Desmond Jennings – 2016 Player Card
As we count down the days until the blessed return of baseball we’ll be bringing snapshots from a variety of angles for each of the significant players on this year’s upcoming Rays team. The format will be similar for each player and then we want to take a look at an individual thing for each guy towards the end of each card. Think of these as a quick cheat sheet on what a player looks like. You can use the Corey Dickerson card as a walkthrough, of sorts. Now at the plate – Desmond Jennings.
Something I found fascinating popped up in that last table above. Jennings has shown a higher batting average on contact (BACON) on pitches out of the zone than those within. That’s astounding and something that no one else has shown if you have followed this series. He doesn’t have quite the power, but it’s still something worth looking into:
Here’s a look at his singles, extra base hits and whiffs on pitches out of the zone. Not sure what is going on with that one little guy, but let’s not let it detract from the bigger picture. The whiffs aren’t much of a surprise. Leave the zone at your own peril, but he actually shows some success laterally. Up and down are another story, but just in or out of the zone and he can make it work. Let’s take a look at this same stuff, but focusing on just the pitches within the zone:
Up and away is a trouble spot, but otherwise he shows pretty solid plate coverage. Hang one up, especially in, and he’s really likely to do damage. Jennings combines an ultra-patient approach that sees him as one of the few batter that has a lower swing than zone rate. When he does get one he likes he knows what to do. Of course, being productive when he’s on the field hasn’t really ever been a problem for Jennings. Here’s hoping we see a lot more of it in 2016.