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Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:01am|
By Chris Hadorn
KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Player Prospecting series highlights the exploits of minor league baseball players, including top MLB prospects. Find out who'll make an impact, whether it's in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball game next week or in your fantasy baseball keeper league two years from now.
Jonathan Singleton is on track to be the regular Houston Astros first baseman someday, but the question is when. In Sunday's All-Star Futures Game, Singleton reached base in all four plate appearances by going 3-for-3 with a walk and a RBI.
Throughout his professional career, Singleton has shown an advanced grasp of the strike zone for his age, and there are many baseball people who feel he can develop into a top-notch slugger as he matures because of the raw strength in his 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame.
In 339 plate appearances at Double-A Corpus Christi this year, the 20-year-old is hitting .275 with 12 home runs, 18 doubles, 49 RBIs, 56 runs scored, a .401 on-base percentage and a .489 slugging percentage.
His numbers across the board are solid except for a slightly high strikeout rate (22.8 percent).
There's no question that Singleton is on the right track to developing into a potential All-Star at first base, but the Astros aren't necessarily in a position where they are forced to rush him. They currently hold the lowest winning percentage of any team in the majors. In the meantime, the Astros have former highly regarded prospect Brett Wallace to serve as a stopgap between the recently traded Carlos Lee and Singleton.
Since Singleton is a first baseman, there's a premium placed on his bat, so it doesn't make sense to eat away at his service time when his hitting is not yet the caliber of an average major leaguer at his position.
With Houston not primed to compete anytime soon, expect first-year general manager Jeff Luhnow to handle his prized first base prospect conservatively, and thus we might not see Singleton in Houston until he proves he can handle Triple-A pitching over a stretch of time.
For keeper league players, Singleton has a promising future, but his impact might not be felt until the second half of 2013. He's still relatively young, and there's no reason for Houston to accelerate his ascent when they are still in the early process of an extensive rebuild.