The next prospect up for review is Jonathan Singleton of the Philadelphia Phillies.
How Acquired: Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 8th round of the 2009 amateur draft.
Age as of 4/1/11: 19
Scouting Reports and Statistics
Lg Lev G R H HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SALL A 104 64 109 14 77 9 62 74 .290 .393 .479 .872
Hardball Times: #2 (PHI – 2011)
Deep Leagues: #39 (Overall - 2011), #5 (1B – 2011)
Bullpen Banter: #5 (1B – 2011)
MLB.COM: #30 (Overall – 2011)
Baseball America: #2 (PHI – 2011)
John Sickels: #2 (PHI – 2011) B+
Scouting Book: #12 (OF – 2011), #73 (Overall – 2011)
Top Prospect Alert: #2 (PHI – 2011)
Singleton was drafted by the Phillies in the 8th round of the 2009 draft, and signed for a $200K signing bonus. He signed quickly enough to get into 31 games at the Phillies Rookie League affiliate in the Gulf Coast, posting a .290/.395/.440 line with 11 extra base hits. He was sent to the Sally League for 2010, and definitely blew up. In 104 games, he hit .290/.393/.479 with 14 home runs, 77 runs batted in, and 9 stolen bases. He also drew 62 walks compared to 74 strikeouts.
There are two things that really stand out to me about Singleton:
One, he was 18 years old for the entirety of the Sally League season. He still finished 10th in the league in home runs, and was the youngest player in the top 50 of home runs. This was in spite of playing half his games in Lakewood, which has depressed homeruns by nearly 25% in previous years, and doubles by nearly 10% compared to the league average.
Two, he drew nearly a walk per strikeout (62 to 74) while hitting his 41 extra base hits.
That said, there are some concerns about him. From Mike Newman of Scouting the Sally:
After dominating the South Atlantic League to the tune of a .373/.460/.672 first half, Singleton’s numbers have fallen off a cliff leaving prospect fans wondering just how talented he is. Make no mistake Jonathan Singleton is a very legitimate prospect. However, I’m not quite sold on his being an elite talent.
Singleton’s calling card will be his bat, and he’s shown the ability to make at least average contact for a power hitter, with the chance for more as he gains experience and improves against offspeed pitching. He’s only started to tap into his raw power, and as he matures physically and learns which pitches to pull, he should develop plus power. His athleticism should allow him to be either an average or a tick below LF or a slightly above average 1B. He won’t be a base stealing threat, but he shouldn’t be a base clogger through his peak.
Overall, the first player who popped into my head when I started reading about Singleton was Ryan Howard, but I don’t think that’s really fair to Singleton. But he looks like he has a legitimate power bat, and could be pushed depending on how well he can adapt to left field, where he will play starting in 2011.
I think that Singleton is going to start 2011 at High-A, which would be in Clearwater. As such, his home run total could very well see a large spike based on his home park. He will still be young for the league (19), but I think he could progress quickly, especially if he can keep up his plate discipline.
Prediction for 2011
.290/.380/.550, 20 HR, 90 RBI, 10 SB (High-A)
Based on his progress, I think we could see him progress to AA in 2012, AAA in 2013, with the Majors a possibility by 2014. It could be a lot longer though if he can’t stick in an outfield slot, as 1B remains blocked by Howard until at least 2016.