The Mets have signed outfielder Desmond Jennings to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Las Vegas, tweets James Wagner of the New York Times. Jennings, a client of the Boras Corporation, spent Spring Training with the Reds but was released late in camp.
Jennings, 30, hit .195/.300/.415 with two home runs and two steals in his 18 games with Cincinnati this spring — an apparent continuation of the struggles that’ve plagued him in recent seasons. Once one of the game’s top overall prospects based on a promising blend of power and speed, Jennings’ career has been slowed significantly by leg injuries, including knee surgery back in 2015.
After hitting .249/.327/.402 in just under 2000 plate appearances from 2011-14; along the way he hit between 10 and 14 homers and racked up between 15 and 31 steals in each of those four campaigns. Since that time, though, Jennings owns an anemic .222/.295/.347 batting line in 333 trips to the plate.
It’s not clear that Jennings is a reliable option in center field anymore — the Rays shifted him to left field in 2015, though some of that was due to Kevin Kiermaier’s emergence — but Jennings does have experience there. He also provides the Mets with a potential right-handed complement to a rather left-leaning collection of outfielders, including Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce and Michael Conforto. Of course, it’s far from certain that Jennings will ever surface in the bigs with the Mets, though he’s headed to a very hitter-friendly environment, which shouldn’t hurt his chances at rediscovering some confidence and getting into a good offensive groove at the plate.