2019 MLB Draft Preview: Josh Jung scouting report
The 2019 MLB Draft is just over five weeks away — the first round kicks off on June 3, 2019 — its time to start offering capsule looks at players the Texas Rangers could select with their top picks. The Rangers’ first round pick is at #8, their second round pick is at #50, and they have Milwaukee’s competitive balance pick, acquired in the Alex Claudio trade, which is #41.
Leading up to draft day, we will be doing writeups of some of the players who could end up getting selected by the Rangers with one of their first three picks. Today, we are looking at Texas Tech third baseman Josh Jung.
Josh Jung is a 6’2”, 215 lb. righthanded hitting third baseman from Texas Tech. His calling card is his hit tool, as he’s been a terrific offensive performer in the Big 12 over his career. Like many college third basemen, there are questions about his ability to stick at third base, with some evaluators thinking he will eventually have to move to first base, while others think he can be solid enough defensively at the hot corner to stay there.
MLB Pipeline is the high guy on Jung right now, having him ranked #6 overall on their board. Baseball America’s latest draft ranking has Jung at #12, dropping from his earlier #9 ranking. Fangraphs has Jung at #14 on their board, while Keith Law has Jung at #18 on his rankings, which just came out today.
BA’s most recent mock draft slotted Jung at #13, to the Minnesota Twins. Jung was not in the mock first ten picks Fangraphs did recently, though they indicated that he would have gone off the board in the next few picks.
Jung is a popular name among Rangers fans, owing to his local ties and the fact the Rangers don’t have a long-term third baseman in place. However, there’s a fair risk that Jung ends up having to move off of third base, which would likely land him at first base, as it appears concerns about his speed and athleticism make him a less than ideal fit in the outfield. In addition, Jung has not shown the power you would want from a top-10 corner bat, and while there is hope that he will, as BA puts it, get more power “down the road,” Jung risks being a Brett Wallace type, a college 3B with a quality approach and hit tool, but who can’t stick at 3B and whose power never actualizes.
Fangraphs, in their last mock draft, mentioned the possibility of the Rangers taking a guy who would take below slot at #8 so they can spend more with their next two picks, and Jung would be a possible option if they go that route, as he’s a college junior, and appears unlikely to go in the top 10 at this point.
Some video (the first clip is from Tepid):