Josh Jung, Texas Rangers third base prospect, has a stress fracture in his foot, the team announced today. Jung will have surgery to have a screw put in his left foot, and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks as a result.
This is bad news, though its worth noting it is not as bad as it may first appear. While I thought the Rangers would be open to the possibility of Jung winning the third base job this spring, from the time camp opened the club has been pretty emphatic that their 2019 first round pick out of Texas Tech would be starting the season in the minors. The team had previously indicated that Jung would begin the year at AAA Round Rock.
Jung playing for the Express seemed to be in no small part because the A and AA seasons were going to be delayed by a month, while AAA would start on time. Jung starting the year at AAA, rather than AA Frisco, as one would expect, would get him an extra month’s worth of games.
However, the AAA season is also starting late, with all full season minor leagues beginning in the first week of May. That means not only that Jung might start the year in Frisco, it also means that Jung will potentially only miss a couple of weeks of the minor league season. Jon Daniels said, per the beats, that this injury shouldn’t significantly impact Jung’s ability to make it to the majors this year.
Jung, taken 8th overall in 2019, was seen as a bit of a reach at that spot by many, as the ranking services generally had him slotted in the teens overall. He has impressed as a professional, though, and has seemed to alleviate many of the concerns regarding his ability to hit for power — the biggest question mark he had coming out of college. He is a consensus top 100 prospect in baseball, and the feeling seems to be that he has a very good chance of being the Rangers’ everyday third baseman by the end of the season.