Yankees prospect Jasson Dominguez: A full recap of the first year


Yankees prospect Jasson Dominguez: A full recap of the first year

In the months leading up to the opening of the 2019-20 international free agency period, word began to trickle out that the Yankees were a sluice for Jasson Dominguez, a generational talent nicknamed “The Martian” for his exceptionality. world talents. They finalized the deal and signed it three years ago yesterday.

Names like Mickey Mantle and Mike Trout have been thrown around as comparisons, but the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season delayed Dominguez’s professional debut by a full calendar year. That debut would eventually come on June 28, 2021 in the Florida Complex League. Now, just a year after making his professional debut in rookie ball, check out what Dominguez is as a player.

The hype didn’t stop there with reporters and scouts getting a very small glimpse of Dominguez. Current Yankees minor league batting coordinator Joe Migliaccio said in an April 2021 interview, “If you think ‘This guy has power, this guy has power,’ he doesn’t necessarily have power when you compare him to Jasson Dominguez. The behind-the-scenes results sounded promising and Dominguez was a staple of the Top 100 Prospects list before ever playing a game.

Dominguez routinely lets Statcast shine well over 100 mph with hard-hit balls. The triple in the video below was clocked at 108.2 mph, and that exit velo allowed the low-line drive to get past both outfielders, resulting in extra bases. His ability to make hard contact is tempered by a very high groundball rate, which has hovered over 50 percent for the past two seasons.

The high groundball rate isn’t a problem unique to Dominguez, as numerous Yankees prospects have struggled with it for the past few years, but then saw their slugging percentages soar once those grounders became line drives. This season, Anthony Seigler’s groundball rate is down nearly 20 percent from last season and his offensive numbers are up across the board, showing there’s a recent example of the system’s success.

Something that would set Dominguez apart from other hard-hitting 16-year-old prospects was his hit tool. This tool didn’t quite live up to expectations, but it’s still rated highly even by scouts. Dominguez batted 31.3 percent of the time in his freshman year in Low-A and has brought that number down to 28.2 percent this year by the end of Friday’s game. The 30 percent mark is often used by evaluators as a point where they become very concerned about a player’s ability to contribute at the higher levels. Both Baseball America and MLB.com still rate Dominguez as a 55-degree hitter, which is above average.

Out of players in the Florida State League, Dominguez ranks ninth among qualified players in OPS. Seven of the players before him are at least 21 years old. He has achieved a career 119 wRC+ despite being two to three years younger than the average attacking player at his respective level.

After a slow start to the season, things also seem to be going in the right direction for Dominguez. In the 54 games from April 24 to July 1, Dominguez hit .275/.403/.477, which is good for a 155 wRC+. He also continued to slightly reduce his strikeout rate at this distance to 26.3 percent, while his walk rate increased in the right direction to 16.9 percent.

The pre-signing reports on Dominguez credited him with a double speed that would allow him to be an above average midfielder for a long time. Upon seeing Dominguez in action, scouts downgraded his speed, field and arm tools as they didn’t live up to the 2019 hype. There is no need to panic as all tools have previously been rated as either plus or even elite double-plus tools and they have been downgraded to average or slightly above average depending on the source. There is much speculation that Dominguez will now end up as a corner fielder or an average midfielder as opposed to a plus defender in midfield. Should he succeed in the role it’s still a very valuable prospect.

Will Dominguez ever be Mike Trout or Mickey Mantle? The short answer is no, and he never would be. It’s time to leave the words of 2019 behind Jasson Dominguez and let his game dictate his own path on the field. Without the unrealistic hype, all Yankees fans would be enthralled by this exciting talent who has improved over the past 12 months while playing at an advanced level for his age.

If Dominguez continues to score like he has over the past two months, he will surely end his 19-year season at High-A level, where the average offensive player is currently 22.6 years old. It’s absolutely a prospect worth pursuing, even if he’s not the perfect player he was once portrayed to be.

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