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  1. The problem with a 22-24-26 rule is it assumes all major league organizations take the same approach to promoting talent, while we know TB has an intense dedication to service time manipul-, I mean, patient development of prospects. On another team Jennings would probably have been up by now.

    Comment by Sean — October 10, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

  2. I agree. Like Moore, he could have been promoted more than a year early if he is in some other organization. I mean if Moore was drafted by Detroit, he would have been the Tiger’s number 2 guy in the playoffs

    Comment by Kampfer — October 10, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

  3. Moore started game 1 for the Rays.

    Comment by wow — October 10, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

  4. If Moore was drafted by Detroit, he’s probably arb-eligible (and a bloody sinkerballer) by now.

    But yeah, Jennings would have easily been up a year or even two years before now. That rule doesn’t work with extreme examples like Tampa and Detroit.

    Comment by JG — October 10, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

  5. With Jennings, you also have to consider that he really didn’t play much baseball (focused on football) before the pros, and also lost development time to injury. I think the 22-24-26 rule certainly holds water when looking at career totals, as well as a general trend that the most talented players make it at younger ages. However, given the aforementioned Rays’ tendencies, as well as the two factors I mentioned, I think Jennings has some qualities that could lead to a solid peak in the majors.

    Comment by travolta19 — October 10, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

  6. In all honesty, I think the Rays not wanting to start the time clock is a bit overblown based on the recent history of the organization. I found the names/debut ages below with a 3-minute run through the roster.

    Upton – 19
    Crawford – 20
    Brignac – 22
    Longoria – 22
    Moore – 22
    Hellickson – 23
    Jennings – 23
    McGee – 23

    In retrospect, Jennings debut at 23 would have raised his ceiling a bit i my mind. However, I don’t really think manipulating his time clock changes anything really.

    Comment by Mike Newman — October 10, 2011 @ 9:03 pm

  7. You make some good points travolta. However, a few things for you to consider as I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking through scenarios like this.

    Yes, Jennings missed time due to football, but he’s not the typical explosive/extremely raw prospect who comes out of football. From day one, he has had a solid batting eye and didn’t K a bunch. For me, this means Jennings may not have that growth potential you are assuming is there once he plays more games.

    Also, lost development time is just that. The hundreds of missed plate appearances can, and often do negatively affect a prospects top end potential. It’s time that’s lost for good.

    Also, I already posted previously that I think the Rays holding players back is overblown. If a prospect is deserving of a promotion, the Rays often do pull the trigger. And even if they do hold a guy back a few months, it often does not push a debut age back a full year.

    Comment by Mike Newman — October 10, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

  8. Mike, what do you think about his K rate? One of Deezy’s strengths has been his ability to control the zone in the minors with moderate gap power (and of course speed, speed, speed). This year, in both Durham/TB, his K rates jumped fairly dramatically while his walk rates remained steady. Certainly we expect higher level pitching, at the bigs at least, to challenge him, but I was a little disappointed to see the contact erode.

    Of course, while his debut was both hot and cold, the corollary (and pleasant surprise) was his power. He’s been long-projected to be in the 12-15 range, and hit 10 in just 287 PA this year. It’s not often you see a rookie ISO higher than any minor league level. From your observations, do you think this is tied to his increased K rate and he’s sacrificing contact for power? Or just some random uncorrelated small sample size phenomenon…

    Either way, I love me some Jennings, but oddly more as a .300/.380/.430 than a .270/.350/.460 (take advantage of that speed!)

    Comment by Bien — October 11, 2011 @ 2:17 am

  9. I see Jennings more along the McCutchen comps then i do Austin jackson. McCutchen is considered one of the brightest young players in the league and now an all-star. Jennings k rate is a little higher then what McCutchen’s was thru out the minors and in the big leagues, but i think the power is quite equal and as I don’t see Jennings as a 25-30 homer guy i don’t see why 20 would be outta the question. McCutchen seems to be around a 275-280 hitter with 20 homer pop and the ability to steal 30 bags in his best year. I Don’t think it’s to crazy to project Jennings as 270-280 hitter with maybe a little less bombs in the 15-20 range (could very easily hit over 20), but could also hit 250. Which is what McCutchen hit this year. What Jennings will out do McCutchen in though is steals, McCutchen is a 20-25 steal guy on average where i see Jennings stealing 40 plus next year. If Jennings were to produce a .270/.350/.460 with 18 homers 40 something odd stolen bases and close to 100 runs I don’t see how he can’t be considered just as good if not better then McCutchen. Which would make Jennings more then just a solid big league option.

    Comment by longfellow terry — October 11, 2011 @ 3:59 am

  10. Upton and Craw were the old regime. Moore was a September call up and McGee wasn’t with the team all year.

    Comment by Greg — October 11, 2011 @ 8:56 am

  11. McGee made his debut late last year and broke camp on the big league roster this season. Early struggles led to a demotion and he earned his way back to Tampa. Even if you throw Crawford and Upton out the window, they still pushed Longoria without regard for his time clock. At present, they are also pushing both of their shortstop prospects in Beckham and Lee pretty hard to fill that spot.

    Comment by Mike Newman — October 11, 2011 @ 11:44 am

  12. McCutchen is considered one of the brightest young players in the league because he has close to 2,000 career plate appearances and is younger than Jennings. Plus, McCutchen played his upper level minor league ball at an age where he was significantly younger than the level of competition where Jennings was age appropriate for a prospect in AA-AAA. To simply translate those numbers without considering age-versus-level does McCutchen a disservice. The latter part of your argument about steals is fair, but Jennings’ 22 home runs across AAA and MLB this season was only 7 less than his entire minor league career COMBINED prior to 2011. With only 4 XBH in September/October combined, are you sure his power surge was not just an unsustainable binge? I’m not saying it was either, but I don’t have enough evidence to say Jennings will hit 15-20 HR in his prime. McCutchen HAS hit 23 in a season already. There’s a big difference there in proven power potential I just can’t move past.

    Comment by Mike Newman — October 11, 2011 @ 11:58 am

  13. Yeah i see what your saying with the age thing. And the evidence unless you count the small sample size he had this year def isn’t there to make the argument that he will be a 15-20 homer guy. I watched Jennings quite a bit and i think that he’s turned a corner between this year and when he got called up last year for a bit. I feel last year he was really pulling off most pitches and losing his power. In triple-A this year before he got called up he had 12 home runs which was his career high in the minors. The majors is def a step up but with AL east ballparks and some of the absolute atrocious pitching that there is in the AL east I think his power is easy 15 homers. But that’s just me.

    Comment by longfellow terry — October 11, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

  14. Chase Utley would be a case against the 22-24-26 rule

    Comment by kylejo — October 12, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

  15. There are exceptions for every rule. Other exceptions are Ryan Braun, Matt Holliday and one more star who I don’t remember off the top of my head. Just about all the guys who fit this criteria are former big time college hitters.

    Comment by Mike Newman — October 12, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

  16. That’s all well and good, but if a kid is THAT ready to be up and making the kind of star impact at the major-league level that young, he’ll find a way to get up, one way or another.

    Comment by Michael Procton — November 30, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

  17. Nelson Cruz certainly comes to mind.

    Comment by Paul Thomas — November 30, 2011 @ 11:53 pm

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