Jon Singleton is rated the No. 7 prospect in the Houston Astros’ system and a regular member on Baseball America’s Top 100 list. The first baseman might join the Astros early this season if he gets off to a fast start in Oklahoma City.
“I’m not stressing about anything too much,” Singleton said. “I’m just trying to go out and have fun. That’s my biggest goal for this season, just have fun. If I do that my job is done.”
Most baseball analysts predicted Singleton would start the season in Oklahoma City for the same reasons star center fielder George Springer is with the RedHawks — the Astros can delay the start of their major league service-time clocks, which might save them millions years from now.
And Singleton didn’t help his cause to make the Astros’ opening day roster when he started spring training 0-for-16.
“He didn’t do very good because he was so excited, he tried to hit a home run in the upper deck on every swing,” said RedHawks hitting coach Leon Roberts. “That’s just part of being young, first time being in big league camp, the pressure of trying to earn a starting job.”
Singleton batted .250 the rest of spring training. He finished with a .154 average with one homer and four RBIs.
“Spring training is a time to get back into the swing of things,” Singleton said. “You have to learn to control your effort level. As the spring went on I managed that better.”
Singleton confessed during spring training that he has an addiction problem, something he must conquer to reach the majors. The left-handed slugger from Long Beach, Calif., was suspended the first 50 games last season after failing a marijuana test for the second time in his career.
Following his seven-week suspension last season, Singleton tuned up by smashing lower-level pitching during 17 games at Class A and Double-A. Following a promotion to the RedHawks, he was mired in a lengthy slump for one of the few times in his life.