Top prospect Singleton eager to move on
Jonathan Singleton, the top prospect in the Astros system, apologized to the organization, his teammates and his family Friday morning in his first public comments since he was suspended 50 games for a second failed drug test.
Singleton, in an arranged meeting with the media before the start of a Minor League minicamp, took responsibilities for his actions and said he was looking forward to getting back on the field.
“I believe this is an opportunity for me to leave the past behind,” he said.
Singleton will begin the season at extended Spring Training before reporting to Triple-A Oklahoma City when his suspension is up. He won’t be eligible to play for the RedHawks until their May 26 game at Iowa. He’s eligible to play in Major League Spring Training games.
“I’m going to work harder than ever pretty much to stay in shape and I’ll be ready when the time comes,” he said.
Singleton, a left-handed-hitting first baseman who expected to start the season at Triple-A Oklahoma City, hit .284 with 21 homers and 79 RBIs in 131 games last year at Double-A Corpus Christi. The club acquired him from the Phillies in the Hunter Pence trade in 2011.
“He’s got a bright future in this organization and we feel his mindset is exactly where it needs to be given the situation that occurred and he’s ready to move forward,” general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “He’s got to serve the suspension. That’s part of the rules, he knows that and he’s owning up to it. We feel good about where he is mentally and physically and he is in great shape.”
Singleton said he’s appreciative of the support he’s received from Luhnow and manager Bo Porter.
“It’s time to change,” he said. “A new opportunity is on the horizon. It’s definitely time to move forward.”
When he was suspended on Jan. 9, Singleton issued a statement saying he had tested positive for marijuana. He admitted watching his teammates play while he can’t will be difficult.
“I’ll be a little anxious, you could say,” he said. “Once the suspension is up, I’ll be excited to play again.”
Singleton said the suspension was a wake-up call.
“I guess it was, in a way, but I’m accepting my consequences and moving forward,” he said.