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Philies 2019 draft preview: Josh Jung, 3B

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Arkansas vs Texas Tech
Holy cow, a photo of a draft prospect!
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Jung is a 6’2” 215 lbs right handed hitter who is in his 3rd year playing 3rd base for the Texas Tech Red Raiders. He was named Big 12 Freshman of the year in 2017 after slashing .306/.395/.453. His Sophmore year was even better as he cut his K rate (which was already reasonably good for a Freshman) boosted his power and showed impressive plate discipline.

We’ll cover the bad tool first: he’s slow. Not clog the bases slow, but pretty solidly below average. His range at Third does somewhat reflect that and while he has an easy plus arm and gets to everything he should he doesn’t look terribly athletic doing any of it. Most scouting reports seem to consider him an average defender who can stay at Third Base. I’m a bit less optimistic. It may be a few weeks of watching Bohm lumber around over there tainting my outlook. There are definitely some similarities on D.

The video below is from Fangraphs. Skipping the BP portion of the video we do get to see some of the slightly stiff looking defense. It’s possible he could be Pat Burrell if 3rd doesn’t work. I think the bat can work to play anywhere. I don’t think the bat is ready just yet. I have tweaks that I think should be made, but he has an excellent approach and very good bat speed and barrel control. The first thing I see in his swing is that, like Nick Madrigal last year, he has a big leg kick that is pretty much solely a timing mechanism. Jung’s frame and swing suggests above average to plus power, but the key to unlocking that power is to create tension in the load like a rubber band between the front foot and the hands. I’d like to see that front foot land as he’s at the back of his load and really unleash all that stored tension on contact. It doesn’t look to me like there’s much tension in the load. The parts are there, it’s a matter of a tweak to the timing and this bat plays anywhere on the diamond.

I’ve seen an absurd range of comps (take them for what they’re worth) from Colin Moran to Matt Carpenter to Nolan Arenado. I think Moran is actually a pretty fair comp. If Jung’s power and defense stay exactly what they are now, he’s Colin Moran. I think if his swing gets adjusted and the power comes out, but the defense stays where it is he’s probably somewhere between Miguel Andujar and Matt Carpenter. I see no real chance he’s Nolan Arenado, but no one really thought Nolan Arenado was that good either, so who knows?

I think Jung is a pretty safe pick if he drops to 14. I’m not a huge Colin Moran fan, but he’s a serviceable player and a slightly above replacement player is not a bad fall back for a guy who could be top third in the Majors if he can adopt Hoskins’ swing.