Jess Jung knows the next stage of his baseball career.
The Texas Tech junior infielder was selected with the 12th overall pick in the first round by the Detroit Tigers as part of the First-Year MLB Draft on Sunday. The slot price is $4,587,900 per MLB.com.
Jung is the first raider to be selected in the 2022 draft, while there is another unique distinction – he was picked like his older brother Josh in the first round when the Texas Rangers picked him with the eighth overall pick in 2019. The Jung brothers make up two of the four first round totals in Texas Tech program history.
The left-handed hitter from San Antonio MacArthur hit a .335 clip during the 2022 season with 14 home runs and 57 runs to go. He started all 61 games and made 59 walks, finishing fifth in NCAA Division I. Within the Big 12, he ranked in the top five in on-base percentage (.481), on-base-plus slugging (1.093). and walks (68).
MLB.com awarded him a 60 grade — 20-80 above average on the Scouting Scale — for hit tool, power, and overall grades. Speed, arm and defensive range are his shortcomings in the eyes of scouts.
Last season, nine Texas Tech baseball players were selected by MLB teams—highlighted by Cal Conley (25th, Atlanta Braves) and Drew Baker (29th, Tampa Bay Rays), both of whom were selected in the fourth round.
Of the group, Brandon Birdsell chose to return and play for the Red Raiders in an effort to improve his draft stock.
Last year, Birdsell collapsed in his throwing shoulder with a strained rotator cuff after missing the last two months of the season due to health concerns. The right-arm bowler turned down an 11th-round opportunity for the Minnesota Twins. He bet himself with the decision and made a strong comeback for the take this season, earning recognition by various outlets as the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and second and third team All-America. Throwing his fastball at 94 to 97 mph, he scored 106 runs in 85 innings and narrowed his walks to 29.
Texas Tech Roundup: Jess Jung, Brandon Birdsell earn more respect across America
With Birdsell, the Red Raiders could lose their top three starting pitchers – Andrew Morris (8-2, 4.58) and Chase Hampton (5-4, 4.29) – on a team that finished 39-22 and won the championship title. Proceeded to NCAA Statesboro Regional.
Back in 2019, Josh Jung – Jess’ older brother – was picked by the Texas Rangers with the eighth overall pick. Josh Jung has chosen the second-highest raid raider in the draft as center fielder Donald Harris was taken with the fifth pick, incidentally, taken by Rangers back in 1989. He was selected two places ahead of Frank Thomas – who went on to become the first Ballet Hall of Famer after a solid hitting career spent with the Chicago White Sox.
Teck has drafted 57 players in Tadlock’s 10 years as head coach, including nine last year, 11 after the 2018 season and 10 in 2016.
Round 3 to 10 will start on Monday and Round 11 to 20 will take place on Tuesday.
College Sports Roundup:Texas Tech’s Hudson White, Jess Jung praised after season
Who are the draft-eligible raiders?
senior: Colin Clark, LHP, Kurt Wilson, INF/OF/RHP, Cooper Swanson, INF, Cody Masters, OF/DH
Juniors: Garrett Crowley, LHP, Andrew Morris, RHP, Cole Stillwell, C/1B, Bo Blasey, RHP, Brandon Birdsell, RHP
Sophomores: Jess Jung, INF, Dylan Carter, OF, Chase Hampton, RHP, Austin Baker, RHP
* – Classifications are set for players entering the 2021-2022 campaign. List taken from MLB.com.
This article was originally published in Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Jess Jung of Texas Tech was selected by the Detroit Tigers with the 12th pick in the first round.