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Are the Rays sold on Desmond Jennings as Carl Crawford’s replacement?

Dec 4, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

Desmond Jennings profile

From what Rays VP Andrew Friedman told Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, perhaps not immediately:

“We feel like he’s got an extremely high upside,” Friedman said. “I think he’d be the first to say he didn’t have as good a year last year as he’s capable of. Part of that was because of injuries, but he’s got the ability to impact a game in every facet, which obviously we place a great deal of value on. But, he’s going to have to show us and make some adjustments, as all young players need to do, to have sustained success.”

Jennings got off to a slow start this past season, likely due to a sprained left wrist suffered during spring training, but ended up batting .278/.362/.393 with three home runs, 36 RBI and 37 stolen bases in 41 attempts in 109 games with Triple-A Durham. The 24-year-old outfielder batted .190 over 21 at-bats in his first taste of the big leagues as a September call-up.

He’s undoubtedly in the long-term plans of the organization, but Mooney writes that Friedman has “left field” written on his to-do list as he heads to the winter meetings next week. I’m not looking for anything big, but it wouldn’t be outrageous if the club adds someone like Scott Hairston or Matt Diaz (both non-tenders) for some insurance.

  1. JBerardi - Dec 4, 2010 at 2:52 PM

    When Carl Crawford was 24, he hit .305/.348/.482 for the Rays. In his fifth major-league season. So I’M certainly not sold on Jennings as a replacement. Yeah, he’s fast and athletic, but the performance just isn’t there. At his age, that’s a problem.

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