A few days ago, the Yankees signed Jasson Dominguez, a 16-year-old outfield prospect from the Dominican Republic. Dominguez signed with the team for $5.1 million, breaking the record for an international amateur free agent.
To give a little context, this is $5.1 million of the $5,398,000 total bonus pool money the Yankees have to spend on international players. It is also the highest bonus ever given to a player, which certainly goes to show you how the Yankees feel about him.
Even if the Yankees were to gain more bonus pool money, they’re only allowed total $8,637,280. So no matter what, they spent way more than half their pool money on one player.
We covered the initial signing news here, but I have a few additional thoughts.
Dominguez ranks atop all international prospects
If you need any clarification as to why the Yankees are so confident about this signing, you just have to reference MLB.com’s top 30 international prospects. Dominguez sits comfortably at number one with some incredibly high praise from their evaluators and the rest of the baseball world. His player description and bio pretty much describe a perfect player. Consider these excepts from their scouting report, first noting his batting profile:
At the plate, the teen has a smooth, short and compact swing with excellent bat speed from both sides of the plate. He has shown good bat control and can drive the ball into the gaps and hit for power to all fields.
As well as his speed:
He’s also a smart baserunner with good speed. He’s known for getting good leads and a quick first jump. He normally runs the timed 60-yard run in 6.3 to 6.5 seconds.
On defense, Dominguez has shown good footwork and soft hands, and he takes good routes. He has a strong arm and his balls carry on line until they reach the destination.
That’s almost too good to be true, isn’t it? The Yankees appear to have landed a special talent.
The Yankees’ farm system never had a chance to slip
Ever since the Yankees began to dip into the farm system in 2017, the elite talent dwindled as players graduated or got traded. Now that the Bombers are down to their last few top-tier prospects, some fans are ready to clear out the rest of them in attempt to get an elite starting pitcher for a postseason run.
Before they could do that, though, the Yankees bolstered their farm system with one of the best young talents the game has seen in a long time. The organization struck gold with almost all their young prospects that have come up recently, and players recognize that. It has to cross their minds before signing. It appears the Yankees are on their way to creating an endless pipeline of prospects.
Dominguez is not 22—he is 16. So while there are only unbelievable things written about him, fans should probably take it all with a grain of salt. Or should they?
With the technology of today involving analytics and Statcast, there error bars shrink when it comes to scouting these players. Teams have a far better understanding of the the type of player a prospect is—and what his potential is— than 20 years ago. So the potential for a player to bust has certainly decreased over the last several years. That’s not to say Dominguez is a sure thing, or that you should buy into the Mantle comparisons. It’s just that teams have way more information today, and they’re right more often than not.