BOSTON – Welcome back to the show, Jon Singleton.
After almost eight years away from the MLB, including several seasons in the minors and a stint in the Mexican League, Singleton didn’t give up his hope of returning to the big leagues.
Singleton Had Shaky Stint With Brewers
He originally had been called up on June 3rd by the Milwaukee Brewers to help fill a void because some key players were injured. It was his first MLB game since October 2nd, 2015, when he made the start at first base against the Cincinnati Reds and batted sixth. He played in 11 total games for them and ended up going 3-for-29 with two RBI, before being designated for assignment.
That poor start was not enough to discourage him as he kept on fighting, and it was the Houston Astros who gave him his next opportunity. He signed a minor league contract with them on June 24th and ended up playing 33 games for their Triple-A affiliate, the Sugar Land Space Cowboys, where he had a .333/.446/.692 slashline, including 12 home runs.
Singleton Gets The Call & Responds
On August 8th, Singleton was called back up to the majors to see if his luck could turn around with the defending champs. His first two games were quiet, but on August 11th against the Anaheim Angels, he finally made some noise.
He ended up going 3-for-4 that day and had two home runs and five RBI. It was his first ever multi-home run game and was the most runs batted in he ever had for a single game as well.
So far with Houston, he’s played a total of five games, where he’s batting .167, with a .318 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage.
The MLB Saga Of John “Smoke” Singleton
Being raised in Long Beach, California, Singleton originally committed to playing baseball for his local college, the Cal State Long Beach Dirtbags. That all changed when he was taken by the Phillies in the eighth round of the 2009 MLB draft.
He ended up being a part of that organization for two years and was then part of a haul of prospects sent to Houston in a blockbuster trade for outfielder Hunter Pence. After the trade and at the end of the 2011 season, Singleton was viewed as the Astros’ top prospect according to Baseball America, as he would get the nod to play in the 2012 All-Star Futures Game.
He would spend the next two and a half seasons in the minors before being placed on the Astros 40-man roster at the end of the 2013 season. On June 2nd, 2014, just a day before he would make his major league debut, he signed a five-year contract worth up to $35 million, with $10 million guaranteed, which was the first contract extension signed by a prospect with no major league experience.
After the 2014 season, Singleton bounced around between the minors and majors, had a few failed drug tests that kept him from playing baseball, and just could overall never find his footing in the bigs.
He’s been given a second chance by the Astros.
With Michael “The Professional” Brantley still hurt, and now Jose Abreu being placed on the 10-day injured list, Singleton doesn’t have a better opportunity to prove himself than now. The question now will be if the 31-year-old can muster up some hits in key moments to help the defending World champs defend the title. If he can, he would be rewriting his career narrative with a perfect ending.