KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Few players in Astros camp turned as many heads when they reported as slugger Jon Singleton, who added some weight -- apparently all muscle -- this winter. Singleton now weighs 250 pounds and stands 6-foot-2, and is built like a tank.
"Big fella," manager A.J. Hinch said. "He's strong. He knows what's in front of him."
Singleton, 24, is coming to camp trying to win the starting job at first base. He has nothing left to prove in the Minor Leagues, but he has to prove he can hit Major League pitching consistently. He said he bulked up this winter with no real goal in mind other than to get strong.
"It's normal to drop off weight a little bit and hopefully that doesn't happen so much," Singleton said. "It's going to be interesting to see what happens."
Singleton says he can easily bench press 225 pounds and said he could probably get up to 270.
"It's obvious he put in some time at the gym and is very aware of what his situation is, and there's a seriousness to him," Hinch said. "There should be a comfort with him having been in camp last year with me and also knowing the first job is up for grabs. I'm sure he'll be as focused as needed."
Singleton is one of four players who will be competing this spring for the spot that became vacant when the club decided not to re-sign Chris Carter. Also in the hunt are top prospect A.J. Reed, Tyler White and Matt Duffy.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.