Speaking with reporters Saturday before his first MLB game since the 2015 season, Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jon Singleton said repeatedly, "It's been a long journey."
After several failed drug tests for marijuana derailed his once-promising MLB career, Singleton is finally back in the big leagues after rehabilitation and some soul-searching. Singleton said it was difficult to describe his emotions, but explained that he was " very grateful" for the opportunity.
"It's definitely rewarding. There's been a lot of hard work that I've put in," Singleton said via Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. "There's been a lot of things I've done emotionally, physically and spiritually to get to this point."
Selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the eighth round of the 2009 MLB Draft, Singleton was ranked among the top 50 prospects in baseball before making his pro debut for the Houston Astros in 2014. Struggles at the plate and three failed drug tests resulted in a 100-game suspension in 2018 and his eventual release from the Astros.
Following a stint in the Mexican League, Singleton signed a minor league deal with the Brewers in 2021, setting the stage for his comeback.
After batting .258/.384.483 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI in 49 games with Milwaukee's Triple-A affiliate, the Nashville Sound, Singleton received word Friday night he was joining the Brewers in Cincinnati for Saturday's tilt against the Reds.
Sounds manager Rick Sweet notified Singleton he was going up to the Majors during the ninth inning of a tie game. A moment Singleton called "surreal."
"My focus was on what was happening, but when Rick told me, I was just mind-blown, to be honest," Singleton said. "It's something that came so unexpectedly at that moment, but it's definitely a long time coming."
On Saturday against the Reds, after grounding out in his first at-bat, Singleton legged out an infield single in the third inning, recording his first MLB hit since July 29, 2015.