Prospects' spring struggles not worrying Porter

Prospects' spring struggles not worrying Porter

VIERA, Fla. -- Astros manager Bo Porter said Wednesday he's not concerned about the Spring Training struggles of top prospects George Springer, Jonathan Singleton and Delino DeShields Jr., who entered play with a combined .162 average.

None of the three were expected to make the club out of spring camp, though Springer, an outfielder, and Singleton, a first baseman, are expected to land in Houston at some point this year. DeShields, ranked as the Astros' No. 7 prospect by, could be in Double-A at some point this year.

"I think early on, they were probably pressing, just wanting to make a splash or make an impression," Porter said.

Singleton -- ranked by as the Astros' No. 4 prospect -- got off to an extremely slow start before hitting his first spring homer March 13 against the Jays. He began play Wednesday hitting .130 (3-for-23), but had drawn nine walks in 32 plate appearances for a .375 on-base percentage.

"I even said to Singleton after he hit the home run, 'I'm so glad you got it out of the way and now you're going to go 10 for your next 10 because you're not trying to hit the ball to Tampa anymore,'" Porter said. "The quality of all those guys' at-bats have been tremendous from my standpoint."

Porter likes the way DeShields has worked counts despite his .143 batting average entering Wednesday. Springer, who was hitting .167 (5-for-30) with one RBI and four steals, has been working on controlling the strike zone.

"No cause for concern at all," Porter said. "You look all the other aspects. You look at some of the things that don't show up on the stat sheet."

Earlier this spring, Springer -- Houston's No. 3 prospect, according to -- mishit a ball that glanced off the glove of Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez for a hit. He stole second base, and Porter said Gonzalez was so concerned with Springer on base he wound up giving up a two-run homer to Carlos Corporan.

"Those are impactful plays in my eyes," the manager said.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.