Draft Prospect Watch: Another Noteworthy College Bat

We have already posted 11 Draft Prospect Watch articles as we lead up to the 2022 draft, which begins on Sunday July 17th, when the Pittsburgh Pirates will make the fourth overall pick in the draft.

With two weeks left until the draft, this will likely be our final Draft Prospect Watch article, unless a new name pops up late. The Pirates have been said to be interested in college bats throughout this whole process, and there is one more college bat to look at before we tentatively wrap up this series.

Texas Tech second baseman Jace Jung was actually connected to the Pirates last year (December I believe) in the way too early mock draft look at the draft class. He has been rated as a top ten player in this draft class the entire time, so a team picking fourth and looking for a college bat, has probably kept an eye on him all year.

BA’s latest update has Jung ranked eighth in the class. They rate him as a 60 hitter with 60 power, so he would be a strong lefty bat to add to the system. The rest of his game is mediocre, but if the bat is that good, then you’ll find a place for him if he can’t play second base. At 6’0″, 215 pounds, he’s a below average runner. BA calls him an old school bat, in that he hits the ball where it’s pitched, using the entire field, with gap-to-gap power. He has also shown an ability to draw his share of walks. In other words, he’s not one of these generic cavemen swinging for the fences that teams are trying to mass produce into two outcome players. He can actually hit and do it with power, which is a rare combo these days. His defense is described as steady and he gets a lot of credit for his baseball IQ. He’s not going to impress you with anything defensively or on the bases, but he also won’t frustrate you either.

MLB Pipeline has the 21-year-old rated ninth overall in the draft class. They rate him as a 60 hitter with 60 power, giving him the same grades as BA. They have him as a 40 grade runner with a 45 arm, which are also the same grades as BA. The only difference is that BA had him as 50 for his glove and Pipeline has him at 45. A 1/2 grade difference over five categories tells you that scouts are on the same page with his overall talent. Pipeline notes his unorthodox setup (see videos below), but they note that he doesn’t have a weakness at the plate, handling all type of pitchers and pitches well. They praise his bat speed and ability to make hard contact, while noting that he could profile as a .300 hitter with 30 homers. They also mentioned the same thing I did, where if he needs to move off of second base, the bat is going to play up anywhere.

Since the two sides seem to be in agreement on his bat and overall game, then let’s look at the videos.

Here’s a video from March 20th from Prospect Live. It’s unedited, so it’s a little long for minimal swings

Here’s a highlight video

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roberto

Apparently Rocker had a minor shoulder surgery last fall. He was brilliant in indie ball. Of course no discounts with Boras. Worth a look? Teams now have medicals.

joebaseball

NEVER pick a Boras kid

bradlej31

Pitchers are so risky. Not just with injury but control…. 3rd pitch etc

PirateRican21

Jacob Berry if we going hitter without a position, that includes Parada who seems less likely to stay behind the plate than Davis.

roberto

I don’t think that’s the right bucket for Jung. If he couldn’t field, he wouldn’t be playing second in the Big XII. BTW, soon that will be the only conference with the title and number of teams aligned (unless Colorado rejoins).

CTBucco

They would surely be passing up a few guys that I believe have higher upside to take Jung. I’d rather they take the highest upside they can at 1-4. It will get harder to add stars in the years to come.

mpg43952

A player like Jung, D1, what quality of minor league level would be be? Would be be out of place in AA?

roberto

Probably not to start. He has to master hitting with wood bats.

Pay him the #9 slot and you’ve got $2 million to play with.

RAS TN

DH…

roberto

Or second, first, or third. He’s not a butcher in the field.

JoeNastasi

With the rating for arm that low 3rd is an absolute no go.

bradlej31

Michael Chavis could play 3B and not lose you games. You don’t need a cannon to play 3B. the glove is more relevant. But nothing matters if you can’t hit… Jung can hit.

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