ARLINGTON -- A dream came true for two college third basemen on Wednesday when the Rangers officially announced the signings of their top two picks from last month’s MLB Draft.
The Rangers reached an agreement on a $4.4 million bonus with Josh Jung of Texas Tech, who was the eighth overall pick in the Draft, and a $1.6 million bonus with Davis Wendzel of Baylor, who went 41st overall. They are both represented by Scott Boras.
But that’s not all they have in common. Jung and Wendzel both play the same position and shared co-Player of the Year honors in the Big 12 this past season.
Now they begin their professional careers together. This could get interesting for two big bats who play the same position. But they don’t see this as a rivalry.
“Josh is a great player,” Wendzel said. “Definitely don’t think there is going to be a rivalry. I’ve talked to him a bunch, he’s a really good guy. We both play a lot of different positions, I’ve got a bunch of different gloves being sent to me, all different sizes, I can play anywhere.”
The two were introduced during separate press conferences at Globe Life Park on Wednesday and presented with Rangers jerseys. Then they stood side by side just the two of them while talking and watching the Rangers take batting practice before their game against the Angels.
“You know, we have been playing against each other for three years now,” Jung said. “Any time we were on base we would always talk, so we are already pretty good friends. We have had tons of conversations, and both of us have many gloves. We can play all around the field. We are lucky to play with each other.”
The Rangers need both to succeed. Jung and Wendzel have a chance to add some advanced offensive firepower into the Rangers' farm system.
Jung, who stands 6-foot-2, played in 64 games for Texas Tech this season, hitting .343 with 15 home runs, 58 RBIs, a .474 on-base percentage and a .636 slugging percentage. He led the Red Raiders to the College World Series by hitting two home runs against Oklahoma State in the finals of the Super Regional.
Wendzel, standing at six feet, played in 46 games for Baylor and hit .367 with eight home runs, 42 RBIs, a .484 on-base percentage and a .610 slugging percentage. He also committed just two errors, an indication of his defensive excellence.
Jung showed his defensive versatility this season by playing shortstop when the Red Raiders were hit hard by injuries. If both players can swing the bat in the Minor Leagues, the Rangers will have no problems finding them a position.
“We saw both Josh and Davis as versatile defenders who can play different positions,” Rangers scouting director Kip Fagg said. “They are both great baseball players. That’s why we took them, the best players on the board.”
Both will head to Surprise, Ariz., to begin working out at the Rangers' complex. The Rangers have not determined where they will begin playing, but Class A Spokane is a common starting point for an advanced college player.
“Growing up it was always my dream to play at the highest level possible,” Jung said. “I got to go to college and it has always been my dream to play professional baseball, it’s pretty special.”
Jung is a native Texan who was born in San Antonio and played high school baseball there at MacArthur High School. Wendzel is from California, but he accompanied his dad on business trips to Texas while growing up, which is why he chose Baylor. He loves Texas and was thrilled when the Rangers signed him.
“It’s awesome,” Wendzel said. “I came to Texas for a reason. I want to stay here. To be picked by the Rangers, you go into the Draft, you don’t want to have a favorite team you want to go to, but in the back of my head I really wanted to go to the Rangers. To be picked by them is a great honor. I’m ready to play."