Just as the Houston Astros organization thought they were starting a new beginning with their transition to the American League, a suspension hits one of their promising young stars. Jonathan Singleton, who is the Astros top ranked minor league prospect according to MLB.com’s Prospect Watch, was suspended for the first 50 games of the 2013 MLB season after failing a second minor league baseball drug test.
Singleton was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 8th round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft out of Long Beach, California. In 2011, the Phillies tried to move him to left field in order to avoid a future position battle between him and current-first baseman Ryan Howard. After a few setbacks in his defensive play, the Phillies decided to move Singleton back to first base, where he is better defensively.
Singleton was traded to the Astros as a major chip in the Hunter Pence trade. The 21-year old prospect is supposed to play in Triple-A this season after hitting .284 with 21 home runs and driving in 79 runs for Double-A Corpus Christi last season. He is currently ranked as the 25th top prospect across the league and is the top ranked first basemen in all of baseball.
Singleton released a statement today in which he revealed that he tested positive for marijuana. The statement was was issued by Singleton through his agents. Singleton also had this to say in the statement as well, “I accept the penalty and take full responsibility for my actions. I apologize to my parents, the Houston Astros and Jeff Luhnow.”
Due to the suspension and lack of at-bats, it is unlikely that the MLB will see Singleton for another year or two; but then again, with the way that the Astros have been playing over the past couple of seasons, Singleton may be seeing a major league roster sooner than people think.