The Brewers announced they have selected first baseman Jon Singleton and right-hander Cam Robinson to their roster ahead of tonight’s Rule 5 protection deadline. They also previously announced that infielder Brice Turang and right-hander Abner Uribe have been selected.
Singleton has had a remarkable journey to get back onto a 40-man roster. A member of Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects lists every year between 2011-14, the power-hitting first baseman signed a $10MM extension with the Astros in June 2014. That came in conjunction with his first big league promotion, a precursor to pre-MLB guarantees for players like Scott Kingery, Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert. Houston’s hope was they’d found a middle-of-the-order presence for years to come, but the left-handed hitter didn’t meet the lofty expectations.
Over the next season and a half, Singleton sputtered to a .171/.290/.331 line in 114 MLB games. After playing the 2016-17 seasons in the high minors, he was released in May 2018. That came on the heels of a third career suspension following a failed test for a drug of abuse. As McCalvy chronicled in greater detail this past spring, Singleton has been open about his battle with marijuana addiction.
Singleton spent a few years out of the game but returned to professional baseball in Mexico last year. He spent the entire 2022 campaign with the Brew Crew’s top affiliate in Nashville, putting together a solid season. Through 581 plate appearances, he hit .219/.375/.434. His batting average isn’t eye-catching, but he connected on 24 home runs and drew walks in an incredible 20.1% of his trips to the dish. Even with an elevated 27.7% strikeout rate, he ranked 15th among 148 International League hitters (minimum 300 plate appearances) in on-base percentage and tied for seventh in long balls.
That wasn’t enough to earn him an MLB roster spot last season, but he re-signed with Milwaukee on a minor league deal last month. He’ll now get back onto the 40-man roster, giving him an inside track at returning to the big leagues for the first time in eight years.
Robinson was a 23rd round pick out of a Florida high school in 2017. The 23-year-old is a pure reliever who’s pitched his way up to Triple-A Nashville. He struggled there but excelled earlier in the year at High-A Wisconsin and Double-A Biloxi. Between the three affiliates, he posted a 2.49 ERA with a 31.6% strikeout percentage over 65 innings.