The Case: Jung only has 98 big-league plate appearances and was limited through the 2022 season because of a shoulder injury. He was also was the Rangers number-one prospect in 2022 as well as a top 50 prospect in all of baseball. He slashed .321/.525/.846 through 106 at-bats at Round Rock before earning a big-league call-up on September 9th. Jung should play everyday at third base during the 2023 season and will be talked about as a potential Rookie of the Year candidate before the season. Perhaps he’s stated his claim among the top third basemen in the American League by the time the All-Star game comes to Arlington. Rangers fans certainly hope this is the case.
Brock Burke was traded to the Rangers as a part of the Jurickson Profar trade prior to the 2019 season. He battled through multiple injury-plagued seasons before finding a home in the Rangers bullpen in 2022. In 82.1 innings spread out across 52 appearances, Burke allowed only 18 runs and struck out 90 hitters. By the end of the year, he was the Rangers’ most reliable option out of the bullpen along with fellow starter-turned-reliever Matt Moore. Moore is currently a free agent, but Burke isn’t arbitration eligible yet. There’s a chance he continues to improve as he further distances himself from Tommy John surgery and continues to acclimate to life in the bullpen.
Undoubtedly, one of these players will get hurt or underperform in 2024 and we’ll look back on these predictions and wonder what we were thinking at the time. But chances are also high that a prospect from the ranks of Owen White or Justin Foscue comes up, makes an instant impact, and hears their name mentioned in All-Star discussions. There’s also no telling what former All-Star may find their way onto the Texas Rangers over the course of the next two seasons.
This is an exciting time to be a Texas Rangers fan, and not only because the All-Star game is coming to town in a few years. Plenty of stars will be showing off their skills throughout the course of the next few seasons.