Six games into the season, Josh Jung is starting to make a difference.
He made a barehand play to throw out a runner at first early in the game. He drove in the Rangers second run with a single in the first to put the Rangers up 2-0.
Then, when the Orioles tied it in the fifth, he untied it in the sixth with a two-run homer to put the Rangers up 4-2 in a game they would win 5-2, driving in three of the five runs.
But just as big as putting his team ahead for good was the fact that Jung’s homer in the sixth gave Jacob deGrom his first W as a Ranger. He earned that with an eleven-strike-out performance in six innings of work, giving up one earned run.
After six games, Jung is second on the Rangers in hitting at .318, second in OBP at .375, tied for the home run lead with two, but also leading the team in strikeouts with seven.
It’s the kind of beginning to a season that can really build a rookie’s confidence. If you make it to this level, you have the talent. Confidence is ninety percent of what turns that talent into a successful career.
Jung is fighting a lot of disappointing draft history. Maybe he can finally be the one Rangers draft success story.