Today, baseball fans find themselves entering day 16 of the MLB lockout with most news remaining at a standstill. But as we’ve seen so far this offseason, that hasn’t prevented minor league deals from being made by teams like the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Crew have sprinkled in a number of such signings over the weeks since the 2021 season has concluded. Just last week, they announced a trio of signings – C Jakson Reetz, OF Garrett Whitley, and RHP Moises Gomez – with all three receiving spring trainings invites.
Those signings were notable since the spring trainings invites mean you have players who have a small chance of making a major league roster in 2022. But they weren’t the only minor league signings that the Brewers made last week.
Of the two, Jon Singleton is the one who comes with actual major league experience. But you have to go six years back to find that experience, which last came during the 2015 season with the Houston Astros, the same team that released him in 2018. He hasn’t been a member of an MLB organization since.
But with his strong pedigree combined with some recent success, this makes for an interesting signing for the Brewers.
At one point, Singleton was one of the most highly regarded prospects in all of baseball. After being drafted out of high school in the 8th round of the 2009 draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, he would end up ranked as their second overall prospect by MLB Pipeline by 2011.
That same year he would end up as one of the key pieces in a trade that sent him to the Astros with Hunter Pence heading over to the Phillies. Singleton would become Houston’s top overall prospect in 2012, as well as the 44th ranked prospect overall in MLB.
That’s where the rollercoaster that is his baseball career would really begin. Singleton would end up testing positive for marijuana twice that year, resulting in a 50-game suspension to be served in 2013.
Once back on the field that year, Singleton would work his way up through the ranks, reaching the Triple-A level by the end of the season. And after a hot start to the 2014 season, the Astros ended up adding him to the major league roster.
But things never really materialized there. Over the next two seasons, Singleton would play in 114 games, slashing .171/.290/.331 with 14 homers and 151 strikeouts to just 60 walks. After spending some more time in the minors before being hit with another suspension in 2018, this one for 100 games, he would be released by Houston shortly thereafter.
That was the last most had heard of Singleton for the most part until just recently. This year, he played a stint for Diablos Rojos del Mexico in the Mexican League where he had some eye-opening numbers to the tune of a .321 batting average, a 1.196 OPS, and 15 homers in 46 games.
That was enough for the Brewers to take a chance on Singleton and it’s not hard to see why. He’s still 30 years old, he plays a position (first base) where the team could use some depth, and as just a minor league contract, it’s an extremely low risk move.
The Brewers haven’t been afraid to give a player a second chance in the past. Hopefully Singleton can get back on the track to resurrecting his MLB career with this move.