Rangers prospect Jung out 6 months after shoulder surgery
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers third-base prospect Josh Jung underwent surgery Wednesday morning to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, general manager Chris Young announced. Jung is the No. 2 prospect in Texas' system, according to MLB Pipeline, and No. 48 overall.
The rehab process is expected to take six months, and Young said the team expects Jung to make a full recovery. Jung injured the shoulder, which is on his non-throwing side, while lifting weights in Arizona earlier this month, before the start of the Rangers' Minor League spring camp. Team physician Dr. Keith Meister performed the surgery in Arlington.
“In terms of his career and what [the injury] means for this season, we're very confident that Josh Jung is still a tremendous player and is going to be a tremendous player for us,” Young said.
The Rangers' top position-player prospect, Jung is expected to make his MLB debut this season, but the surgery extends that timeline until at least mid-August. This is the second consecutive year that an injury has delayed Jung’s season and his highly anticipated big league debut. In 2021, he suffered a stress fracture in his right foot during Spring Training and didn’t appear in a game until June.
“I think the experience he had with the foot will serve him well,” Young said. “I think that he will be able to understand what all goes into the rehab process. Josh proved that last year; he's been through it. We have no doubt about the character, the work ethic and [the] commitment that he will make. We know that our rehab staff is tremendous. We are confident that with all those factors combined, Josh will have a smooth recovery.”
Jung wasted no time after getting on the field and slashed .326/.398/.592 (.990 OPS) in 78 games between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock in 2021.
Jung was expected to compete for the Opening Day third baseman job in camp, but Young said he’s confident in the depth the Rangers have at the position throughout the organization. Most notably, 2020 Gold Glover Isiah Kiner-Falefa, whom the Rangers moved to shortstop in 2021 to clear a path for Jung, will likely reclaim the third-base job.
“Josh wants to be as good as he possibly can be, and he will reach his full potential,” Young said. “But our hope is that you get these out of the way early in his career and there's nothing that can prevent him from being injury-free for the next 15 years of his career. When he's out on the field, he's performed to the expectations that we had hoped and it's been fun to watch them.”