Hop on the Desmond Jennings bandwagon 

July, 26, 2011

You won't find me leading the charge in defending rookies in any sport too often, but I've been waiting for Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings for a long time. I thought the speedster was ready for the big leagues last season, really. Jennings certainly looks ready now, with three multi-hit games in three attempts and a successful stolen base in each contest. The next Carl Crawford? Hey, I'm game. Perhaps he'll actually be more valuable than the current Crawford for the next two months.

[+] EnlargeJennings
Peter G. Aiken/US PresswireEarly in his big league career, Desmond Jennings has proven worthy of the hype.
In fact, the most added player in ESPN standard (10-team) leagues -- and this has all happened since Saturday, essentially -- looks like he's going to be more valuable than a lot of players. Jennings, 24, was hitting .275 at Triple-A Durham -- his third consecutive season playing at that level -- with 12 home runs, 19 doubles, 17 stolen bases (in 18 attempts) and 45 walks in 89 games. Honestly, other than financial implications, there was no defending the decision to have him remain in the minor leagues any longer, especially with Sam Fuld, Justin Ruggiano and the sputtering Matt Joyce getting at-bats.