The Houston Astros continue to prove that a team doesn’t have to be in the midst of a division race to play exciting baseball.
With the majors’ second-best farm system, according to Baseball America’s 2014 organization rankings, the Astros have thus far made 2014 the year of the young phenom, first with the long-awaited arrival of George Springer and most recently with the debut of the franchise’s third-ranked prospect and the top first base prospect in the game, Jon Singleton. The Astros called up Singleton and consequently signed him to a long-term deal in time for him to lead them to an easy 7-2 win over divisional foe, the Los Angeles Angels, who currently rank second in the AL West.
After striking out in his first big league at bat, Singleton finished the game 1-for-3 with two RBIs and his first career home run, a solo shot in the eighth inning. Boosted by yet another quality start by starting pitcher Collin McHugh — a journeyman who became one of the Astros’ better surprises pieces after coming from the island of misfit toys to dominate in his first several starts — Singleton’s strong debut also came on the heels of fellow hyped rookie Springer earning the AL Rookie of the Month award for May. While one game is hardly an indication of his potential and the growing pains he could face as he adjusts to playing in the majors, there is little doubt that Singleton has a chance to make an impact for the Astros along the same lines as his close friend Springer.
Though it’s still just the beginning of June, the chances of the Astros achieving divisional success this year are slim. However, wins like this one put top talent like Singleton on display. Rebuilding is the name of the game in Houston now, and that’s one game the Astros will keep winning in the future.