Jon Singelton Has Been Disappointing Thus Far

It has only been 155 plate appearances since his call up, but not much about Jon Singleton’s first 38 games in the majors has been impressive. He certainly has power, as evident by the six homers he has hit and the strength he has shown on those homers, but even his ISO of .176 is uninspiring.

The big concern and what has been the big downfall to Singleton’s rookie campaign thus far has been the astronomically high strikeout rate. There was some home that he had readied himself against strikeouts this year, as evident by his lower 21% strikeout rate at triple-A, but a 37% mark is as concerning a number as we could have expected.

Nobody in baseball has a lower zone contact percentage than Singleton, with a minimum of 150 plate appearances. His 68% mark has him behind the likes of George Springer, Brandon Hicks, Mark Reynolds, and B.J. Upton, who all range from his mark to 73%. Making contact on just two thirds of balls in the zone is deeply concerning, possibly even more concerning than the strikeout rate in and of itself.

The good news is that ZiPS and Steamer expect at least close to league average production for the rest of the year from Singleton, which would be a big step up from what we have seen from him to date. As someone who grabbed him on the waiver wire upon his call up, I was expecting and hoping more as I dodged injuries to Brandon Belt and at the time Jose Abreu. At this point, what we are essentially hoping for out of Singleton for the remainder of the year is a Pedro Alvarez-lite, ala Juan Francisco.

To keep on top of the good news is that he has hit lefties pretty darn well so far. He has a 171 wRC+ against southpaws so if he rights himself against righties then he could certainly be as good or better than the projection systems expect. In redraft leagues there is not much reason to hold onto Singleton, but in keeper leagues where you are able to hold onto him at the free agent price he is a guy I am at least holding onto and hoping on.

I like what he has done against lefties, I like that he is going to get every chance to prove he can stick, and I like that the projection systems have a bit of faith in him. What I absolutely don’t like is that Singleton hasn’t looked too much different than a former Astro first baseman that was also once highly touted but saw strikeouts take him off the beat and path in Brett Wallace.




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Ben has been at RotoGraphs since 2012 and focuses most of his fantasy baseball attention toward dynasty and keeper leagues.


11 Responses to “Jon Singelton Has Been Disappointing Thus Far”

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  1. Cuck City says:

    …there was some *hope that…

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  2. Spelling Police says:

    Misspelling the player’s name in the title of the article seems like one of those mistakes that just shouldnt be made.

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    • John Wright says:

      I know I’m piling on, but there are even more examples of awkward phrasing:

      “as evident by” as opposed to “as evidenced by” (or better yet “as demonstrated by”)
      “readied himself against strikeouts”
      “rights himself against righties”
      “keep on top of the good news”

      Constructive criticism: Search Google Ngrams or Trends (or just do a generic Google search) if you aren’t sure how to phrase something. You can see how other writers have used a phrase over time.

      The bigger problem I have is that this article doesn’t tell me much even when I get past all of that. From a reader’s perspective, either your league is shallow and/or a redraft, or you’re already (perhaps painfully if you own him) aware that Singleton is off to a slow start. And you probably know that holding onto a top prospect is a decent long-term bet. Perhaps you know that thanks to other excellent articles that have appeared on these same virtual pages.

      There’s really not much else here to see. Unless there’s an underlying scouting reason not mentioned in the article, 44 PAs is a ridiculously small sample for saying Singleton can hit lefties, although I guess it’s good news that the Astros are playing him so often and not platooning him. He strikes out a ton, but the article acknowledges that this was already a concern.

      This isn’t strictly a criticism of the author because everyone makes spelling and grammar errors, and not every analysis piece is going to be groundbreaking. I’m just “expecting and hoping more” when I come to RotoGraphs and see a whole article dedicated to one player.

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  3. Clark Kent says:

    > saw strikeouts take him off the beat and path in Brett Wallace
    > beat and path in Brett Wallace
    > beat and path

    Seriously?

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  4. mario mendoza says:

    Rough night, Ben? :P

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  5. mario mendoza says:

    ROS projections don’t count as good news in and of themselves.

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  6. Proofread says:

    How are there so many mistakes in one article? It’s too bad such an error ridden article is on this quality site.

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  7. CoolGuy says:

    You guys are all really mean. Please go be mean somewhere else.

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  8. jgtx says:

    “beat and path” is just so egregious, dictation software? Hopefully

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