The Milwaukee Brewers are calling up first baseman Jon Singleton, the team announced Saturday. On the surface, this might appear to be a minor transaction, but it's actually extremely interesting due to his journey. He rose quickly into a top prospect, signed a notable extension while heading to the majors, fizzled out and hasn't been in MLB since 2015.
The left-handed Singleton, now 31, was an eighth-round draft pick by the Phillies out of high school in 2009. In 2011, he was traded to the Astros' organization as part of the deal that sent Hunter Pence to the Phillies. By then, Singleton had worked himself into being one of baseball's best prospects. Heading into the 2012 season, he was ranked 27th on MLB.com and 34th on Baseball America.
During the 2014 season, it was announced that Singleton was set to be promoted to the Astros and then word also came down the pipeline that Singleton and the Astros had agreed to a five-year, $10 million contract extension. It was a weird match with the years and dollars. It ended up being the right move for Singleton. He would appear in 114 games for Houston in 2014-15, hitting .171/.290/.331 (76 OPS+) with 14 homers, 50 RBI and 151 strikeouts in 420 plate appearances.
He would remain with the Astros organization through the 2017 season. Then he was popped with a 100-game suspension for a third positive test for a drug of abuse.
Singleton wasn't in professional baseball for the next several years. He returned to play in the Mexican League (which is independent of Major League Baseball) in 2021. He joined the Brewers' organization for the 2022 season, spending all of it with Triple-A Nashville. In his 134 games, he clubbed 24 homers, but only hit .219. He also drew 117 walks, which helped push his on-base percentage to .375.
In 48 games with Nashville this season, through Thursday, Singleton hit .259/.387/.489 with eight doubles, a triple, 10 homers, 28 RBI and 23 runs. It's possible he'll end up being an asset to the Brewers' offense with his on-base chops and moderate power. If so, that would be quite the story.
Assuming Singleton does appear in game action at some point for the Brewers, it'll be his first MLB playing time since Oct. 2, 2015.
In a series of corresponding moves, Darin Ruf (right knee laceration) and Tyrone Taylor (right elbow strain) were placed on the injured list and Blake Perkins was recalled.