Jung — who entered the season as the Rangers’ top prospect, per MLB Pipeline — solidified a spot on the big league roster alongside seasoned veterans Seager and Semien in the infield. He’s long been seen as Texas’ third baseman of the future, and he’s grabbed a firm hold of the chance to prove it.
On Sunday, Jung and one of those multi-million dollar infielders in Seager both homered in the Rangers’ 13-3 win over the Rockies, helping the club to secure a sweep of their National League opponent.
“I think that might be the first time [we homered in the same game], I think maybe, so it was pretty cool,” Jung said with a smile postgame.
It actually wasn’t the first, as the teammates did it twice during Jung’s cup of coffee in the big leagues in September 2022, but there no doubt will be many more in the years to come.
“He just looks really comfortable,” Seager said of Jung. “That’s all we need him to do is be himself. You don’t need anything more from him, you just need him to do what he can, and that’s exactly what he’s doing.”
“He’s just a good hitter,” manager Bruce Bochy added. “I think he’s even surpassed what we were hoping for as far as just being consistent at the plate. He’s been that good.”
Jung, at 25-years-old, is settling in nicely in his first full Major League season. After winning American League Rookie of the Month in April with a slash line of .270/.324/.500 in his first 26 games of the season, he leveled off a bit, batting just .200 through the first 10 games of May.
The slump didn’t last long though. Jung is 8-for-26 in his past seven games hitting in the heart of the Rangers’ deep lineup as he’s continued to make adjustments to big league pitching.
“It’s a constant chess game,” Jung said. “[Pitchers are] constantly adjusting, and you have to constantly adjust with them. And then they make another adjustment and you have to figure out what they’re doing again, and that’s just the name of the game. I’m getting better at making adjustments quicker. And I think that’s what’s helping me a little bit so far.”
Seager, on the other hand, is just as good as he’s always been. For the second game in a row, the shortstop finished with three hits and a triple shy of the cycle. Just four games after returning from the injured list with a left hamstring strain, Seager looks better than ever.
He went hitless in his first game back on Wednesday against the Braves, but he has gone 7-for-13 with two homers, three doubles and seven RBIs in the three games against the Rockies.
“I feel good,” Seager said. “This lineup is really good, and hitting is contagious. Everybody wants to pass the baton and keep moving. That’s all we’re trying to do.”
The win over Colorado was Texas’ MLB-best 12th game with 10+ runs scored this season.
The Rangers have outscored their opponents 297-189 (+108) in 2023, easily the highest run differential through the first 46 games of a campaign in franchise history (previously +90 in 2012). The 297 runs scored are the most in the Majors this season and the second-most over the first 46 games of a season in franchise history (301 in 1998).
“It’s been everybody,” Bochy said. “You look at the back end [of the lineup] — I mean, you know the front end and how good they are — but the back end is just doing a great job, as well. It’s really been everybody, again. It’s been a lot of fun to watch these guys. They’re just throwing out great at-bats. They’re taking their walks, good two-strike hitting, it’s just a lot of good things happening throughout the lineup.”
Rangers starter Andrew Heaney, who allowed one unearned run over six innings, said the offense putting up big inning after big inning allows him to challenge hitters a little more and attack guys differently than he normally would on the mound.
“It’s just awesome, obviously, just having the guys and seeing the continuity of that lineup,” Heaney said. “The work that they put in and the ability of them to just be relentless on other teams is just such a great feeling when you’re on the mound, and you can go out there and have a little bit of just a sigh of relief. Just relax and go get outs. It’s just been great.”