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ARLINGTON, Texas — Josh Jung hit a home run in his first Major League at-bat for the Texas Rangers on Friday night at Globe Life Field.

Jung, the Rangers’ No. 1 overall prospect, hit a 1-2 pitch off Blue Jays starter Ross Stripling over the left-field fence to give the Rangers their first run of the game. Texas was down 3-1 at the time.

Jung is the second Rangers player to homer in his first MLB at-bat. The first was Jurickson Profar on Sept. 2, 2012, in Cleveland. Jung is the first to do it at home.

Jung played baseball for Texas Tech and was a former Big 12 Player of the Year. He later became the Rangers' first-round pick. 

Former Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, now playing quarterback with Kansas City, was watching as the Chiefs prepare for their season-opener with Arizona. 

Jung made his first MLB start on Friday against Toronto, about six months after a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder required surgery and nearly put an end to any possibility of him playing in 2022.

Instead, Jung rehabbed the shoulder and caught fire once he was able to get back on the field.

On July 28, the Rangers sent Jung to their Arizona Complex League team for some rehab at-bats. He quickly went from just being a DH to playing third and hit .240 with three home runs and 5 RBI in eight games and 25 at-bats. That was enough to get the Rangers to send him to Triple-A Round Rock, where Jung hit .348 with nine home runs and 21 RBI last season.

He joined the Express on Aug. 9 and started hitting tape-measure home runs with regularity. He finished with a .273 average, six home runs, and 24 RBI. He hit five home runs in his first eight games and started teasing Rangers fans with an early call-up.

Since making his professional debut at the end of 2019, Jung has slashed .311/.381/.538/.919 (187-for-602) with 30 home runs, 43 doubles, and 118 RBI over 153 career games in the minor leagues, including batting .308/.377/.577/.954 in 109 games across the last 2 seasons.

Since the beginning of the 2021 season, Jung ranks among all minor league batters (minimum of 400 plate appearances) in slugging percentage (11th, .577) and OPS (14th, .954), leading Texas minor leaguers in those categories over that span.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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