Jennings with the Tampa Bay Rays
|Tampa Bay Rays – No. 8|
October 30, 1986 |
|September 1, 2010, for the Tampa Bay Rays|
(through May 19, 2016)
|Runs batted in||181|
Jennings was taken by the Cleveland Indians in the 18th round of the 2005 amateur draft out of Pinson Valley High School in Pinson, Alabama but did not sign. He decided to go to Itawamba Community College to play baseball and football, he led all junior college wide receivers with 54 receptions while scoring 6 touchdowns and netting 848 yards in 8 games. On the diamond, he hit .378 with 29 steals. Desmond was picked by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 10th round of the 2006 amateur draft and signed.
Tampa Bay Rays
In 2010, he batted .278 for the season in Triple-A Durham, and .190 in 21 at-bats with Tampa Bay.
Jennings was called up from Triple-A Durham on July 23, 2011, as the Rays optioned Reid Brignac to Durham. At the time of his call-up, Jennings was batting .275 and leading the International League in runs scored, with 68. On July 28, 2011, Jennings blasted his first career home run, a two-run shot against the Oakland Athletics. On September 7, 2011, Jennings hit his first career walk-off home run off Mark Lowe to give the Rays a 5-4 win over the Texas Rangers and give them their 1,000th win in franchise history.
With the departure of B.J. Upton to Atlanta, Jennings began the 2013 season as the starting center fielder and lead-off hitter, with Sam Fuld as his backup. On August 3, Jennings fractured his left middle finger, and was placed on the disabled list 3 days later. Jennings returned on August 19, and finished the season with Tampa Bay. In 139 games, he hit .252/.334/.414 with 14 HR, 54 RBI, 82 R and 20 SB. He led the team in triples (6) and stolen bases.
On May 7, 2013, Jennings hit a line drive which hit Toronto Blue Jays pitcher J. A. Happ in the head. Happ needed to be carried off the field on a stretcher after an 11 minute delay. Jennings was visibly shaken by the accident but remained in the game.
On May 3, 2015, Jennings was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to left knee bursitis.
- Ballew, Bill (November 12, 2008). "Tampa Bay Rays top 10 prospects". Baseballamerica.com. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
- "Midseason Top 25 Prospects". Baseballamerica.com. July 9, 2009. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
- Deep Leagues. "Top 100 Prospects". Deep Leagues. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
- "Desmond Jennings Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
- Axisa, Mike (August 6, 2013). "Rays lose leadoff hitter Desmond Jennings to 15-day DL". CBS Sports.
- "Happ hit by line drive, taken to hospital; Jays top Rays". TSN.ca. May 8, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- "Jennings, Rays shaken by Happ getting hit in the head". ctpost.com. May 8, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- Kolligan, Michael. "Jennings placed on 15-day DL with knee bursitis.". MLB.com. MLB.com. Retrieved May 3, 2015.