Tampa Bay Rays OF Desmond Jennings set a franchise and personal record on Sunday as the Rays defeated the Baltimore Orioles 8-5. Jennings belted three home runs, setting a franchise record for a spring training game. The Rays outfielder hit a grand slam as well as two solo shots for the Rays. Jennings told reporters after the exhibition game that he had never hit three home runs over the fence in his career.
Jennings performance at the plate is exceptionally good new for the Tampa Bay Rays. Jennings has been struggling with an injury he sustained after a collision with CF B.J. Upton nearly two weeks ago. As a result of that collision, Upton is likely to start the regular season on the disabled list. Had Jennings and Upton both been unable to start, Tampa Bay would have struggled to put together an outfield without sacrificing bench depth. According to reports, Upton was seen throwing catch on Sunday.
Jennings is one of the best young outfield talents in the majors currently and will be starting his first complete season in the majors this season. In 287 plate appearances last season, Jennings hit ten home runs while stealing 20 bases. Jennings finished seventh in AL Rookie of the Year voting last season.