Although not officially in the lineup for today’s game against the Blue Jays, Rangers top prospect Josh Jung – who once graced the baseball diamond at Texas Tech University – will likely make his season debut with Texas on Friday in Arlington.
“It’s everything I’ve ever been working for my entire life,” Jung told MLB.com on Thursday.
Jung, a 24-year-old third baseman, was the eighth overall pick of the 2019 amateur draft selected by the Rangers. Ahead of being selected by Texas, Jung played three seasons of college where he had a career batting average of .348 in 191 games, belted 33 home runs, and drove in 181 RBI.
Jung returned from a shoulder injury early this year that cost him a potential spot on the big-league roster for much of the season. He made his debut in the minors in late July, playing eight games in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League before moving up to Triple-A Round Rock, where he hit .273 with six homers and 24 RBIs in 23 games.
His big-league debut will come with the Rangers (59-77) on the verge of their sixth straight losing season and just weeks after the firings of the president of baseball operations Jon Daniels and manager Chris Woodward. There are 26 games remaining, and the Rangers’ next win will match their win total from last season when they lost 102 games.
“He’s doing what we expected him to do, but we still want him to play and acclimate himself to being able to play every day and do things not just offensively, but defensively as well,” Rangers skipper Tony Beasley told The Dallas Morning News of Jung before he was called up from the farm.
“There’s two sides to the ball, so when and if he gets here — and I would hope that he would be at some point before we close out the season — he’s ready to come up and play every day and perform. We just want to make sure that he checks all the boxes and that his health and everything is good and that we have no concerns about where he’s at when we try to bring him up,” Beasley said.
Jung – a 6’2″, 214-pound righty — told Inside The Rangers his plan for major league baseball is to be dependable.
“Just trying to be as consistent as I can be is fine,” he said. “My routine is fine. It leads me to just being ready to play.”
Texas starts a three-game home stand against Toronto (76-60) which is still in the mix for a post-season spot and trails AL East front-runner New York by six games.
The first pitch at Globe Life Field is slated for 7:05 p.m. on Friday. The probable pitcher for the contest is Ross Stripling (7-4, 3.03) for the Blue Jays and Dane Dunning (3-8, 4.37) for Texas.