Rays' outfield duo to play in Futures Game
Jennings, Kang slated to take center stage in St. Louis
ST. PETERSBURG -- Desmond Jennings and Kyeong Kang will represent the Rays in the 2009 Futures Game.
Both players are highly touted outfield prospects in the Tampa Bay organization. Jennings will play for the U.S. Team, while Kang, who has a Korean heritage, will play for the World Team.
The 11th annual XM All-Star Futures Game, pitting the best Minor League prospects from the United States against the best from the rest of the World, will be held at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on All-Star Sunday, July 12, at 2 p.m. ET. MLB.com will provide complete coverage before, during and after the game, which can be seen live on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD and followed live on Gameday.
Jennings has the potential to be a five-tool player. He has a good knowledge of the strike zone, which can be seen in his walks-to-strikeouts ratio. He is an excellent basestealer, runs good routes in the outfield and is a quality athlete who happens to be a good baseball player.
Jennings battled injuries throughout the 2008 season. A back problem slowed him first before his left shoulder required season-ending surgery. Despite those injuries and just 85 at-bats in '08, Jennings was named the best athlete and the No. 5 prospect in the Rays' organization by Baseball America.
Jennings was drafted out of Itawamba Community College (Miss.). He earned second-team All-America honors as a wide receiver at Pinson Valley (Ala.) High School.
Kang was named the Class A Hudson Renegades' Player of the Year in 2008 after hitting .278 with six home runs and 43 RBIs in 69 games. In addition to leading the team in RBIs, total bases and slugging percentage, he tied for second in the New York-Penn League in triples. He was named to the NYPL All-Star Game.
Kang was drafted out of Parkview High School in Lilburn, Ga., the alma mater of Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.