Inbox: When will Jung be ready for big leagues?

Beat reporter T.R. Sullivan answers questions from Rangers fans

October 28th, 2019

When will third baseman Josh Jung -- the Rangers' 2019 No. 1 pick -- realistically be MLB ready?

-- Bob H. San Antonio

Alex Bregman was taken with the second overall pick in the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft and made his Major League debut on July 25, 2016. Anthony Rendon, a first-round pick in ‘11, spent a full season in the Minors before debuting on April 21, 2013. George Springer and Aaron Judge spent two full years in the Minors before being called up. These were the elite college players who have been successful immediately. Others needed longer. Realistically, one full season in the Minors for Jung (the Rangers’ No. 1 prospect, per MLB Pipeline) would be good, and a second wouldn’t hurt him, either. But circumstances alter cases.

Now that the Rangers' Triple-A team is no longer close to Arlington, is there any chance that they would make Frisco the Triple-A team instead of Double-A for closer proximity to the MLB club?

-- Brad Hanstad, Frisco, Texas

Doubtful. For Frisco to move to Triple-A, another franchise would have to move down to Double-A. That would be difficult and complicated to do with too many moving parts.

The Rangers have a great Triple-A situation. After losing Round Rock to the Astros, they hit the jackpot by getting Nashville. Great stadium, great attendance and a city that arguably could be a Major League market. The proximity to DFW is not bad, either.

Frisco is doing fine in Double-A. The RoughRiders led all Double-A teams in attendance this season, and the ballpark -- 45 minutes from Arlington -- is outstanding. Almost all prospects have to go through Double-A, and RoughRiders fans still get to see the occasional star player drop in on a rehab assignment.

The Rangers own both of their Class A teams and have escaped the hitter-paradise California League. Their Class A short-season arrangement with Spokane is also excellent for that level.

Can you please give us a job description for field coordinator? This title seemed to emerge several seasons back without any clarification of what this person does on the coaching staff.

-- Chris T., Cedar Park, Texas

Rangers players arrive some five hours before most games. During those five hours, they go to team batting practice and individual workouts. Clubs don’t just roll out the baseballs anymore. They need somebody to coordinate everything and make sure everybody is following the same plan, especially when it comes to player development.

That means the Rangers -- as a group -- decide the right plan for Willie Calhoun, Nick Solak, Jose Trevino, and the field coordinator makes sure everybody follows the plan. As Major League player development field coordinator, Jayce Tingler (who is expected to be named Padres manager) was also responsible for outfielders and baserunning instruction.

What will the Rangers do with Matt Davidson? Will he be in the mix for the third base job?

-- Dalton W., Arlington

Davidson is a Minor League free agent. Given the Rangers curious lack of interest in bringing him to the big leagues this past season, Davidson will almost certainly be signing elsewhere.

You wrote a third baseman has a higher priority than an expensive starting pitcher because he can contribute every day. No doubt about it if you look at it this way. But isn’t the total contribution of an ace-caliber healthy starting pitcher during each of his 30+ games more crucial to team success than a third baseman´s five at-bats during every game?

-- Walter E., Vomp, Austria

Gerrit Cole and Rendon both sign seven-year contracts this winter. Which of the two will have the highest one-season peak value? Cole? Sure. What he did this year was ace-caliber. Okay, now how many ace-caliber seasons are you going to get over the next seven years?

Rendon? Sure, there are pitfalls for every position player. Still, think over the life of a seven-year contract -- or even a five-year contract -- the position player provides more value in the long run.

Think Adrian Beltre vs. Yu Darvish during their time with the Rangers. Who provided more value? And Darvish was younger.

Are the Rangers planning on moving the Nolan Ryan statue to the new ballpark?

-- Jason D., Fort Worth

Yes. Ryan and Tom Vandergriff will both be there, plus a few surprises to be named later.

Do you think the Rangers will have any interest in signing Howie Kendrick to a short-term deal?

-- Kam M., Dallas

is everything you would want in a utility player, except he has never played shortstop. But if can help out at shortstop, then Kendrick provides significant value. So do you want a proven Kendrick at 36 or an unproven Solak (the Rangers' No. 13 prospect) at 25? If that is the missing piece, Kendrick. If you are still sorting through young players and seeking long-term components to a championship team, then Solak.

Do you think for the sake of the non-heat lovers that never enjoyed Rangers games during the summer months that they will consider lowering the threshold on the outside temperature so that everyone can enjoy a comfortable cool climate?

-- David H., Brushy Creek, Texas

That was kind of the idea about spending $1.2 billion on this ballpark.