Jonathan Singleton Scouting Report (2010)
One of the 2010 season’s true breakout talents, Phillies first base prospect Jonathan Singleton has gone from relative unknown to virtually untouchable prospect in about a year. After dominating the South Atlantic League to the tune of a .373/.460/.672 first half, Singleton’s numbers have fallen off a cliff leaving prospect fans wondering just how talented he is. Make no mistake Jonathan Singleton is a very legitimate prospect. However, I’m not quite sold on his being an elite talent.
Physical Projection: At a stout 6’2″, 225 lbs., Singleton presents as a man among boys. With a barrel chest and well-developed quadriceps, he’s powerful and compact. However, he partners this explosion with fluid movement which not many prospects are able to do. As he continues to mature, Singleton will have to keep an eye on his weight as he has the body type to become thick. This is a double-edged sword as hard work could lead to more muscle mass, but a lack of consistent conditioning could cause him to pack on the pounds quickly. Another concern I have are his long arms and how they affect his swing.
Offense: During batting practice and in game action, Singleton had trouble handling fastballs above the belt. I can’t help but wonder if this is due to his extended arms leaving the barrel much lower in the zone than the average hitter. When compared to other left-handed hitters I’ve taped, his solid contact consistently comes from pitches at the knees while others tend to prefer pitches belt high. If I were an opposing pitching coach, I would repeatedly attack him middle-in and higher with the fastball as he seemed content to simply fight the pitch off. It’s something he will have to adjust for going forward.
Singleton’s stance is excellent as he sets up strong in the batter’s box and needs only a small rock to get his hands moving forward. He explodes at the pitch, trusting his hands enough to allow the baseball considerable time to travel deep into the batter’s box. Unlike other hitters who lunge at pitches limiting their power, Singleton already shows a solid understanding of keeping his hands back to achieve lift and backspin. He’s more of a line drive hitter at this point in his young career, but I’m confident in his power potential.
At the plate, he is much more selective than other prospects his age frequently working deep counts and fighting tough pitches off. At times, he bordered on overly patient to the point of being tentative. He was visibly frustrated whenever he missed “his” pitch and looked to be putting quite a bit of pressure on himself to perform.
Defense: Athletic for a young man his size, he has decent footwork around the bag. His wing span makes him an excellent target at first base and should allow him more range than similarly built players. Singleton’s arm was solid average, although I’m not sure how well his 3/4 arm slot would play in the outfield as his ball would have considerable tail. With average speed, he could probably be a serviceable left fielder early in his career, but he will need to be flanked by a plus centerfielder to account for Singleton’s likely lack of range.
Speed: In pulling home-to-first times from video, Singleton ranged between a 4.15 and 4.35. With his range of times, it’s probably fair to call him an average runner on a good day. He’s not going to be a base clogger (for awhile at least), but won’t be raking up the steals either as a 6/13 success rate already highlights.
The most complete hitting prospect I’ve seen this season, Singleton has the the chance to be an above-average major league hitter. In years past, I’ve had the opportunity to watch truly elite hitting prospects in Jason Heyward, Mike Stanton, and Jesus Montero and Singleton falls a bit short to me in comparison. I would compare him to a mini-David Ortiz in stature, swing, and statistical projection at this point which is a hefty compliment considering Ortiz’ prime years.
24 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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