Singleton moving back to 1B…for now

So this is the word. I have two really quick thoughts on this:

* He’s 19. He has plenty of time. Even with his slow start and the ankle injury (which didn’t help the slow start), he’s one of the youngest players in the FSL. He has all kinds of time, and this includes learning the outfield. If playing 1B for 2 months or even the rest of the year helps his ankle heal and gets him on track, fine.
* If his future is in Philadelphia, he’s eventually going to have to learn to play LF, because he’s not displacing Ryan Howard at 1B, and no one is taking Ryan Howard’s contract. Unless salaries inflate beyond belief over the next 3 years. But that’s a decision for 2-3 years down the road.

In the meantime, everyone take a deep breath on Singleton and relax. Time is on his side, yes it is.

29 thoughts on “Singleton moving back to 1B…for now

  1. The Howard contract is a huge pain in my ass. He’s on this team for an eon and I do not think he will be doing any better. What is a shame is we may end up with an identical Thome/Howard case with Howard/Singleton. He’s young but… I wouldn’t mind looking at ways to move Howard in the future if it is possible.

    Singleton will be 25 (I think) when Howard is a free agent. If we can move Howard a year or two earlier we should be fine. But hopefully Howard’s production is fine at that time in our history.

  2. I’m fine with it as playing 1b will put less strain on his ankle than playing LF. Also how has his defense been in LF this year before the move? Will he be fine playing there next year if/when healthy?

  3. If I were the Phillies, I might do the same thing. Let’s be honest, Jon Singleton’s ability to progress will be determined primarily by his ability to hit upper level pitching. He needs to adjust to the pitching first and he needs to get healthy. If playing first base permits him to make the necessary hitting adjustments and get healthy, all will be fine. They can give him side sessions in the outfield and have him focus on that in the off season. Remember, Pat Burrell learned to play left field in a very short amount of time after spending his entire minor league career as a first baseman, and Burrell was significantly older than Singleton at the time and was probably not as good of an athlete as Singleton appears to be. So, in actuality, this is merely a blip on the radar screen. Patience, my friends. Patience.

  4. Singleton could hit the majors as a LF, but return to 1B after Howard’s contract expires. Singleton still would only be 25 or 26. Singleton’s eventually settling in as a 1B for the Phillies could make sense if Santana or one of the other corner OF prospects is successful.

    Not worried about Singleton’s position moves. All he needs to do is hit.

    1. I think this is likely the case. He can work more in LF in the off season and possibly go back to LF next season. He should be fine.

  5. Maybe it was discussed earlier, but why did the Phils tinker with his swing?

  6. I still think the Phillies are going to pull a trade for a right-handed hitting corner outfielder. The most likely option I can think of is Carlos Quentin. A very obvious Ruben Amaro special. He’s relatively young, can rake and is under team control this year and next. It has all the makings of a trade assuming, as I do, that the White Sox are not in contention. Quentin is playing well, so it’s going to cost them a bit. Probably one of the top five prospects and a couple of other decent prospects. And you, know, it might be worth it to shore up that position for a couple of years and make a few runs. The added benefit of getting Quentin is it also gives the team flexibility when he becomes a FA to either sign him or offer him arbitration and reap some picks. But, I’ll tell you, if Brown continues to play well and improve as I expect he will, a Quentin, Victorino, Brown outfield, while not world beaters, ain’t half bad.

    1. I’ve predicted for some time they would target Quentin but the way he’s been playing lately is going to drive up the cost. The other detail that complicates things is that division is so wide open the ChiSox might not see themselves out of the playoff race.

    2. It’ll be tough to clean up all the blood that will be spilled in the outfield from the butchering he’ll be doing out there. Good bat but a terrible defender.

      1. Yes . . . very true but . . . : (a) Ibanez cannot field either; (b) who knows if he can keep it up; (c) this is his last year as a Phillie; (d) they could use a strong right-handed bat in the line-up who can share at bats with the other players – at bats that are now going to sub-par performers; (e) they could use a righty outfield bat for next year as well since Ibanez will be gone; (f) they could use someone who can hit if Brown falters; and (g) they could sure use another good hitter if they get to the WS.

        If the price is right, this does make some sense.

    3. I also thought Quentin was/is the most likely trade target. I mentioned this a couple of times back when it was painfully obvious that the frequent offensive ineptitude needed to be addressed. I think the phillies would (hopefully) kick the tires on a guy like Quentin that gives them an extra season in the OF, rather than a half-year rental from this year’s FA class. If Quentin still keeps smashin’ Xbase-hits until the end of July, the Sox are going to be asking for an A and B prospect minimum. Of course this is assuming they are out of contention. Although Delmon Young is not off to as great a start as Quentin, he could be another name the phillies look into. Like Quentin, however, he is not exactly known for his defensive prowess. Young would also give the phillies the 2012 season in the outfield before FA, and would bring a .300 career avg vs lefties to the lineup, and would seemingly be a lower-cost alternative to Quentin in terms of prospects. That being said, I personally think Quentin would look awesome settled in behind the Big Man, and I hope/think a deal gets done

  7. Savery has already played some LF. That’s a good side effect of this move. Gives Savery some experience also. Savery could wind up breaking into majors (if he does at all) as a #4/5 OF/1B. Playing three positions–LF, RF, 1B, gives him more value.

  8. Count me in the “I’m not worried” category. The only (slight) concern I would have about him is that his power numbers are down – he’s still showing very good plate discipline. The fact that he has not been 100% healthy for most of the year may be affecting those power numbers anyway.

    – Jeff

  9. Too good a hitter not to come around. I think he will, but wonder what sort of adjustment problems he is having in the process, since his blistering first half 2010. He is contending with pitchers adjusting to him, not getting as many pitches to hit, multiple injuries (sore arm earlier, ankle problem now), new position, new league, maybe more. Speculation: Sometimes a studly guy like him, who typically dominates, can have problems adjusting mentally to realizing he has to work hard and adjust mentally just to be above average, let alone an all-star. I’ve read a few guardedcomments on his mental adjustments here and there since last year, maybe four or five comments from LaMar, etc.

  10. Forgot to add to that last comment: This is why we have the minor leagues.

  11. Right now Singleton can’t handle a Florida State League breaking ball especially from a lefty. Look at his splits. Swinging for the fences and coming up empty.

  12. The one time I saw Singleton live, last year, he hit a home run, but it was obvious that he struggled with the breaking ball, even from right-handers. The first step in hitting the breaking ball is to lay off the ones that aren’t strikes and Singleton has the ability to do that given his BB numbers. After that, I think, it is about experience; most young players have trouble hitting the breaking ball. In the long run, Singleton should be fine, but right now his fans need to exercise some patience.

  13. Rube says Savery threw 92 in relief a few weeks ago. Wonder if they would really look at him as a 5th OF capable of throwing 10 innings a year…sounds crazy, but not as crazy as keeping Martinez on the 25 man roster all year.

  14. In all seriousness, if you could get mediocre pinch hitting results from Savery as a 5th outfielder, and he could be a long man / mop up reliever, that adds significant value to a roster’s flexibility.

  15. as Ryan Klesko would say, learn to hit well enough and you will be allowed to play a poor outfield. Maybe Singleton’s hitting problems were compounded by his spending time and energy on LF. Let him learn to hit, and he’ll be ok as a RF.

  16. 92 from Savery! That’s about 6 MPH faster than last year. The last couple of years he got by as a pitchability lefty – he knows how to pitch, if he’s actually throwing 92 they need to have him start throwing again.

  17. I love how national media runs with things…this is from ESPN Insider.

    The Philadelphia Phillies tried prospect Jonathan Singleton in left field for the first two months of the season, but it’s not working out, at least enough for the club to move the 19-year-old back to first base.

    Singleton’s bat is what will have to carry him to the big leagues no matter which position he plays and he hasn’t done much at the plate early on in 2011.

    His .266/.363/.357 triple-slash is unimpressive, but he’s young for the level and is still getting on base at satisfactory rates. Singleton could ultimately become trade bait for the Phillies down the line, as Ryan Howard is signed long term to play first base

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