Why 3B Josh Jung sits atop FanGraph’s Texas Rangers prospect rankings
By David Esser
With the Texas Rangers reeling off an 0-12 road skid, I felt now was a pretty appropriate time to switch gears and start checking back in with some of the team’s minor league talents. As much fun as someone like Adolis Garcia has been to watch as of late, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Rangers are going to need a few extra pieces to appropriately contend in the future, which is why these players down in the farm system are so important at the moment.
In a recent post on fangraphs.com (highly recommend you save this site in your browser if you haven’t already done so), Eric Longenhagen ranked the top 65 prospects in the Rangers system at the moment. The post is extremely detailed, giving scouting reports and analysis on some fan-favorite prospects like Cole Winn and Hans Crouse.
When looking at who sits atop said list, it was none other than Josh Jung. A hard-hitting third baseman from Texas Tech University, here’s what FanGraphs had to say about him, and why he should be viewed as the Rangers best overall prospect at the moment:
"Last year, I wrote that if Jung (pronounced like “young”) was going to get to all of his considerable raw power in games, he probably needed a swing change that would enable him to pull the ball more consistently, and that he’d move into the 50 FV tier once and if that occurred. Well, it did. I saw Jung a few times in college and again after he was drafted, and while he struck balls with authority, he was inside-outing everything to center or right-center field and couldn’t really get around the baseball to pull it, even during batting practice. While Jung’s strength and feel to hit enabled a high quality of contact despite this atypical style, there are just times when it’s best for hitters to turn on middle-in mistakes and park them in the left field seats or rip them down the line for a double, and I finally saw Jung start to do that in the fall of 2020. He was a .346/.452/.562 career hitter at Tech and had more walks than strikeouts during his last two years with the Red Raiders. Originally thought to be a risk to move to first base, Jung has not only allayed those concerns but also played a passable college shortstop and deserves an extended look at second base in pro ball to see if he can do it. He’s 23 and still hasn’t played above A-ball because of the pandemic, and his 2021 season got off to a delayed start because of a stress fracture in his left foot. But Jung has a long enough offensive track record to feel confident that he’ll hit enough to profile at third base, and if he can pass at second, then he’ll rocket up this list toward the top of the 50 FV tier at least"
3B Josh Jung was named the Texas Rangers top prospect by FanGraphs earlier this week.
While it’s fair to question if Jung’s development has already been thrown off track due to his above average age and the wonky pandemic-stricken minor league schedule, his ability to simply hit the baseball is something that should have him stick in the major leagues once he gets there.
Baseball Reference has him pinned as a .348 hitter in college, and he went 10-17 during his brief rookie ball appearance back in 2019. MLB.com also lists Jung as the Texas Rangers top overall prospect at the moment – definitely a player worth keeping an eye on once he’s off the injured list and back down in AA getting some at-bats in.