Scouting Report: Desmond Jennings – OF – TB

Desmond Jennings – CF – Tampa Bay Rays. Bats: R Throws: R 6’2″ 180. DOB: 10.30.86. College: Itawamba CC (MS) Drafted: 10th Round 2006

Scouted: Durham Bulls @ Columbus Clippers 5.14.10 (In Person)

The Devil Rays changed the course of their brief history in 2006 when they used the 3rd overall pick on Evan Longoria, but 9 rounds later they selected another player with star ability. A decorated wide receiver at Itawamba CC, Jennings’ athletic ability is apparent to all observers. Jennings’ speed/plate discipline combination captured my attention years ago and I was so high on him last season that he came in at #3 on my top 100 prospects list. While 2010 was a success, Jennings didn’t duplicate his impressive 2009 campaign and will enter 2011 as my #3 outfielder. Jennings had some trouble staying healthy early in his professional career but the past two seasons have been generally incident free.

Minor League Stats

Year

Age

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2006

19

RK

56

213

48

59

10

1

4

20

32

5

22

39

.277

.360

.390

2007

20

A-

99

387

75

122

21

5

9

37

45

15

45

53

.315

.401

.465

2008

21

A+

24

85

17

22

5

1

2

6

5

2

14

16

.259

.360

.412

2009

22

AA-AAA

132

497

92

158

31

10

11

62

52

7

67

67

.318

.401

.487

2010

23

AAA

109

399

82

111

25

6

3

36

37

4

47

67

.278

.362

.393

TOT

420

1581

314

472

92

23

29

161

171

33

195

242

.299

.384

.441

Major League Stats

Year

Age

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

23

MLB

17

24

5

4

1

1

0

2

2

2

2

4

.190

.292

.333

It’s important to note that getting one live look doesn’t provide nearly enough information to produce a true scouting report, but that’s not going to stop me from giving you my report anyway.

HITTING: Jennings excels with pitch recognition which bodes well for his future projection as a player capable of hitting at a high average, but one minor point of concern is that the right handed hitting Jennings hit just .198 against lefties last season.

POWER: After posting a career high .487 slugging percentage in 2009, Jennings slugged just .393 last season. It’s possible that a wrist injury he battled through limited Jennings’ power, but while he was once projected to develop average power, I just don’t see it. He has a short compact line drive stroke and his wheels will turn singles into doubles but no amount of speed will turn those doubles into home runs.

SPEED: Jennings possesses speed that is truly plus plus and he’s intelligent enough to use it wisely. His CS% is consistently low and the International League mangers voted regarded him as the top baserunner in the league in 2010. I clocked Jennings at 4.3 seconds from home to 1st base.

ARM: I have not been able to get an accurate first hand look at Jennings arm strength, but all accounts have this tool graded as average.

DEFENSE: On top of being voted as the best baserunner, Jennings was also voted the most exciting player and the best defensive outfielder in the International League.

FUTURE: The departure of Carl Crawford should create an opening for Jennings where his OBP and stolen base totals while playing for a contender could generate Rookie of the Year buzz.

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