Josh Jung, the Texas Rangers top prospect, has a flair for the dramatic. He hit a home run in his first professional game in the Arizona League in 2019 and then last week made headlines with a blast in his first major league baseball contest. Jung has immediately energized the Rangers fanbase who may have finally found an elite third baseman, something they have lacked since the retirement of Adrián Béltre. It is now fantasy baseball playoff time and the question is – should Jung be drafted as a key contributor to your roster?

These questions come at a perfect time since it’s “Third Base Day” in the Fantasy Baseball Player Spotlight Series. Every Thursday, I break down a different MLB third baseman for your fantasy baseball lineups. Some weeks it is a prospect and others it may be a “Sell High”, “Buy Low” or even totally avoid at all costs-type player. Today, I am going to dig into Josh Jung, the Rangers' 2019 first-round pick and see if he worth a pickup right now in your fantasy baseball leagues or should he be left alone until next season.




Fantasy Baseball Player Spotlight: Josh Jung

Josh Jung certainly knows how to make an entrance. In his first game as a professional with the Arizona League (AZL) Rangers he went yard.

Last week in his first game as a major league baseball player – you guessed it! He went yard again.

The Rangers need more offense at third base and the have needed it since Adrián Béltre retired after the 2018 season. In 2021, they had veterans Charlie Culberson and Brock Holt splitting time and ranked 30th among all 30 MLB teams in both home runs (seven) and OPS (.626) from third base. In 2020, they were 26th in team OPS at third (.646) and overall, since Beltre retired, they are last in team OPS at .620. It’s been a revolving door of Brad Miller, Josh Smith and Culberson this year, but it may have finally all changed. 

There is young talent in this organization including players like Josh Smith and Ezequiel Duran but the spotlight is on Jung, who was the Rangers' first-round pick (eight overall) in 2019 out of Texas Tech. There is also a reason that the Rangers made Jung the eighth-overall pick and a reason he has continued to rise as their top overall prospect: his ability to adapt. He suffered a stress fracture in his foot in spring training of 2021 and missed the first six months of the minor league season. When he returned, he put together a .990 OPS and ended up in Triple-A much quicker than expected. It has been more than a decade since a prospect 24 or younger had a better OPS at the upper levels of the Texas Rangers farm system.

Jung is a gifted hitter with impressive bat-to-ball skills.  He used his time in the minor leagues to perfect his technique at the plate, which allowed him to improve his discipline, and hit for power. He hits and throws right-handed and had played in just 31 minor league games this season (and only 23 at Triple-A due to injury). If he manages to put up the kind of stats that he put up at the Arizona Complex League and at Triple-A Round Rock, the Rangers will be laying the groundwork for 2023. After a faster-than-expected recovery from his shoulder surgery, he began his 2022 season on July 28, when Jung was sent to the Rangers Arizona Complex League team for some rehab at-bats. He quickly went from just being a DH to playing third and hit .240 with three home runs and five RBI in eight games and 25 at-bats. That was enough to get a call to Triple-A Round Rock, where Jung hit .348 with nine home runs and 21 RBI last season. He joined the Express on August 9th and started out on fire posting a 1.322 OPS with five homers in his first 10 games at Round Rock and hitting tape-measure home runs on a regular basis. 




But still, most observers felt that Jung would not make his MLB debut this season. Even though he was putting up stats he also produced the worst strikeout (28.3 percent) and walk (3.8 percent) rates of his minor league career but with a 24% high line drive rates he should hit for at least a solid batting average. Since he was demolishing Triple-A pitching there wasn’t anything left to justify leaving him there the rest of the 2022 season. 

After the firing of former general manager Jon Daniels and former manager Chris Woodward, the Rangers needed a boost to finish the season strong and calling up Jung made perfect sense to give the fanbase something to cheer about and give Rangers will get a chance to see what Jung can do at the MLB level. Then came the bomb in his first major league at bat and even more. Jung set the team record for most extra-base hits in his first six career games in the first inning of Tuesday’s game with the Oakland Athletics. His double to left field made him the first Ranger to have five extra-base hits in his first six games. Jung now holds the record for six games and through five games Jung he is slashing .250/.250/.650 with a .900 OPS with two home runs, two doubles and three RBI.

Right now, Jung is available in 70% of Yahoo and 91% of ESPN leagues. It is playoff time and if you need a bat with pop and lacking in the home run category take a shot at Jung — he may just stay hot and carry your team for a few days. 




Fantasy Alarm is the home of all things Fantasy Sports. Bringing you the best Fantasy FootballFantasy Baseball and Fantasy Basketball content all year long. Be sure to also check out the best fantasy promo codes on offer today!


Related MLB Links: