By Gary Lloyd
PINSON — Tampa Bay Rays center fielder and former Pinson Valley standout Desmond Jennings is looking to be more consistent this Major League Baseball season.
Rays manager Joe Maddon told MLB.com reporter Bill Chastain earlier this month that Jennings has hit some of the longest home runs the team has had. Jennings said he’s going to concentrate this season on taking good, consistent swings.
Jennings last season hit .252 with 14 home runs and 54 RBIs. He stole 20 bases and was caught stealing six times. Jennings missed 12 games in August 2013 with a fractured left middle finger, and batted just .153 in his first 18 games back from the injury. In September 2013, though, Jennings hit a trio of home runs and drove in 13 runs.
Jennings told MLB.com he has times where he hits really well and times where he feels he can’t see the ball.
Jennings told the website that he feels good heading into this season, and he hopes to provide a consistent offensive output for the Rays, who drafted him in the 10th round of the 2006 MLB Draft. He was called up from Triple A Durham in July 2011. The Rays open the 2014 season today at home against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Pinson Valley High School earlier this year retired Jennings’ No. 3 high school basketball jersey. Jennings, the school’s all-time leading scorer in basketball, graduated in 2005.
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