One of the biggest question marks of the offseason was"who will be the Houston Astros' starting first baseman?". That question been has pretty much solved. Tyler White has wrestled the first base job away from the front-runner Jon Singleton.
Singleton got off to a cold start this spring. White came out destroying baseballs, leaving a lasting impression on everyone who saw him in action.
Singleton was pretty much the same player the Astros have seen over the past two major league seasons this spring. He finished spring training with a .151 batting average to go with 17 strikeouts (most on the team) in 53 at-bats (most on the team).
While Singleton gave you what you expected, White came in and batted over .350 with an on-base percentage north of .450. Only Carlos Correa had a higher OBP (among players who had regular at-bats).
White provides the Astros with something they haven't had in a long while. Before this year, the team had first basemen who swung and missed far too often like Singleton and Chris Carter. The team now has a first baseman in White that makes contact with the baseball and is an OBP machine.
In his minor league career only once has he had an OBP under .400. In 2013 with Tri-City he had an OBP of .362. I know a few Astros that would give their left arm if they could get on base at that clip. At every stop in the minors he has produced and performed. He may not bring the normal power that you would expect from the first base spot. But he will bring an above average nonstrikeoutedness *yes I just made up that word and yes it is awesome*
One of the other big things that White can provide that Singleton did not is a little more position flexibillity. White can play both corners and will likely see time at designated hitter as well. It may be something a lot of people don't really think about. The Astros do seem to like the guys that do more than just one thing.
One of the players sent down with Singleton is A.J. Reed, but don't be shocked if you seem him in an Astros uniform before the end of the season. Reed in Spring Training showed he looked the part, and he has the bat of a first baseman. He proved that he is the future, and it would not be surprising if he is up around the same time that Correa was up last season. If White is doing well, he has the flexibility to move somewhere else on the diamond if and when Reed comes up.
Regardless how the at-bats get split up down the road, the good news is the future of the Astros at first base looks extremely bright.