Prospect Rankings No. 24: Jonathan Singleton

Posted by Ben Seal, Wed, August 05, 2009 01:00 PM | Comments: 6
Minor Leagues, Posts, Prospecting, Top 25 Prospects from 2009

Jonathan Singleton, 1B

Born: 9/18/1991 in Lakewood, California

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 220

Over the past several years the Phillies scouting team has done an excellent job producing first-round talent in the later rounds of the draft. Dominic Brown (Round 20, 2006) and Michael Taylor (Round 5, 2007) both look like upper-echelon talents now despite being passed over for several rounds when they were drafted. It looks like the Phillies might have struck gold again with Singleton, a big body with great power who slipped deep into the draft. The Phils picked Singleton No. 257 overall in the 8th round this June, and since signing just over two weeks ago he has been tearing up the Gulf Coast League.

Singleton, a first baseman who many scouts say is cut from the Ryan Howard mold, starred at Millikan High in Long Beach, CA, where he hit .321 (26-for-81) with 30 walks and 10 extra-base hits last season. He also stole 9 bases without being caught. While Singleton was at Millikan he spent three years working out at MLB’s Urban Youth Academy in nearby Compton, where he took instruction from former stars like Rod Carew and Frank Robinson and became friends with Lakewood’s Anthony Gose.

At just 17 Singleton is far from his physical peak, but is already well on the way toward reaching Howard’s size and stature. He bats from the left side and has excellent bat speed through the zone. A long swing could need a slight correction, but Singleton gets the bat head through the zone quickly to make up for any deficiency in his path to the ball. He has a very lean, muscular build that helps him to get behind the ball and drive it. According to scouts – and Singleton himself – he had to slow down his game to match his high school competition, meaning his power did not show to its full extent. Since he arrived with the GCL Phils, though, he has been showcasing the skills that had him projected as an early-round pick.

In his first game in rookie ball Singleton went 3-for-3 with a double and 2 RBI, then went on to hit in 8 straight games. His line of .414(avg)/.486(obp)/.934(ops) thus far might have him moving up to A-ball before the season is out. And at age 17, that makes him a player to watch.

He is not a great defensive player and will need to improve his footwork around the bag to make himself into a professional first baseman. But with a strong physique and room to fill out, Singleton’s work at the dish could make him a very high-upside player. By the time these rankings are adjusted it’s likely he will already have moved into the teens.

For some more insight into Singleton, check out this ESPN piece that includes an interview and some highlights.


Year   Level   G    AB   R   H   RBI   BB   K   AVG   OBP   SLG   OPS

2009   ROOK  10   29   4   12   4     5   4   .414   .486   .448   .934


24. Jonathan Singleton, 1B

25. Drew Naylor, RHP

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About Ben Seal

Ben Seal has written 48 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Singleton looks promising… that ESPN video is pretty cool, powerful swing…

  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    Only 17? Definately a name to keep an eye on. Nice to know that, in the future, we can replace Ryan Howard with Ryan Howard.

  • Posts: 0 Justin

    God, he’s even developing like Howard, who waited until this year to really develop his defensive skills.

    Nine stolen bases? He’s already galaxies away from Ryan.

  • Posts: 0 Fran

    the kid looks just like howard

  • [...] 24. Jonathan Singleton, 1B [...]

  • Posts: 0 Dino

    so why did we give Ryan such a long contract when we have somebody like this coming up the system ?

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