CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Former Texas Tech baseball star Josh Jung is set to make his 2021 debut Tuesday for the Texas Rangers’ Double-A affiliate, the Frisco RoughRiders.
Jung missed the first part of the season with a broken bone in his foot but is ready to take the field again after 12 weeks of recovery.
“I’d say antsy and nervous to get going,” Jung said of his mindset. “But I’m sure after my first few at-bats, I’ll kind of settle in. Just try to keep my heart rate under control today.”
He was taken No. 8 overall in the 2019 MLB Draft after a three-year career with Texas Tech. He played 40 games for the Single-A Hickory Crawdads that year. The 2020 minor league season was canceled due to COVID-19, so Jung spent 2020 at the Rangers’ alternate site.
Tuesday will be his first taste of Double-A ball.
“As you go up, the competition gets better,” Jung told KLBK Sports. “So, it’s fun to start testing your skills against higher competition.”
He’ll be in the No. 3 spot in the lineup as a designated hitter Tuesday and will dig in against a familiar face: former Texas Tech teammate and current Corpus Christi Hook Parker Mushinski.
“I have to stick to my plan. I have to stick to my strengths and believe that whatever I have in the tank is better than whatever Josh has,” said Mushinski, a Houston Astros farmhand.
Jung suffered his injury during spring training in March. He said his foot had been bothering him for a while and was feeling progressively worse. Tests confirmed a broke fifth metatarsal.
After getting foot surgery, his rehab schedule consisted of light exercises until he got his stitches out. After that, he slowly progressed to the point where he was ready to take the field again.
Jung hit .348 with 33 home runs and 181 RBI in 191 career games as a Red Raider. He was an All-American twice and took Tech to the College World Series two times.
The Rangers hope he can bring similar success to their franchise, and his road to doing so resumes Tuesday night.