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MLB Draft Insider: Rangers select Josh Jung eighth overall

MLB Draft Insider: Rangers select Josh Jung eighth overall

When you think of third basemen as a Texas Rangers fan, the first person that comes to mind is Adrián Beltré. And why wouldn’t it be? The future Hall of Fame infielder spent eight seasons in Arlington and played a vital role in the 2011 World Series team while also having some of the best years of his career in Texas.

Even though the Beltré era is over at third base, it might be time for a new one to start- The Josh Jung era.

The Rangers drafted Jung with the eighth overall pick out of Texas Tech in the 2019 MLB Draft on Monday. Standing at 6-foot-2-inches and 215 pounds, Jung provides much needed corner infield presenece to the Rangers’ up-and-coming minor league system on both the offensive end and the defensive end.

Hailing from MacArthur High School in San Antonio, the 21-year-old right-hander was named 2019’s Big 12 Co-Player of the Year after posting a .332/.471/.609/1.080 line with 11 home runs, 21 doubles and 53 RBIs as a junior at Texas Tech. Jung’s 21 doubles were second-most in the Big 12 and ranked 22nd in the nation.

This year, Jung was one of just 25 collegiate players whose name is on the semifinal list for the Golden Spikes Award, an award that’s bestowed annually to the best amateur baseball player in the U.S., for the second year in a row.

Jung has showcased the power to hit the opposite way as his collegiate years have progressed. Scouts note that Jung is expected to add power wherever he plays in the farm system because of his ability to pull pitches and take advantage of his strength. At third base, Jung is renowned for being alert and having plus hands and a plus arm, helping him to make athletic plays when needed.

While Jung might face some pressure as a top 10 draft pick, GM Jon Daniels could be on the hot seat in the next few seasons if Jung doesn’t pan out because of how unlucky the Rangers have been on draft day in recent years. This year was just the second time since 2003 that the Rangers had a top 10 overall pick.

Not to mention, this year’s draft was the first time in 10 years that Rangers scouting director Kip Fagg selected a collegiate hitter with his first pick. Before this, the Rangers last used on a top pick on a hitter in 2008 when they drafted Justin Smoak with the 11th overall selection.

In 2015, the Rangers had the No. 4 overall pick and drafted Dillon Tate, a pitcher from UC-Santa Barbara who never pitched a game above Class A before getting dealt to the New York Yankees in a trade package for Carlos Beltran.

 

 

Staff Writer covering the Texas Rangers.

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