Meet Rangers draft picks Josh Jung, Davis Wendzel
Josh Jung and Davis Wendzel were elite college hitters and defenders, and so complete as players that the Big 12 Conference couldn’t decide which one should be the Player of the Year this season.
So, they shared the honor.
They reached base so often the past three college seasons at Texas Tech and Baylor that they spoke enough to forge a nice friendship.
Now the third basemen are officially teammates in the Texas Rangers’ organization after being selected with the Rangers’ top two picks last month in the MLB draft. They signed their first pro contracts and were introduced to the media Wednesday.
“Growing up it was always my dream to try to play at the highest level possible,” Jung said. “I got to go to college and experience the college level, and it’s always been one of those dreams of my to play professional baseball. To get that opportunity is pretty special.”
Jung has been hitting since the Red Raiders were eliminated from the College World Series late last month. His goal is to continue to find a feel for wooden bats that he played with the past few summers.
Wendzel has been nursing a thumb injury that did not require surgery but will keep him down at least three more weeks. Once ready, he said that he will play wherever the Rangers ask him as Jung could get more of the reps at third base.
They will likely head to Short-Season A Spokane after their time in Surprise.
“I take pride in all aspects of the game, and definitely defense is one of them,” Wendzel said. “I love to play. I have a lot of fun out there and get a lot of work, not only at third but at all the positions.”
The Rangers signed Jung to a $4.4 million bonus and Wendzel for $1.6 million, both figures below the projected slot value. They were expected to use a surplus of $900,000 to entice other draftees to sign.
Two of them are from just outside the top 10 — 11th-rounder Nick Lockhart, a prep right-hander who is committed to Virginia Tech, and 12th-rounder Gavin Collyer, a prep right-hander who is committed to Clemson.
The Rangers were also closing in on a deal with sixth-rounder Cody Bradford, an Aledo High grad who was the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year in 2018 for Baylor.