- Position: Outfield
- Date of Birth: 2/7/2003
- Bats: Switch
- Throws: Right
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 190lb
His Story So Far
If you’ve followed the Yankees’ organizational comings and goings at all for the past two years, you probably already know something about Jasson Dominguez. Dominguez, born in Esperanza, Dominican Republic in the same year that Aaron Boone earned his managing gig with a walkoff postseason home run, was the top international draft signee in 2019. The Yankees spent $5.1 million of their $5.8 million total pool to sign the then-16-year-old, and he has been called the “most hyped and tooled-up international draft prospect in recent memory” by MLB Pipeline. He has been compared to Mickey Mantle and Mike Trout even as most of his peers are celebrating their high school graduations. While it’s obviously a fool’s errand to try and project the outcome of a major league career onto a teenager, Dominguez, who was named after former Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi, has the kind of reputation the Yankees system hasn’t seen in a while.
Because of the lack of minor league action due to the pandemic last season, “The Martian,” as he’s called due to his other-wordly abilities, did not make his professional debut until very recently. He participated in minor league spring training, then started the 2021 season in extended spring training. He didn’t play his first actual game until June 28, when he debuted with the Rookie League Gulf Coast Yankees. Although he only OPSed .607 (.200/.407/.200) with one RBI and two stolen bases through 7 games/20 at-bats at that level, he was considered enough of a rising star to be named to the All-Star Futures Game earlier this month. His nomination was itself unprecedented, as Dominguez is the first player to be named to the team without having played full-season ball at any professional level.
After the All-Star break, Dominguez was promoted to Low-A Tampa, where he has spent the last few games in the Tarpons’ lineup. The sample size is extremely small, but thus far he has thrived, slashing .333/.405/.515 through 33 at-bats. He has a home run, a double, a triple, and 5 RBIs through eight games, and after the two years’ worth of hype it’s nice to see that he’s having some early success handling professional pitching.
- HIT: 55
- POWER: 60
- RUN: 65
- ARM: 60
- FIELD: 55
- OVERALL: 55
One of the most intriguing things about Dominguez as he begins his professional career is that he’s an exceptionally well-rounded prospect, “plus” or “above average” in every category. Although he has exclusively been working as a center fielder this year, scouts say he has the potential to play almost anywhere on the field due to his “quickness and arm strength.” He has plus speed and covers a lot of ground in the outfield with a strong arm.
At the plate, he is said to have a “precocious” feel for the bat, and combined with his speed projects as a potential 30-30 guy. Scouts have praised his maturity and discipline at the plate, and FanGraphs reports that his “bat speed and power are off the charts for a player this young.” Further, FanGraphs notes that Dominguez got “jacked” during the 2020 layoff (his 5’10”, 190lb stats via MiLB.com are likely outdated; FanGraphs has him listed at 5’11”, 215), and says “there’s no precedent for someone this age being as big and strong as Dominguez already is.” Exciting stuff.
Baseball America: #24
MLB Pipeline: #24
Baseball Prospectus: #59
Given his age and his very recent professional debut, Dominguez will likely spend the rest of the season in A-ball, where he is 3.4 years younger than the average player. His Yankees debut, even as entire minor league teams are getting called up to help the big club, is at minimum several years away with most projecting his arrival in 2023 or 2024.
Prospects like Dominguez are always exciting to watch come up through the system, and the level of hype surrounding him makes it almost impossible not to have high hopes. FanGraphs’ scouting report, however, succinctly describes the volatility of rooting for high-ceiling prospects –
“At a certain point in time, before he began playing actual games, we only knew as much about Wander Franco as we currently do about Jasson Dominguez. At a certain point in time, the same was true of Kevin Maitan. That is the range of potential outcomes here, as we still only truly know about Dominguez’s showcase tools (what it’s like to watch him take BP and run, both of which are scintillating) and very little about how he’ll perform against pro pitching.”
The report is apt to bring up Maitan, a similarly-hyped international draft prospect who signed with the Braves for a $4.25 million bonus in 2016 and has since floundered, currently still playing in rookie league and unranked on prospect boards since 2018. Of course, any level-headed Yankees fan knows it’s possible that Dominguez will flame out, and there’s just so much future for this Futures Game star that it’s impossible to draw any conclusions at this early stage of the game.
However, the Yankees’ brass seems impressed with his tools and maturity (“between his work ethic and his physical ability, none of that can be denied,” says Brian Cashman), and early on-field returns seem promising. For now, I choose to remain optimistic that when the Yankees take the field three years down the road, center field will be patrolled by a young superstar ready to take on the legacy of DiMaggio and Mantle. Time, prove me right.