The Martian is his nickname. He was named after Jason Giambi. He is often compared to Mike Trout, Bo Jackson, and Mickey Mantle. The FanGraphs’ scouting staff called him a “generational talent” and placed him in the middle of their top-100 prospects list before he even played a professional game. He is Jasson Dominguez, and fortunately, he is a Yankee.
Still 16 years old, this switch-hitter has it all: a great feel for hitting, speed and range to play center field, a cannon arm, and enough raw power to consistently hit 30 bombs in the highest of levels. He could also swipe at least 30 bags annually, as his 60-yard dash time is similar to that of Billy Hamilton.
Of course, he has a long way to go, and the player comparisons in the first paragraph are unfair for a teenager. However, Dominguez may be a fast-riser in the Yankees’ system and reach the majors around 20. Some say that he can make a similar impact than that of Juan Soto when he first came up.
Dominguez, despite still not playing in a pro game, is the Yankees’ best position-player prospect, and some may argue that he is still the best, including pitchers.
He grew up as a Yankees fan. And, speaking of growing, he may not be done doing so, being so young. As he matures, his raw power could increase even more. He is, according to Baseball America, “built like a running back with a dense, muscular build, like a shorter version of Yoan Moncada with comparable tools.”
He is currently 5’10”, which is on the short side, but it doesn’t matter, as he absolutely punishes the ball. At 190 pounds, however, he still has some growing to do.
The whole package
Of the player comparisons thrown around, the most impressive is the Mantle one. ESPN quoted an international signing director who failed to sign Dominguez, as saying that “it’s like Mickey Mantle. He’s not 6-foot. He’s a switch-hitter. He’s got crazy power. He’s fast as s---. He loves playing.”
Donny Rowand, an international scout for the Yankees, said that “he’s possibly the best combination of tools, athleticism, and performance that I’ve run across.” Rowand, however, advises patience.
Now, there’s a whole lot of time, a whole lot of at-bats and a whole lot of proving it between now and hopefully reaching the major leagues. Given his baseball background, his baseball acumen, his desire, his competitive nature, his work ethic, it’s never an easy thing to drop $5.1 million on one player, but he made it pretty easy.
Yes, the Yankees committed almost their entire $5.4 million bonus to Dominguez last July. They are hoping that he is as advertised. But it is easy to see why they did it.
His swing is smooth from both sides of the plate, and the bat speed is evident. He is much more advanced than the prototypical 16-year old, especially when it comes to his approach. Reports state that he goes to the batter’s box with a plan, but it will be up to him to prove it.
Where will he start?
For now, the Yankees haven’t announced a development plan for Dominguez. Usually, prospects around his age start in the Dominican Summer League and then go to a Rookie affiliate.
However, we are not dealing with a regular prospect. It isn’t unheard of for some of the best young players to start with Pulaski (Rookie ball-Advanced) as Everson Pereira did in 2018. The Tampa Bay Rays started Wander Franco at the same level, and he did more than OK.
Since the DSL starts before the Gulf Coast and the Appalachian leagues, maybe the Yankees have him play a handful of games there before bringing him to the United States.
Either way, we won’t see Dominguez in the Bronx in 2020 or 2021. Maybe not even in 2022. But once he’s up, he could really make a difference. And Yankee fans will enjoy the ride, having a special prospect in their hands, which is something they haven’t really experienced for a while.