CHIPALATTA

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It’s just time: End The Jonathan Singleton Experiment


It’s just time! Time for the Jonathan Singleton Experiment to end. Long live The Experiment. And, the Hunter Pence trade.

Perhaps he was over-heralded all along, but the Astros have been calling Singleton the future at first base since he came over with Jarred Cosart and Domingo Santana in the Pence trade back in 2011. As much as he was declared the next great hitter, Singleton has hit only .274 in the minors with decent power, but as many strikeouts as hits.

Now, with the Astros positioned to contend for the first time in over a decade, Houston is searching for that stability at the right-side corner. Frankly, whoever starts the season there may not be the same player who ends the season there.

Nonetheless, the organization owes it to the team to pencil in someone who has a chance to help the club out of the gate.

Unfortunately, Jonathan Singleton is not that guy.

At 24, Singleton is still likely to have some marketability for another team, though a team may not bite this late in spring training, especially on a trade of substance.

The Astros do have options, though keeping Singleton in the organization has its potential plusses and minuses. Regardless who gets the nod on opening day (Tyler White seems the logical choice at this point), Singleton should begin the season in one of three places: Corpus Christi, Fresno or in another organization.

Not in Houston.

So what happened with Singleton? He was tabbed by virtually every writer, prognosticator, predictor and scout to make it big in the big time. Everyone missed. At least up to now.

Sometimes, players just miss. Enter Brett Wallace, another top prospect, first round pick who faired no better in the majors. He had multiple chances and is finally making the most of it with the Padres…at age 29.

Of course, Singleton had that drug issue and hasn’t looked like the same prospect since returning. And then there’s the approach to the game, or at least the perception that he comes to spring training with a lackadaisical attitude.

Then, it’s possible he’s the late bloomer. Phil Nevin and Wallace (still to be determined) along with others have taken years to develop and hit their stride.

And, then, it’s possible Singleton will never get there.

Regardless, the 2016 experiment should end, affording the Astros, manager A.J. Hinch, White and others to prep for a strong start out of the gate.

What say you?

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About Chip Bailey

Chip Bailey lives in Colorado Springs, CO, and is an author and former sports editor and sportswriter who has followed the Astros for more than 40 years. A native of Natchitoches, La., Chip enjoys watching baseball at most any level, especially pro and college. Several years ago, he worked as an associate of Pastor John Bosman, who enjoyed giving nick names to his staff. He came up with Chipalatta, and it’s stuck.

6 comments on “It’s just time: End The Jonathan Singleton Experiment

  1. Billy Castillo
    March 27, 2016

    What happened with Singleton? Easy…he was yet another example of Ed ‘The Mole’ Wade helping out his then-former employer under the guide of helping *us* out. Singleton was a typical Phillies minor leaguer…all smoke and no fire (pun intended) . Cut bait with him now…he’ll never be anything more than a poor man’s Chris Carter. Okay, maybe that was a bit harsh…towards Carter.

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  2. Mr. Bill
    March 27, 2016

    Looking at the lack of return we got for all the MLB quality players we unloaded in the bad years, it should not be surprising we didn’t get anything that worked out for us from the Pence trade either. We traded Roy Oswald for Happ, Gose/Wallace, & Villar. We traded Lance Berkman for Melancon,& Paredes, We traded Brad Lidge for Bourne, Geary, & Costanzo. And then we turned around and traded Bourne for Schaefer, Oberholtzer, Paul Clemens & Juan Abreu. While some of these players netted us some trade fodder indirectly, none of them, with the short-term exception of Bourne and Melancon, ever did anything particularly notable in an Astro uniform.

    That is why I personally am always skeptical of trades, and would much rather concentrate on raising up the prospects we have. But trades are a fact of life. Singleton is what we got. I hope he is just a late bloomer, and is on the cusp of getting it together [for another team, because his opportunity here passed him by when he could not displace the disappointing Chris Carter]. Unfortunately Jon has shown neither us or any potential suitor team anything promising since coming back from rehab. Jon is just one more in a long, long line of disappointments from the trades that sent our last round of great players away.

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  3. Dan P
    March 27, 2016

    Chip – glad to see you back with such a topical subject and with the correct opinion.
    Singleton has run his course and frankly both Tyler and Reed should be considered in front of him now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 1oldpro
    March 27, 2016

    I have tried to not pile on. I said all along that his minor league BA indicated he was a minor league hitter. But here is the real deal
    Singleton took down $3.5million in the last two years, mostly playing in the minor leagues. The Astros owe him $6million more for the next three seasons. The Astros made a bad mistake and Singleton’s performance is what made it a mistake.
    He’s fat, and he gives no indication he can hit major league pitching. The Astros have done everything they could have done for him but he remains a guy who makes big money compared to any minor leaguer and he needs to be separated.
    The Astros could try to cut bait and see if he has any pride at all by offering him his release and his 2016 salary, thus letting him go and try somewhere else where he might think the grass is greener. If he refuses this and just goes to the minors in the Astros organization for the money for the next three years, then it means that it is all about the money and not about the baseball.
    I hope Luhnow has learned his lesson the way Singleton, Grossman and Dominguez turned out. No more pre-major league salaries!

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  5. Zanuda
    March 27, 2016

    This ship has sailed. Time to cut bait, no fish here.That dog won’t hunt. Ok, maybe a few too many but you get my point.
    As to Mr Bill’s comment on trades, those were like a bad dream. I just don’t care for the “trade route” unless it’s in our favor and I haven’t seen too many of those. I want to see the homegrown talent out there if they can cut the mustard. We’ve stocked the farm with some potential major leaguer’s. Let’s see how things play out and then make changes when the situation calls for it, not for the sake of trading.

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  6. Tim
    March 28, 2016

    I believe Big Jon still has options left so I see no need, at this point, to release him. I agree with another poster a few blogs back in sending him to CC as Reed should be and will be the starting 1B in Fresno. Once Singleton is out of options then they can release him, but they might as well hang onto him in the minors, see if he can increase what little trade value he has and then try to package him in a trade.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on March 27, 2016 by in Astros.
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