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Welcome To The Show, Jon Singleton

June 3, 2014
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SiNGNATiON

On June 2nd, the Houston Astros finally, at long last, made the call to the Oklahoma City RedHawks and brought up slugging first base prospects Jon Singleton, to not only provide some stability at first base, but also move on in the organization’s rebuilding effort they began back in 2010.

Some wonder why Singleton even stayed in Triple A this long. Probably due to the atrocity that currently resides at first base on the 25 man roster. Between Chris Carter’s on and off again contact, Jesus Guzman’s limited playing time, and Marc Krauss’ incompetence at the plate, fans have been clamoring for Singleton’s call up for a long time. Fact is, the three major league first base options are hitting a combined .191 with 14 home runs between them. For some perspective, George Springer, the Astros’ other power hitting rookie sensation, launched 10 home runs in a 2 week span by himself, including his historic 7 HR in 7 games stretch.

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#SpringerDinger

Singleton hit 14 home runs with 43 RBI at Triple A Oklahoma City, to go with a line of .267/.397/.544 in 195 at bats. He drew 42 walks, and hit an impressive .309 average against left handed pitchers, which probably means there won’t be a platoon role for Singleton in the big leagues. Astros manager Bo Porter is a man who loves his matchup, sometimes to a fault, but all indications point to Singleton receiving first base all to himself.

To top it all off, the Astros signed Singleton to a landmark 5 year, $10 million contract with 3 team options, where it can be a total of $35 million if all 3 options are picked up. Singleton is the first minor league prospect to sign such a contact without ever stepping foot on a major league diamond. This type of contact offer is not uncommon, however; the Astros offered similar deals this past off-season to the aforementioned Springer,  3B Matt Dominguez, and OF Robbie Grossman.

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"Playing with my money is like playing with my emotions!"

Around MLB, teams are offering these contracts to their prized prospects, most notably Pittsburgh’s Gregory Polanco rejecting a 7 year,  $25 million contract earlier this year in spring training. The Astros effectively buy out Singleton’s arbitration years, as opposed to Springer, Dominguez, and Grossman who will have their salaries increase with adequate performance after their 3rd full season of major league service. Instead of having a gradual performance based pay raise, Singleton gets his salary guaranteed.

With or without the contract,  Singleton is only just the next piece in the effort to bring Houston Astros baseball back to prominence.

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