Watching Yankees mega-prospect Jasson Dominguez enter 2023

Extraterrestrial, the Martian, the next Mickey Mantle or just Mike Trout: these are the names that were broadcast in the baseball world about Jasson Dominguez when he signed an international record contract with the Yankees.

In 2019, the Bombers signed Dominguez – who was arguably the most acclaimed international prospect in MLB history – to a contract with a $5.1 million signing bonus. Talent evaluators across the baseball industry were bullish on the Dominican native’s dazzling tools with rankings as high as No. 32 in the game — according to MLB Pipeline — without even setting foot on a minor league diamond.

‘I don’t really think [the expectations are] fair.” Kevin Reese told reporters in the spring of 2021. “It’s hard to help him live up to those expectations because tomorrow he’s not going to show up and act like Mike Trout or Aaron Judge.”

The current evaluation has less whispers of scallop and trout, and Dominguez’s Hall of Fame plaque has been put on hold. Going into the 2023 season, MLB Pipeline checked in the 19-year-old as the number 47 in baseball.

Despite the glare of a historically anticipated prospect fading a bit, there are still plenty of reasons to dream about the tools the midfielder still owns.

Dominguez played at three different minor league levels in 2022 – which was his first full minor league season – and seemed to get better as he moved up the ranks. His slash between Low-A, High-A and Double-A registered at .273/.376/.461 with 16 home runs and 59 RBI in 120 games.

Once he reached Double-A Somerset, the outfielder played just five regular season games before setting the world on fire in the postseason. “The Martian” hit .450/.560/.950 with three homers and 10 RBI in five games, including a 3-4 outing with homers from both sides of the plate in the championship game, all but securing his spot in Double-A for early 2023.

Dominguez had a chance to showcase his talents in front of a national audience when he was named in the 2022 MLB Futures Game – along with fellow Yankee farmhand Anthony Volpe who placed fourth for the American League squad – during the All-Star weekend in Los Angeles and gave them something worth watching by shooting a 415-foot homer from the right side at 100 mph from the bat.

Despite the flash, there are many elements to his game that still need to be developed, including the in-game power, something the Bombers are still waiting to shine through on a more consistent basis. The switch-hitter regularly records exit speeds in excess of 100 mph, even reaching 117 mph in a sim game in 2021 as an 18-year-old, earning high raw power ratings from reviewers.

A hot topic of discussion is the amount of mass the young outfielder has put on his frame and what that means for his pace and ability to stay in midfield for the long haul. However, Dominguez stole 37 bases in 44 attempts last season, indicating that the young outfielder’s legs are still very much present — though it’s crucial to recognize the organization-wide increase in stolen bases and emphasis on baserunning throughout the Yankees system. .

Defensively, there are mixed evaluations on whether Dominguez will even be a midfielder when it’s all said and done, as the outfield angles may be more suited to his frame.

From the MLB Pipeline: “His midfield play has received mixed reviews, with some reviewers thinking he will stay in center and others thinking his defensive inconsistencies will drive him to a corner. With his solid to plus arm strength and offensive promise, he should have no problem profiling well in the right field.

As always, time will tell and it is crucial to keep the timeline in mind when making observations regarding the prospect. At nearly two years old, Dominguez was the youngest player on the Double-A Somerset roster and has completed just one full season of professional baseball, finishing just two steps from the Bronx.

There are plenty of opportunities for Dominguez to aim for at the highest level. As it stands, the Yanks currently have no set answer in left field next season or beyond and current centerfielder Harrison Bader is a free agent after the 2023 season. Should the switch-hitter move through the minors as quickly as last year, the Martian could land in the Bronx as early as 2024.

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