|Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 8th round of the 2009 Draft.|
|Bats: L Throws: L|
|Height: 6' 2" Weight: 215 pounds|
|Birth Date: September 18, 1991|
|2009 Team(s): Gulf Coast League|
|Positions/Games: 1B (25 G)|
|School: Robert A. Millikan HS (California)|
Why Singleton debuts at 30: Almost all of the holes that Jonathan Singleton has in his game can be corrected. There is no denying that he's a bit raw, but it's also impossible to overlook his natural attributes, especially his power. His swing can get a bit long and he tends to press at times rather than just going out and having fun, but maturity will help to erase those flaws and replace them with solid habits. The only below average points of his game that can't be fixed are his speed and arm, both of which will limit him to primarily being a first baseman and possibly learning to play a little outfield, but that would seem to be a stretch right now. The only question on Singleton is how he'll go about fixing the things that he can control in his game. Singleton has a big, strong build and is still developing physically, so there's no telling how much more muscle he may put onto his frame.
|Categories with numbers in white show areas where the player outperformed the average player in the their league during the 2009 season. Categories with numbers in black show areas where he was below the league average.|
Batting and Power: Power is Singleton's primary weapon. He's one of those intimidating type hitters who could use a whiffle-ball bat and likely still sling a pitch or two into the outfield. Singleton is very aggressive at the plate, which he'll need to control a little as he moves up the ladder, since he'll be seeing better pitches with more movement than he did in his high school days. It was somewhat surprising that Singleton had more walks (18) than strikeouts in his first season, showing that while he's aggressive, he knows what the strike zone is and has discipline enough to stay within the zone. He develops strong torque in his swing and needs to learn how to incorporate the lower part of his body into his swing a little more than he does now, but that's one of those fixable issues that he brought with him from high school. As mentioned, his swing can be a little too long and he is going to strike out a fair amount of times, but as long as he keeps up his plate discipline and uses his aggressiveness to his advantage, he'll be fine.
Baserunning and Speed: Singleton has below-average speed and tends to get a slow first couple of steps. Once he's on his way, he builds momentum quickly, but not enough to make up for his lack of quickness. His speed may get a little better as he continues to develop and work on the mechanics of getting a good jump, but he's never going to be known for having much speed.
Defense: The Phillies have already worked on improving Singleton's defense, especially in getting his footwork straightened out. He sometimes looked awkward around first base, but is showing improvement. He lacks the ability to make a lot of the tougher plays and his slow first step allows more balls to get by him than many first basemen, but some of that is going to disappear with improved mechanics. The Phillies don't seem inclined at all to move him anywhere other than first base and he should be able to develop into an average, non-flashy type of first baseman.
Projection: Singleton is going to need the instruction of extended camp and will likely start his season with Williamsport in the New York - Penn League in June. With the solid numbers that he put up in the Gulf Coast League, some may figure on him heading to Lakewood, but he really could benefit from the more personalized instruction that he'll get at extended camp and he can continue to develop as a member of the CrossCutters when their season opens. This is likely one of those players who will be a little frustrating at times, but all of a sudden, everything will click and he'll start pounding the ball and showing off his real talents. Patience is the watchword with Singleton; he's going to be good, we just have to be patient. The really surprising part of Singleton is that he almost looked like a better player in the pro ranks than he did as a high school senior and adjusted quickly to playing the pro game, which speaks a lot about his maturity and drive to get better.
Jonathan Singleton's career stats