For those piling into the Great American Ballpark Saturday afternoon to see an NL Central clash between the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds, you will get to witness firsthand a man's quest for big league redemption. Kind of a bargain, right?
Brewers first baseman and former Houston Astros top prospect, Jon Singleton, will be making his first MLB appearance since 2015, per MLB.com. He impressed scouts with his power and quickly rose up the ranks with the Astros after being acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies in the Hunter Pence trade.
After last appearing with the Astros in 2015, 1B Jon Singleton makes his MLB return with the @Brewers this afternoon.
Welcome back, Jon! 👏 pic.twitter.com/lE9RSRbBUA
— MLB (@MLB) June 3, 2023
Singleton's promise convinced the front office to do the unthinkable: Offer a five-year, $10 million guaranteed contract before he even had an MLB at-bat. It was the first extension given to a player without any Major League experience. He did not live up to the huge show of faith, though, batting just .168 with 13 home runs and 44 RBIs in his rookie season. Failed drug tests also hindered his growth, as he served multiple suspensions, including one for 100 games. He was released from the organization in 2018.
All of that adversity has taken him to Milwaukee, with another opportunity to make an impact. The rarity of that, especially following such a long MLB hiatus, is not lost on Singleton.
“It's definitely rewarding,” the 31-year-old said, per ESPN. “There's been a lot of hard work that I've put in. There's been a lot of things I've done emotionally, physically and spiritually to get to this point. Very, very grateful.”
Jon Singleton will bat sixth and man first base for the Brewers Saturday. Fans may see him as merely a short-term replacement for the injured Darin Ruf, but he will be afforded the opportunity to display the talent that inspired an unprecedented amount of trust from Houston.
Regardless of what the future might hold, Singleton is living in this special moment.
“It's been a long journey,” he said. “Right now, I really can't even describe my emotions, my feelings. Definitely grateful.”