The rebuilding process is never easy. For the Houston Astros it has been excruciatingly difficult. Just over a decade ago, the team was on the verge of its first World Championship, only to lose to the Chicago White Sox. Since then things have gone terribly wrong for the club. Free-agents have left, and veterans have been traded in order to stockpile young players for the future.
Last year the first step in the rebuild took place with the promotion of Jared Cosart. He showed that he can be a top of the rotation starter the team can rely on. Early this season the second step in the rebuild took place with the promotion of George Springer. While the 40-40 player struggled upon his promotion, he has become a threat in a listless lineup that lacks punch.
As June began, another top prospect Jonathon Singleton who was acquired in the Hunter Pence deal along with Cosart, was called up. In Singleton, the Astros have added another imposing threat to the lineup that can soon go from the punching bag of the AL West, to one of the best in the league.
Entering the season, Singleton was ranked as the top minor league first base product and he certainly delivered. Through his first 54 games, he produced 14 homeruns with a .941 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage). These numbers allowed him to be among the leaders in the Pacific Coast League in both categories. In his minor league career he is a .279 hitter with 75 long balls. Had he not twice been suspended for drug abuse, his power numbers would be even stronger. Even though he strikes out at a high rate like many power hitters, Singleton’s exceptional eye helps him to draw his share of walks.
With all of his time in the minor leagues, Singleton will not turn 23 until season’s end. The Astros have showed their faith in him by signing him to a five year deal with guaranteed money upon his promotion. He lived up to his expectations on day one by homering in his first game and driving in two.
The “killer B’s” lineup was all the rage in the 90’s and early 2000’s in Houston. Since then the Astros offense has been lifeless. The new dynamic duo of George Springer and Jon Singleton have the skills not only to be feared, but lift a franchise back into respectability.
Statistics Provided by Baseball Reference
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