Feb. 21: Jung is expected to receive additional opinions this week, writes Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, who ominously adds that the injury could ultimately require surgery.
Feb. 18: The Rangers have shut down third base prospect Josh Jung after he strained the labrum in his left shoulder, the team informed reporters (including Levi Weaver of the Athletic). He incurred the injury while recently lifting weights as part of his preseason training program.
Texas didn’t announce a timetable for his return. He’s slated to undergo further evaluation next week, and it’s possible the injury will prove to be a minor setback. If the issue were to affect his readiness for the start of the season, though, it might delay his big league debut. Jung is widely expected to reach the majors this year after splitting the 2021 campaign between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock. He raked at both stops, hitting .308/.366/.544 in Double-A before improving to a .348/.436/.652 showing at the minors’ top level.
Those numbers may have been inflated a touch by a smaller sample, as he was limited to 342 cumulative plate appearances after a stress fracture in his foot delayed his season debut until mid-June. Nevertheless, the right-handed hitter impressed enough in the summer’s final few months to cement his place among the game’s top prospects. The eighth overall pick in 2019 out of Texas Tech (where his brother Jace currently stars), Jung has always hit when healthy. Baseball America rated him among the game’s top 30 prospects this winter, writing that his hit/power combination gives him a chance to be a middle-of-the-order bat.
Jung isn’t regarded as a superlative defender at the hot corner, but evaluators generally believe he could be anywhere from serviceable to solid there. Between those glowing scouting reviews and his high minors performance, the 24-year-old looks likely to get an everyday crack in Arlington at some point in the near future. Jung’s looming arrival — coupled with the free agent spending spree that landed Marcus Semien and Corey Seager — has contributed to some speculation Texas could make infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa available in trade after the lockout.
Without a definitive timetable on Jung, it’s too early to tell whether his injury will affect the front office’s plans for when the transactions freeze concludes. Obviously, it’s also not clear precisely when the MLB season will begin. (Jung is not on the 40-man roster, so he’s not subject to the lockout). Even if the injury lingers past the scheduled start date of the major league season, it’s possible the lockout will carry on long enough that the injury won’t affect his MLB timetable anyhow. Much about the situation remains uncertain, but the Rangers figure to play things very cautiously with one of the most talented young players in the organization.
The rangers were the worst team in all of baseball last year with not even one outstanding player. There was no reason for them to upgrade with Seager and Semien. They just keep making the wrong moves. Need starting pitching, reliefing, and offense from the catcher and outfield spots
I agree, those two guys alone won’t move the needle much. Seager is too injury prone and Semien is bound to regress in the new home park
Please, Hammer. Don't hurt 'em.
The Rangers weren’t the worst team in all of baseball last year. They weren’t even the second worst. The Orioles were the worst and the Diamondbacks were the second worst. The Rangers weren’t even the worst team in the American League. I do agree with you that this was probably the wrong time to make these decisions. They spent like they were on the verge of competition and huge free agent contracts sometimes surprisingly go sour really quick. Marcus Semien is old and his decline could start any moment. Even one of the players who did a player chat was bashing the Rangers for being so stupid. He supported the lower guys getting paid more but pointed out how obvious it is that these huge contracts can hurt baseball more than they help. Alex Rodriguez was one of the best players in history and his $252 million contract hurt the Rangers so much it turned them into the worst team in baseball and they had to eat a bunch of money just to trade him. Corey Seager is no Alex Rodriguez so how do they expect his $325 million contract to be good for them? Plus another $175 million for old man Semien? Then paying for Gray and Cron in top of that? If these guys aren’t superstars for a long time the Rangers just really screwed any chance they have of competing for a decade. The player said something like, “The A-Rod contract destroyed the Rangers team. Now they are paying Corey Seager $325 million? Did they not learn their lesson the first time?”
It was refreshing to hear a player say the truth even though it wasn’t supporting every player making more money in every way. He clearly cared about organizations building their team the right way and not just throwing stupid money around when they aren’t ready to compete. It looks like the Rangers just spent over half a billion dollars to get closer to .500 for a few years. After that, the injuries will start kicking in. Then the decline years. Then those contracts will be underwater and actually hurt the team during the years they would have had the best shot to compete. I think the Gray contract looked reasonable for a team that was just in the playoffs. Not a last place team. The Seager contract looks bad IMO and the Semien contract just shocked everyone. Do they really think Seager is going to be healthier as he gets older? Do they really think Semien is going to continue hitting like this for even close to 5 more years? Much less 7??? It’s bad for baseball when the same teams are bad all the time and this is how it happens sometimes. Unless the Rangers decide they are going to start outspending the Mets and Dodgers these contracts will hurt them more than they help. You can’t have so much money tied up in an injury prone player like Seager and an old guy like Semien. Especially when their best years of the contract are going to be wasted in bad teams anyway.
The Rangers spent like this because the owner gave them the green light to spend. He also has given the green light to keep spending if they need with whatever player they want. This ain’t the same “broke” leadership. This team is backed by a group of billionaires. It has a MLB executive . Do you think MLB will make one of their guys look bad?
Rangers, like the Tigers, probably spent because MLB told them too. It just so happens that right before MLB locks out the players that two teams that were called out by the union decide to spend.
Nah, if you look at where they are in the rebuild, Detroit was just ready to spend. Plus they didn’t spend stupid money.
Please, Hammer. Don't hurt 'em.
@stymee: I agree. I didn’t like the players the Tigers picked up as much but they look like a much better team than Texas to me. I’m guessing Detroit finishes 2nd place next season and could make the playoffs if they are expanded. The players they got arent as good as the Rangers additions, though. What bugs me about the Rangers is they are actually a team that I root for. I hope these players work out for them but I don’t think they will. Both of these contracts will be bad in 5 years and I don’t see them winning a WS between now and then. After that, these players are going to prevent them from winning more than they will help them. I was hoping the Rangers could win the WS in the next 5 or 6 years. Now it looks like it will be at least 10 years before the Rangers really stand a chance because they are going to need to get out from under the Seager deal to have the necessary payroll space to pull it off. My guess is Semien and Seager will both be washed up and still super expensive by the time the Rangers are good enough to make a run at it.
Seager isn’t really injury prone
Kinda fluky is you ask me
Sid Bream Speed Demon
But they DO move the needle. The only needle that matters….marketing for the team.
This guys gets it ^
they are making those moves just sell more tickets. and in turn, make more millions.
In order to ‘pay’ for these two contracts, the Rangers would need to sell 11,830 additional tickets for all 81 home games if the tickets cost $60 per seat. I know the Rangers have been bad for the last 4-5 seasons but I believe they draw a decent crowd for most home games, so I’m not sure the Rangers even have 11,830 unsold seats available for each game. The real key will be if they are able to increase their cable subscriptions and advertising costs to help pay for these two monster contracts. They might be able do that at first (year 1) but if there is no real improvement from the team and they are not in the playoff race soon then this additional revenue will be short-lived. It was a huge gamble by the front office / ownership. While very expensive, the Seager contract didn’t surprise me but the Semien deal was a complete shock. They should have spent that $175M on multiple pitchers if you ask me. IKF, Seager and Jung could have filled the 4-5-6 positions well.
Another cynical way to look at it is this: the Texas billionaire ownership group are among the are Texas energy guys who somehow, someway made extra billions off of Texans by hiking energy rates after the ’21 winter storm. Seager and Semien are indirectly paid for by profiteering off of a natural disaster. Extra cash in ownership’s pocket.
That’s absolutely false. These guys had billions way before the storm LOL. The person who made billions off the storm is Jerry Jones. Who out sourced his energy company. Then raked the prices higher to Texans
They have both a reasonably top heavy and a very deep farm system. But that’s a reasonable thing to say for someone totally out of the loop. Good job!
Agree. Rangers better hope their farm, Acuna’s brother and Leiter emerge. Major league roster is really bad.
Our bullpen is fine and will be a strength. The Rangers will surprise people next year and contend the following year. This is the next step in the rebuild.
Please, Hammer. Don't hurt 'em.
Spending this kind of money on players only works if it’s the next step in taking a playoff team to a world championship team. Was A-Rod the next step in the rebuild? Why didn’t that work? He was a hell of a lot better and a hell of a lot cheaper than these guys.
He wasn’t cheaper. Ever heard of inflation? That was the largest contract at the time and that was a long time ago. The contracts will jus keep going up.
So you want them to be the worst team in baseball again? Not sure what the problem is with trying to make your team better and actually trying to win games.
Please, Hammer. Don't hurt 'em.
I would rather them worry about figuring out the quickest way to win a championship than trying to look better when we all know they will be terrible anyway. These contracts are going to be an albatross that prevents them of winning when they actually have a chance. The first few years of how these players do won’t matter because the Rangers won’t compete regardless. By the time the team is strong enough to compete, these players are going to be well past their prime and their salaries are going to prevent them from making the acquisitions that could put them over the top. They are trying to make this look like a win-now decision when that isn’t possible for them. This is a lose-less-now and lose-more-later decision. That is one of the dumbest ways for a franchise to spend over half a billion dollars. That money could have really done something for them later if they spread it out and spent it at a better time. People who say “the Rangers will make more money because if these contracts” are the same people who said the same thing when the Orioles signed Chris Davis. It’s not true. Does anyone really think the Rangers would have had $325 million less revenue if they didn’t sign Corey Seager? There is no way anyone is paying the Rangers $325 million combined just because they signed Seager. They might raise revenue some but nowhere near that much so signing him is a net loss for them. Once you add Semien’s $175 million on top of that it’s even more ridiculous. There is no way people are just going to start throwing half a billion dollars at the Rangers organization that they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise just because they signed these guys. The big name additions wear off at the box office after one year. The salary’s stay for ten times longer than that. Keep rebuilding until the core you built gets you there. Then you sign guys to push you over the top. Don’t just decide the team is going to be ready when they are in last place. Honestly, teams should wait until they make the playoffs before signings like this happen. The Rangers didn’t even wait until they got out of the gutter. I hope the Rangers fans are excited that this money might buy them 2 or 3 years in 3rd or 4th place. That’s what’s going to happen. Then they are going to start getting worse again and begin another rebuild that won’t finish until the Seager contract is over… In 2032.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
Rangers just probably lost their best hitting prospect right after breaking the piggy bank on free agents. That’s some bad luck. Might not matter though if this season is cancelled.
Falefa isnt getting traded anymore
Good thing they have seager and IKF and Seimien
Is this George Jung’s grandkid? Lol
Superstar Prospect Wander Javier
He’s Carl’s son
Only boldness can deliver from fear. And if the risk is not taken, the meaning of life is somehow violated, and the whole future is condemned to hopeless staleness.-Carl
He can discuss universal archetypes while on the IL.
Not trading for him in an Olson deal .
The A’s aren’t trading Olson in a Jung deal .
Luis Castillo. Jesse winker and Eugenio Suarez for all have multiple yrs of control. For leiter jung and Dustin Harris. Expensive for both teams. Rangers contend now. Reds contend later
so they have one reliable SP in that case
Does it really matter? Not like baseball is being played anytime soon.
Yes, because Jung isn’t on the 40-man
Well how unfortunate for Jung. Looks like an easy out to delay the clock. Tick tock…
Josh is 24? Not as Jung as I thought.
What amuses me is that many of the same people who complain about the Seager and Semien signings would probably be complaining that the Rangers don’t spend what it to compete if they hadn’t signed them. These are quality ballplayers and they don’t come cheap, if they can develop some players around them they’ll be fine.
A strain is a tear. This could go south quickly. Hopefully it’s more minor. Two Yankees — Greg Bird and Miguel Andujar — never really recovered their swings post labrum surgery, so hopefully this does not require surgery.
Yeah, the labrum are tough injuries. It sounds so….feminine though.
They have another RHH infielder and first round pick with some pop in Justin Foscue. He hit about .960 ops over 3 levels, is a year behind Jung. Looks like Texas got some infield talent to trade.