Prospect Jung injures shoulder before Minors camp

February 18th, 2022

ARLINGTON -- Third baseman Josh Jung, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Rangers’ No. 2 prospect, was shut down late last week after experiencing left shoulder discomfort while lifting weights in Arizona, the club announced on Friday.

Jung was evaluated by team physician Keith Meister, who indicated a labral strain in Jung’s non-throwing arm. According to the Rangers, Jung will undergo further evaluation at the start of Minor League camp next week to map out a plan for treatment and to determine how long he will be sidelined.

Jung posted a slash line of .326/.398/.592 and an .990 OPS in 78 games between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock in 2021. He is Texas’ top position player prospect and could make his MLB debut this year. He was anticipated to do so in ‘21 but got a late start to the Minor League season because of a stress fracture in his right foot suffered during Spring Training.

This spring, Jung was expected to compete with 2020 Gold Glover Isiah Kiner-Falefa for the Opening Day third-base job. Jung likely still will make his debut this season, but the shoulder injury leaves the question of when that will be.

“You want to be optimistic, right?” Jung said in January about making the Opening Day roster. “Going into camp, it's like, just be healthy and stay healthy. That's the main goal. But the goal is to break with the club at some point this year.”

Depending on the severity of Jung's injury, Kiner-Falefa could reclaim the position if Jung has to start the season at Triple-A or on the injured list. The Rangers have a crowded infield that includes Andy Ibáñez and Yonny Hernandez, who both made their MLB debuts in 2021 and can play any of the infield positions.