ARLINGTON (KFDX/KJTL) — Fans of the Texas Tech Red Raiders will have even more of a rooting interest in the Texas Rangers in 2023.
Third baseman Josh Jung is set to make his Opening Day debut when Texas begins its season against the Philadelphia Phillies at 3:05 p.m. Thursday, March 30, 2023, at Globe Life Field in Arlington.
The former Big 12 Co-Player of the year hit a home run in his first major league at-bat last season. Jung would hit .235 with five homers in 26 games in 2022 but also struck out 39 times, so there is plenty to work on in his rookie season.
“It’s just continuing to build and hone my approach,” Jung said. “There is no ‘Oh, I am there’, it’s always ‘how can I find a way to tweak these things’. That’s my approach going forward is just that I’ve had a pretty good spring approach-wise, and how can I just continue to build on that throughout the year.”
Rangers teammate and former Oklahoma State standout Andrew Heaney has been impressed with what he’s seen from Jung.
“Obviously I knew he could hit,” Heaney said. “And at third, it looks like he’s really putting in the work. He’s doing a great job and looks really comfortable over there. So like you said, having an infield like that is exciting.”
Jung has also caught the eye of new Rangers manager Bruce Bochy.
“I didn’t know a lot about this kid,” Bochy said. “And he’s not a surprise. But you talk about guys that have really grabbed your attention, it’s been Josh. Defensively, and offensively. But more importantly, it’s been what he’s doing defensively. He’s done a good job on the slow rollers, going left-right. He’s done a really good job.”
Now Jung gets his opportunity to fulfill the expectations created on draft day in 2019.