Baseball America has updated their top 100 prospect list, and the Texas Rangers have gone from having no prospects on the list to having one prospect on the list, with third baseman Josh Jung checking in at #99.
Jung, the Rangers’ first round draft pick out of Texas Tech last year, represented a shift in philosophy for the Rangers, who eschewed their traditional approach, which prioritized toolsy high school players, in favor of focusing on college players with proven contact ability and good exit velocity numbers. That led to Jung and Davis Wendzel of Baylor being the top two picks of the Rangers in 2019, and Justin Foscue being the team’s top pick in 2020.
Baseball America generally adds players at the bottom of the list on the updates done during the season to replace players who graduate due to no longer being prospect-eligible, so whether Jung is going to be at #99 or somewhere else when the full update is done this offseason remains to be seen.
Most encouraging is that BA’s blurb mentions that “Jung has been one of the most impressive players” at the Rangers’ Alternate Training Site. Jung was seen as someone who was fairly polished and who could move quickly, with the main question about him being his power. Jung did not display a ton of game power in college, although the thinking by some prognosticators was that some minor adjustments could allow him to elevate and drive the ball more, making him a potential 60 hit/60 power guy at third base.
We mentioned Jung earlier today when going down the list of internal options for the Rangers’ lineup in 2021, though he would seem to be unlikely to be the Opening Day third baseman next year. Its also worth noting that the reviews BA is getting on Jung’s performance this summer are going to be coming from the Rangers’ organization, and so its not unreasonable to have some skepticism about these reports. Still, if Jung is performing at this sort of level, he could have a legitimate shot to make the Rangers’ Opening Day roster in 2021.