Houston Astros: 3 Prospects Who Should Be Called Up in 2012
Corpus Christi Hooks first baseman Jonathan Singleton (Courtesy: Cliff Welch)
Every MLB season around July, real contenders and pretenders begin to come to light and the young talent of the pretenders begin to show off their skills
With the Houston Astros currently 9.5 games out of first place in the National League Central, and seemingly no chance to make any kind of noise in the playoffs, the team should be looking to call up many of their more promising prospects for the remainder of the 2012 season.
Headlining the group of Astros' blue-chip prospects include Jonathan Singleton, Jarred Cosart and George Springer—all of which are among MLB.com's top 100 prospects.
1B/OF Jonathan Singleton
The 20-year-old has had an impressive season thus far in 2012—batting .265 with 11 home runs and 42 RBI. Singleton is ranked as the No. 35 MLB prospect by MLB.com and rightfully so. It's not every day you come across a left-handed hitter who can hit for both average and power off of both right-handers and southpaws.
Singleton has a special bat from the left side of the plate. A bat that should see major league action by the end of the 2012 season. In addition to his tremendous power, Singleton has also displayed outstanding discipline at the plate—especially for a 20-year-old who is barely three years into his major league career.
In 263 minor league games, Singleton has has slugged .456 and his OPS is an outstanding .849—proving he has both power and discipline.
There's no question that a powerful bat is something the Astros lack—they rank 16th in home runs in MLB with 71. Singleton is the team's lone prospect who would bring an immediate punch to the Astros' lineup, providing them with a legitimate power hitter from the left side of the plate.
RHP Jarred Cosart
Along with Singleton, Jarred Cosart was also a key part of the deal that sent Hunter Pence to Philadelphia. Cosart—ranked as the No. 51 overall prospect by MLB.com—immediately became the Astros' best pitching prospect.
Cosart began 2012 in Double-A with the Corpus Christi Hooks. In 12 games with the Hooks Cosart posted an ERA of 3.65 while striking out 54 batters and walking just 31 in 69 innings.
In early May, Cosart was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City where he has made just one start. While he struggled in that one start, giving up four runs on 10 hits in six innings, Cosart has the necessary stuff to be an electrifying pitcher.
The 22-year-old possesses an excellent fastball that can consistently reach upper 90s, a sometimes inconsistent, yet dirty curve ball and an above-average changeup.
The Astros' pitching staff can use all the help it could get as they have posted a fifth-worst 4.40 ERA thus far in 2012. If and when Cosart is called up to the majors, expect him to come out of the bullpen to begin. However, it shouldn't be long before he becomes one of the Astros' better starting pitchers.
OF George Springer
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The third and final Astros minor leaguer ranked in MLB.com's top 100 is outfielder George Springer. The 22-year-old is playing in the lowest class of the three prospects as Springer is playing for the Lancaster Jethawks in High-A.
The former first-round draft pick has a very quick bat that generates a lot of natural power and his speed allowed him to put up good numbers at University of Connecticut. In three years at UConn, Springer slugged .653 and stole a combined 76 bases, reaching the 30 steal mark twice.
In 69 games with Lancaster, Springer has smashed 15 homers and has knocked in 52 runs—all while batting an impressive .299. He also has stolen 15 bases, setting himself up for a 30-30 season. Which is a feat he could be accomplishing in the pros sometime in the near future.