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Detroit Tigers: A look at Jace Jung’s first summer with the organization

Tyler Kotila
HOUSTON, TEXAS - MARCH 06: Jace Jung #2 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders tags out Blake Faecher #3 of the Sam Houston State Bearkats in the fourth inning at Minute Maid Park on March 06, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - MARCH 06: Jace Jung #2 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders tags out Blake Faecher #3 of the Sam Houston State Bearkats in the fourth inning at Minute Maid Park on March 06, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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A recap of Jace Jung’s first summer with the Detroit Tigers.

This summer, the Detroit Tigers went out and drafted infielder Jace Jung with the 12th selection of the 2022 MLB Draft. After being drafted, he was able to join the organization and make his debut with the team’s farm system.

The Detroit Tigers placed him with the High-A affiliate. He joined the West Michigan Whitecaps fresh off a 61-game season with the Texas Tech Red Raiders at the NCAA level. Jung’s spring at the collegiate level treated him to a .335/.481/.612 slash line with 18 doubles and 14 home runs over 295 plate appearances.

The bat is clearly the seller here. That’s been the case with Jung. The hope from the Avila regime was that the bat would carry him to Detroit as a future infielder to the team. With third base likely out of the question after there was a lack of comfortability was shown there with Texas Tech.

Jung would likely have to play second base, and it feels like defense could be in question down the line. The outlook is not my favorite, and he might wind up being a trade chip for Scott Harris as time goes on.

But let’s get on with the recap.

After being drafted and placed with the Whitecaps, Jung was able to find his way into 30 games with the High-A squad. He ended up accumulating 134 plate appearances, where he slashed .232/.373/.333 for the Whitecaps.

Jung picked up six doubles, a triple, and a home run while picking up 13 RBI. He was punched out 28 times with the Whitecaps as well. Here’s a look at his home run. He gets his hands to it quickly and takes it deep beyond the wall in right field for the big fly.

With a need at third, I would not be surprised to see Jung getting reps at both second and third, though he only played second for the Whitecaps. If Harris wants to keep him around, knowing Hinch, he will likely throw out the idea of making sure Jung is more versatile down the line.

Beyond that, Jung needs to keep doing work on plate discipline. The bat is great, but there is some room for improvement with his swing decisions at times. His summer with the Tigers showed a glimpse of what Jung’s bat can offer.

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It will be interesting to see how he performs over an entire summer in 2023. There will be more opportunities for development and to continue adding value to him for the organization moving forward.

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