30-Year-Old Outfielder – Free Agent
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Jennings had been with Tampa Bay long enough to have played when they were still the Devil Rays, but his 11-year tenure with the team came to end in 2016 after the veteran outfielder was released in t...
Desmond Jennings Contract Information:
Signs a one-year, $3.3 million contract with the Rays in January of 2016, avoiding arbitration.
Jennings (knee) was released by the Rays on Tuesday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
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Desmond Jennings: MLB Games Played By Position
Desmond Jennings Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Desmond Jennings Defensive Stats
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2016 Stat Review for Desmond Jennings As compared to the top 200 hitters in 2016 (min 410 PA)
Patience at the plate often leads to positive outcomes.
A couple of useful stats for evaluating a hitter.
Good contact skills often lead to better fantasy stats.
SLG and ISO are useful indicators of power.
Desmond Jennings: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Jennings was always more of a potential than a production play, entering the league as a well-regarded prospect but not doing much to be more than a league-average bat with good stolen base numbers. His 2015 season was constantly hampered by knee issues, allowing Kevin Kiermaier to fully establish himself as the everyday center fielder. When Jennings was able to see the field, he did at least get regular playing time in a crowded outfield, so there’s reason to think he gets a starting spot in 2016. There should be some worry that the team stops giving him the opportunities he needs to fill his archetype as a player, since his stolen-base attempts were already declining and he never saw a start in the leadoff spot last season. At this point, 2016 represents more uncertainty for Jennings than any other in his career, as underperformance along with his constant knee issues could cost his usual supply of regular playing time.
Jennings is already 28 years old and fantasy players need to accept him for who he is rather than what he should have been. He has been a disappointment most every season, although he still gets drafted on his potential rather than his production each season. In 2014, Jennings played in just 123 games as knee soreness ended his season in late August. He came up in the minors with double-digit walk rates, but has done so in just one of the three seasons he has had in Tampa Bay. His stolen base attempts and totals have declined each of the previous three seasons and he has yet to eclipse 15 home runs in a season. Even though he has hit leadoff quite a bit, we are still waiting for the first 90-run season from him. Don't overpay for a level of production that Jennings seems incapable of reaching.
Jennings entered 2013 with high expectations replacing B.J. Upton as the everyday center fielder for the Rays. While he did not take off into a game-changing player, his numbers were very similar to the previous season. He struggled against right-handed pitching, hitting just .231/.311/.386, which led to a platoon with David DeJesus toward the end of the season. He had career highs of 14 home runs and 54 RBI, but stole just 20 bases. He also mostly hit in the bottom half of the lineup which could have been a factor affecting some of his running opportunities. The Rays shuffle the lineup to play matchups, but Jennings is solid defensively, so he should remain the regular in center field with solid potential to develop offensively. He is a well-rounded player who can contribute some power and stolen bases.
There were plenty of ups and downs for Jennings in 2012 during his first full season at the major league level. He was having a steady start to the season before a sprained knee led to him missing a month into early June. After struggling through the mid-summer, Jennings put together a strong August hitting .291/.354/.524 with four of his 13 home runs on the season coming in that month. He is a speedy, efficient baserunner as evidenced by his 31 stolen bases in 33 attempts. His problem was getting on base at the top of the order to have the opportunity (.314 OBP), and he will need to improve that to retain his spot leading off. With the departure of B.J. Upton via free agency, there is a possibility, given his strong defensive skills, he could shift over to center from left field. Jennings is a key part to the future of the Rays. From a fantasy standpoint, his speed is very valuable and he does have the potential to develop some power and improve his hitting atop the order.
Many have criticized the Rays for waiting to bring up Jennings, which is somewhat unfair. The Rays have made it their policy to delay the arbitration clock of top prospects and a fractured index finger also delayed his arrival. When he was finally called up he hit the ground running with a 1.039 OPS in nine July games before continuing his hot streak with a 1.026 OPS in 108 August at-bats. The league seemed to catch up with Jennings in September, as the rookie only managed a .504 OPS for the month. He finished the regular season with 20 stolen bases for the Rays and his power finally developed as he hit 22 home runs between Durham and Tampa. Jennings is an excellent outfielder and is penciled in to start in left field, but could slide over to center if any of the B.J. Upton trade rumors ever come to fruition. His blend of speed and power makes him a very intriguing fantasy option and he should finally have steady at-bats in the majors batting leadoff for the Rays.
Jennings enters the 2011 season penciled in as the replacement in left field for Carl Crawford. One of the best outfield prospects in baseball, Jennings owns a similar skill set to the player he's replacing. One of the fastest players in the minor leagues, Jennings has the potential to hit for a little pop while posting a solid batting average. He struggled out of the gate last year, likely due to suffering a wrist and then shoulder injury. After hitting just .244 between April and May, Jennings hit .353 in June once he was completely healthy. At this point, his greatest fantasy asset will be his speed, and he swiped 37 bags (90.2 percent success rate) at Triple-A Durham. It may take some time for his power to develop, but at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds he should be good for double-digit home runs in the near future. Don't be afraid to go the extra dollar (or round) to snag him in dynasty leagues, he projects to be an outstanding player.
Finally healthy, Jennings put together a spectacular season on his way to being named the Rays' minor league player of the year. One of the top prospects in baseball, Jennings is a legitimate five-tool player. At Double-A Montgomery, he hit .314 with eight homers and had 36 stolen bases in only 379 at-bats. After his promotion to Triple-A, Durham he continued to rake, hitting .322 with three home runs and 15 stolen bases in 115 at-bats. His batting eye is outstanding; he drew 19 walks to only 15 strikeouts at Durham. He'll probably start the year at Durham, but it will be tough for manager Joe Maddon to ignore him if he picks up where he left off during spring training. Don't hesitate to use a top minor league pick on him or stash him on your bench if you have a spot available in a deeper league.
Jennings underwent shoulder surgery in July and missed the rest of the regular season, but after returning for Arizona Fall League play (.231 in 12 games, one homer, 3-for-3 in steals), he's now proved he'll be healthy enough for spring training. Jennings is likely the Rays' best outfield prospect at the moment; he'll start 2009 at either High-A or Double-A.
Jennings went on the DL in mid-August with a minor knee injury and missed the rest of the season, but he'll be ready for spring training. Jennings was considered by many as the top position player prospect in the South Atlantic League in 2007, so he's certainly high on the Rays' watch list. Tampa Bay has more than enough outfield depth at the major league level right now, so there's no need to rush Jennings; he'll go to High-A Vero Beach to start the 2008 season, with an ETA in the bigs no earlier than 2010. Still, this talent should be rostered in any serious dynasty league.