Singleton goes deep twice, plates five

Astros top prospect continues torrid stretch in Texas League

By Andrew Pentis / Special to | May 25, 2012 7:31 PM ET

Some veteran in the game must have done quite a number on Jonathan Singleton.

In a conversation following another big game at the plate Friday night, the Astros' top prospect discussed the comforts of his own park ("Coming back to Corpus Christi gives us a homefield advantage"), enduring the daily grind ("There's always tomorrow") and getting good pitches to hit ("I can only control what I can control").

Like most cliches, they're true. And so is this one: Burly sluggers like the 20-year-old Singleton love to hit the heater.

Singleton connected on two fastballs for home runs -- his second multi-homer game this year -- and collected a season-high five RBIs in the Double-A Hooks' 7-2 win over the visiting Arkansas Travelers.

Batting cleanup and playing first base, the left-handed hitter slugged a two-out two-run shot off starter A.J. Schugel in the first inning.

"He was throwing his fastball up in the zone, but it got to two strikes and he threw another fastball and I hit it to left-center," Singleton said. "The wind helped out."

Facing Schugel again in the fifth, Singleton battled back from an 0-2 count and hit a three-run blast.

The game capped an impressive series for Singleton, who went 4-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs in Thursday night's 13-4 romp.

Over three games against the Travelers this week -- the Hooks outscored the visitors, 29-11 -- Singleton went 8-for-13 with 10 RBIs and seven runs scored. In the process, his batting average jumped 27 points to .321 through 44 games.

There's something to his appreciation for Whataburger Field: He's batting .365 in 24 home games, nearly 100 points higher than his average in 20 road games.

One of three Phillies prospects sent to Houston last July in the trade for outfielder Hunter Pence, Singleton ranks third in the Texas League in average and second with a .424 on-base percentage.

Last year, his first as an Astro, Singleton batted .333 with four homers and 16 RBIs in 35 games at Class A Advanced Lancaster. What did he try to improve heading into his first trek through Double-A?

"Just to go out and prove what I could do," he said.

"They really haven't told me much [about another callup]. Things will happen."

Schugel (2-5) was charged with six runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 frames.

Corpus Christi counterpart Ross Seaton (4-3) allowed two runs on three hits -- including Angel Castillo's solo shot -- over seven innings.

"Ross was on," Singleton said. "He kept the ball down, let his defense do the work."

Andrew Pentis is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter at AndrewMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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