Desmond Jennings missed parts of the 2007 and 2008 seasons due to a shoulder injury. And after missing the start of this season with a wrist injury, his manager now admits that the shoulder is still bothering Jennings

He’s also been nagged by a shoulder injury that cut short his 2007 and 2008 seasons…”He’s got a good eye, but when you have a wrist problem and your shoulder is off, you’ve got to change your swing and now you’re facing good pitching,” Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said. “It’s tough to hit, but now it seems like he’s almost there.”

Jennings is the Rays top prospect, and one of the top prospects in baseball. But there are red flags. Jennings has still only played in 353 games in five years since graduating from high school. And learning now that his shoulder is still a mess and that he needed to adjust his swing is a bit scary…BJ Upton-scary.

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7 Comments

  1. Gus says:

    Des' shoulder is one more reason why the assumption that Carl Crawford is easily replaced (offered on this blog) is short-sighted. Just in the Rays own system, we've seen many "next Carl Crawfords" -- Joey Gathright, Baldelli, Upton, Delmon (before he swallowed a tuna) -- and nobody comes close.

    He is a unique talent who may be unaffordable for 2011 and beyond, but the Rays would be foolish to let him escape without some legit effort to keep a guy who is looking more and more like the first product of the Rays farm system to be a Hall of Famer.

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      In my defense, my argument against re-signing Crawford has always been a financial argument. I would never say he is easily replaced. I might have said that the Rays have available *replacements* but never said that his production would be replaced.

      My point is just that, even if Crawford is worth $15m in 2011 and 2012, it is hard to imagine CC will be worth that amount in 2013 and beyond. His game is based on speed and speedsters eventually slow down. The Rays are not a team that can afford to pay a guy $15m and get only $7-8m in production. Especially when they can possibly get $7-8m in production for $400k.

      As for Jennings I have always preached caution with Jennings based on his injury history.

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      • Gus says:

        I hear you, but CC's two closest comps in my mind would be Rock Raines and Rickey Henderson, not skinny speedsters like Vince Coleman or Juan Pierre. Henderson and Raines aged pretty well. Obviously, for a team with a $75M payroll, tying up $15M in one player is probably too big a risk, but if there was one OF worth that risk, he might just be your guy.

        I'm also of the view that throwing the "next Crawford" tag on Jennings is the surest way to ruin him. That will be immense pressure next March if it goes down the way we all think it will go down (all the more reason to get his feet wet this season).

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        • Cork Gaines says:

          Raines and Ricky did age well. My caution with them would be that they played in an era when it was very easy to steal bases. Dave Lopes went 40-44 (I think those are the numbers) when he was 40-years old!

          I keep thinking Johnny Damon is a good comp for CC. I can see Crawford still getting 35-40 steals but also adding 20-25 home runs each year. Especially if he plays in Replica Yankee Stadium with that short porch.

          And another factor to consider is the Turf. I dont think Crawford will age well playing at the Trop. And he probably feels the same way, which is the biggest reason I don't see him giving the Rays a discount.

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  2. Don says:

    Here write this down,,,June 15, 2010.....
    CARL CRAWFORD IS NOT REPLACEABLE WITH ANYONE CURRENTLY WITH THE RAYS..
    In fact.... you could argue with anyone in major league LF. Pay Him!

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  3. Will says:

    Jennings won't be injured in his first 2 seasons with the Rays. Mark it.

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