Singleton Headlines Astros' Imports





Best Player: Someday, we'll look back on a generation of Astros success stories, busts and everything in between who came over from 2010-12 for just about every veteran player the Astros had. Right now, Jonathan Singleton is at the head of the class and will enter 2013 on the cusp of the big leagues.

Young for the Texas League at 20, Singleton did not disappoint by hitting .284/.396/.497 for Double-A Corpus Christi. Acquired from the Phillies at last year's trade deadline for Hunter Pence, Singleton hit 21 home runs but was clearly more than just a slugger with 88 walks to his 131 strikeouts.

Singleton was the Astros' lone representative in the Futures Game, and that future could be soon. Whether he opens next year in Houston or more likely Triple-A, Singleton is on the Astros' radar, particularly with the addition of the DH as the team moves to the American League in 2013.

Best Pitcher: Mike Foltynewicz was named the most outstanding pitcher in the low Class A South Atlantic League, and he gets the honors in the organization as well.

A tall righthander and the second of the Astros' two first-round picks in 2010, Foltynewicz went 14-4, 3.14 for Lexington while pitching in the mid-90s with a developing curveball. He walked 62 and struck out 125 in 152 innings.

Foltynewicz was repeating the level but is just 20. The Astros have been reluctant to send elite pitchers to high Class A Lancaster, and the Double-A level was filled with the fruits of the trading deadline, so he remained with the Legends all season even though he probably earned a tougher test.

Keep An Eye On: Nick Tropeano was a fifth-round pick in 2011 and had a nice debut in the short-season New York-Penn League, as you might expect a pitcher from a four-year school. The jump this year was beyond his statistics, which were very good with a 3.02 ERA and 47 walks and 166 strikeouts in 158 innings. Tropeano saw a rise in his velocity, throwing consistently in the low to mid-90s, and survived nearly half the season at Lancaster while maintaining his performance after a promotion from Lexington. The Double-A level will provide a test, but his prospect status definitely elevated this season.

Space Shots

Delino DeShields Jr. became the first Astros prospect to reach triple-digits in stolen bases with his 100th and 101st on the final day of a season split between Lexington and Lancaster.

• Corpus Christi, Lancaster and short-season Tri-City all reached their league playoffs, a year after no Astros farm teams had winning records. Lancaster claimed its first Cal League championship and the first for an Astros full-season affiliate since 2006.