Dream Processing: Desmond Jennings’ Power Stays

Although I neglected to mention it yesterday, Desmond Jennings became the first batter in the Rays system—from the majors to the lowest active portion of the minors—to reach double-digit walks on the season. Jennings has walked in 16.9 percent of his plate appearances and has a .83 walk-to-strikeout ratio to go with a .289/.448/.444 slash line. Also worth noting is Jennings’ stolen base percentage—100 percent—thanks to converting on all four of his attempts.

For this piece, though, I want to discuss Jennings’ power. Last season, Jennings’ first in Triple-A, he posted a .115 ISO (slugging percentage minus batting average), giving some pause as to whether he would resemble a Punch and Judy hitter in the majors. Jennings actually suffered from a wrist injury last season, which ostensibly limited his power production, because otherwise his consistency has been remarkable:

ISO by season
2011: .155 (Triple-A)
2010: .115 (Triple-A)
2009: .153 (Double-A/Triple-A)
2008: .153 (High-A)
2007: .150 (Single-A)
2006: .113 (Rookie)

Jennings isn’t quite Barry Bonds, but if you assume most of that translates to the majors, then he probably sits around .145-to-.155. Carl Crawford has a career ISO within that range, as does B.J. Upton. Rocco Baldelli sat a little higher (.165), while Delmon Young (.141) sits a little lower. Those are just Rays connections, but they should give an idea of what kind of pop Jennings has shown.

A plus defensive centerfielder who can run the bases, draws walks, and hits for some power? I might be falling in love. Now, if he can just stay healthy.

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