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GM: Slugging prospect Singleton is 'on deck'

HOUSTON -- Jon Singleton, the slugging first baseman who's having a strong season at Triple-A Oklahoma City, will join the Astros at some point this season, general manager Jeff Luhnow said Wednesday. That certainly comes as no surprise, but when exactly the Astros' No. 4 prospect will get called up remains a mystery.

Singleton is hitting .293 with 12 homers, 34 RBIs and a 1.030 OPS through 38 games for the RedHawks, who were off Wednesday.

"Singleton's progressing," Luhnow said. "We see him as a guy who's close to being able to contribute at the Major League level. We're excited. We've all seen the reaction the fans had at bringing up prospects like [George] Springer and last year with [Jarred] Cosart and we have more coming. I would say Singleton is on deck."

Luhnow was asked to define "on deck."

"We have our own process for determining when a player is ready to come up," he said. "I'm not going to disclose what that is or the details, but just suffice it to say we're doing our homework and when the time is right, he'll be here."

The Astros could decide to wait until mid to late June so Singleton doesn't quality for Super Two status. The top 22 percent of players with at least two years but fewer than three years of Major League service time are eligible for arbitration if they have accumulated at least 86 days of service time during the immediately preceding season.

Players who qualify for Super Two status would get an extra year of arbitration eligibility -- four instead of three -- and could cost their team millions of dollars. The exact date when a player could be called up and not quality for Super Two status won't be known until season's end, but it's usually in late May or early June.

If teams want to play it safe, they would call up a player in late June.

"I think he will play up here this year," Luhnow said. "When remains to be seen. The more he progresses down there and the more success he has, the sooner it will be."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
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