All the talk in the MLB over the past couple weeks has been focused on talented prospects like Stephen Strasburg, Buster Posey, and Mike Stanton getting the call from the minors. However, one name that hasn’t been getting much attention is Desmond Jennings. Jennings who is ranked as the 7th best prospect of 2010 by Baseball Prospectus & 6th best by Baseball America has yet to get the call. Prior to the 2010 season, Jennings ranked higher than Posey (9th), and lower than Stanton (4th) in most all polls. Including Posey, other prospects like Justin Smoak, Ike Davis, Austin Jackson, and Starlin Castro are all playing in the MLB now despite being ranked lower than Desmond Jennings in all 2010 prospect rankings.
The table above clearly shows that Jennings numbers in the minors are pedestrian compared to Buster Posey and Mike Stanton. However, as we all know numbers in the minors don’t always carry over in the majors. With the contracts of B.J. Upton, Carlos Pena, and Carl Crawford expiring this year it seems the Rays would want to bring Jennings up regardless of his numbers. I don’t see anyway the Rays can obtain Upton and Crawford. Jennings has been described as a clone of Crawford and most baseball insiders think he will replace Crawford in the Rays outfield next year. That being said Jennings is going to have some big shoe’s to fill and could use as much time in the MLB this year to get ready for next year. The Durham Bulls have been raking all season and losing Jennings isn’t going to change that.
So what are the Rays waiting for? I’m not exactly sure. There has been some indication Jennings could be getting the call soon. Jennings has recently been dropped from leadoff to the seventh for the Bulls. Obviously Jennings isn’t going to bat leadoff for the Rays, so maybe management is prepping Jennings mentally now for a call up in the near future. Or maybe it’s because Jennings value is dropping due to injury. Jennings started the 2010 on the DL with a wrist injury. On June 8th, Bulls manager Montoyo reported that Jennings has some sort of uncertain and ongoing shoulder issue that doesn’t appear to be anything major or treatable, “it just occasionally feels tweaky when he swings, but he is essentially fine and just has to learn to live with it. “
Despite injury and stats, Jennings deserves a shot in the MLB and it would seem now is the time. If he is to be the second coming of Carl Crawford I sure as hell would want to find out sooner than later.