#34 - Todd Jennings
|Date of Birth: 12/10/1981||Position: 3B||Height: 6'0"||Weight: 190||Bats: R||Throws: R|
Acquired: Drafted in the 2nd Round (#55 Overall) of the 2003 Draft
|San Jose - High A||.288||.321||.395||.716||504||64||145||22||1||10||67||23||77||7||5|
Todd Jennings came out of 2003 looking pretty sunny as a prospect, a highly rated defensive catcher with a good bat-for-average tool in a system with a need for catchers as the prospects at the higher levels were having problems.
Unfortunately, thats where things ended. The Giants, unsure of Jennings ability to stay healthy as an everyday catcher, moved Jennings to third (and pushed him to San Jose). The health worries may have been warranted, as Jennings suffered a strained shoulder after a number of struggles at High-A. But after a return to Salem-Keizer to rehab which showed some pop back in his bat, things were looking up.
The good news is that Jennings returned to San Jose, and served as one of the teams primary third basemen and did fairly well, certainly better than 2004. The bad news was that he was primarily a third baseman and otherwise shuffled around the infield.
Jennings still has the ability to hit for average. He draws a fair number of walks and doesnt strike out too often, and runs fairly well. But he really doesnt have much power. Although he reached double digits in San Jose, which is a huge improvement, the California League is a hitters league which lessens the impact of those numbers, and Jennings didnt back them up with enough doubles and triples. If he were still a catching problem, that wouldnt be a big deal. But Jennings seems to be destined as an infielder, and particularly when playing the corners, low power numbers can drag a prospect down.
Maybe as Jennings gets older and stronger, he can find some way to show he can handle catching again. Being one would strengthen his chances at making the majors and playing everyday. But, should that not happen (and its not likely), he still has some use with his versatility around the infield, and if he can keep his power improving and improve his reactions at third and second, theres some value in him being a utility player.
This year, like with many of the 2005 California League champs, is a make-it-or-break-it year, as Jennings is going to AA. AA has long been the foil for hitting prospects, particularly borderline ones who had big years in San Jose. Jennings year wasnt a banner year, so if he keeps his numbers close to what he put up in San Jose, itll be a very good sign. But if Jennings is going to have any chance at the bigs, hes going to have to find a way to survive playing in the Eastern League.
Have any questions about these prospects, or perhaps some we haven't named? SFDugout.com will be answering your questions throughout this series! Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Love me, hate me, idolize me, or laugh at me, just don't ignore me. Let me know what you think: write me at email@example.com .
The views expressed in the columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the site's publisher, writers, or other staff members. The content on this site may not be redistributed without the expressed consent of SFDugout.com.