Astros | Born:  9/18/1991

Jonathan Singleton tested positive for using marijuana.  He was busted for that twice, actually, and the after the second offense, baseball suspended him for the first 50 games of the 2013 regular season.  Now, I could probably spend the rest of this post writing about how idiotic it seems to slap such a lengthy suspension on a 21-year-old prospect for puffing a few doobs — after all, this is the same sport that hardly cares to notice when year after year ballplayers are arrested for driving while drunk.  The crime/punishment standards in these cases seem a tad ridiculous, but what do I know?  Anyway, before news of his suspension, Singleton was being tabbed as a 2013 impact arrival.  He’d spent all of 2012 at Double-A Corpus Christi, posting a full-season line at .284/.396/.497 with 52 XBH (21 HR).  He was all set to begin the year at Triple-A, on track for arrival in Houston sometime in the mid-to-late stages of the regular season.

Instead, though, Singleton didn’t see game action until late May, and rather than Triple-A competition, the Astros opted to ease him back into game form with a Low-A assignment in the Midwest League.  He pushed through the lower levels quickly and surfaced at Triple-A Oklahoma City in mid-June, but the touted slugger never was able to find a comfort level.  In 294 PA at OKC, Singleton batted .220/.340/.347 with just 6 homers.  His ISO dropped from .213 in 2012 to a miniscule .127 in 2013 — a pretty lousy figure for a supposed masher of a first baseman.  It was disappointing to see such a dramatic drop off, but I can’t help but think the time missed to suspension contributed significantly to the decline.

It’s easy to forget about prospects who fall from grace.  The hype machine tends to ignore those fantasy prospects who aren’t posting George Springer-type numbers.  But please don’t forget about Singleton.  The 22-year-old will likely return to Oklahoma City to begin 2014, but he’s still a talent capable of posting 30+ HR years at the big league level, and he’s not gonna hurt you on the AVG side of things.  A June arrival seems like the most likely scenario for Singleton — plenty of time to make a big impact in the fantasy game.  When discussing Astros prospects for fantasy purposes, the conversation is going to gravitate toward Springer, and rightfully so.  But it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Singleton outproduces Springer in Houston next season.

  1. TheNewGuy says:
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    Finally Scott arises out of the darkness!

    Chris Owings talk to me (ok enough of the Fonejacker talk). Hear he’s gonna be up imminently and should get a chance to start next year.

    Need to decide if I wanna get him on my farm now before he gets called up. Would have to cut Gallo, Crick or Alfaro. Not loving his lack of BB’s in the minors and it’s an OBP league, not big time power either it seems but a very good average. Worth adding over any of those dudes, partly due to proximity to the bigs?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @TheNewGuy: Nah, I like the upside of your other guys better.

  2. TheNewGuy says:
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    Also, frustrated about Bradley’s no show this year, and likely june call up next year (so not usable for me next year in my keeper). Therefore am thinking about shopping him this offseason, being the top pitching prospect in the minors should get peoples attention).

    Is it a good idea to shop him for a guy ready to start next year in the bigs, and would Taijuan (very similar pitching prospects) be a good target if I can get him?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @TheNewGuy: Frankly I don’t see the point in a Walker-for-Bradley swap… too early to say if either is gonna open the season in the bigs, so I wouldn’t work under the assumption that Bradley definitely wont & Walker definitely will. That said, shopping Bradley isn’t crazy… I’d just try to obtain someone established… a Jarrod Parker-type… maybe could even get Wheeler or Cole?

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Scott Evans: I’ll try one things for sure! Think particularly Cole will be OTB due to his recent tear, but Wheelers a good guy to try for.

        Still think im better off with Walker than Bradley though if I can do it. Isn’t it 1A for 1B, and seeing as Bradleys never gonna start the year and Walker likely will, isnt it worth a shot? Wasn’t expecting to see either of them for the whole year, but Walker’s late season call up makes it likely now imo.

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          @TheNewGuy: I agree with that premise, but it’s not a sure-thing. If you’re confident in it, though, see if you can get it done…

          • TheNewGuy says:
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            @Scott Evans: Sure ill see ya throughout the offseason and let ya know!

            You doing many pieces during the offseason?

            • Scott Evans

              Scott Evans says:
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              @TheNewGuy: Team by team MiLB top 10s every Wednesday … I’ll be around.

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Scott Evans: If I could get a bat like Fatt (Matt) Adams for him, would it be worth it? Think he’ll see regular PT next year (Beltran too expensive) and love his swing (not his figure).

        Loads of other bats I could target too, like even Billy Hamilton.

  3. Alan says:
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    Do you see Singleton becoming a more productive hitter than his teammate Chris Carter? Or are their MLB outlooks about the same?

    • Alan says:
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      @Alan:

      And I mean long term, not necessarily in 2014.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Alan: Similar ceilings, but Singleton seems more likely to achieve that ceiling…

  4. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    thank you ,nice read

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @AL KOHOLIC: Thanks, Al!

  5. Oz says:
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    Hey Scott, I’m 5 days away from winning my league (points, h2h.) I’m thinking about stashing some guys now for next year (We can keep 10 SP and 10 other players.) I’m already stashing Taveras, Archie Bradley, and Xander B. Anyone else you recommend stashing soon? For example I’m thinking of stashing Springer over keeping either Granderson or Hamilton. I also like Buxton/Sano but don’t know if it’s worth holding onto them. Ditto for Singleton. Thx man, appreciate all your help.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Oz: Springer would be top of the list, but frankly, I’d rather keep Grandy. Buxton & Sano are too far away… I think your trio of Oscar, Archie & Xander will suffice.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Oz: Congrats on winning, by the way! Hope it doesn’t unravel for you over the next 5 days…

  6. Mike

    Mike says:
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    Thanks for all the great posts Scott. What are your thoughts on Profar next year? He went from being a no brainer prospect to being somebody that seem to be torn on (I guess becuase of playing time) Personally, I traded for him in my keeper and think he is just as studly as he was 8 months ago…am I missing something?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Mike: Thanks, Mike. You’re not missing anything — he’s still the same guy & his potential remains enormous. Unfortunately, I still don’t see a steady MI role for him next season, unless Texas does some unexpected shuffling… he’ll get regular paying time or close to it, but it’s tough to ask a kid that young & raw to get comfortable in a utility role — they’re throwing in a whole other layer to the game for him, not knowing where he’s gonna be on the diamond on any given day. Not everyone possesses the Zobrist-type mentality to handle that well & continue to pound the ball the plate.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Mike: By the way, I really dig your content & I hope to see more of your work on the site as we move forward.

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        @Scott Evans: Thanks Scott. I really appreciate that…I see Avisail is doing his Avisail thing again tonight!

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          @Mike: So glad the Tigers shipped him out — they seemed content to ruin his development. They’ll be kicking themselves when Avisail outproduces Castellanos year after year after year for the next decade…

  7. English says:
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    Good stuff as always Scott. I still think Singleton surfaces pretty early next year, depending on how he starts. Looking forward to the off season posts.

    I’ve got a few guys lined up in my dynasty to trade for. What do youthink of Kennys Vargas, Richard Urena, BJ Boyd and Carson Kelly.?

    I probably like Urena most but Vargas has been on a bit of a tear the last few weeks.

    Appreciate your input as always.

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