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The upper minors are representing a stiff test for Jasson Domínguez

The Martian has struggled in Double-A, but that isn’t uncommon for prospects his age.

MLB: All Star-Futures Game Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees will return to the field tomorrow, and all eyes will be on the big league roster to see if they can start playing more consistently. At 49-42, a spot in the postseason is far from assured; in fact, the Bombers would be out of the party if the playoffs started today.

However, it’s also important to keep an eye on how the prospects are doing down on the farm, especially in the high minors. Outfielder Jasson Domínguez, ranked 42nd overall by MLB Pipeline, has been seen as a future star for years, but hasn’t had a particularly productive year in Double-A Somerset.

Domínguez entered the 2023 season on a high note. After tearing up High-A Hudson Valley last year with a .306/.397/.510 line and a 145 wRC+ in 40 games, the Yankees gave him a taste of Double-A: five games and a productive postseason run.

Domínguez then had an amazing spring training that even had some enthusiastic fans asking for him to be included on the Opening Day roster. Assigned to the Patriots to prove he can consistently succeed against upper-minors pitching, he hasn’t been able to achieve that.

So far, the Martian has slashed .204/.345/.346 (95 wRC+) with 10 home runs, 55 runs scored, 39 RBI, and 61 walks in 76 games and 345 trips to the plate.

Now, the average and the slugging percentage seem bad, but there have been positives. Domínguez is sporting an impressive 17.7-percent walk rate and he is still one of the youngest players in Double-A at 20 years old. He has shown speed as well as some power, swiping 24 bases in 28 attempts — including home just before the All-Star break:

However, it’s fair to say that the year has been rather disappointing for Domínguez. He has been below the league-average (95 wRC+) offensively, he has a strikeout problem (28.4-percent strikeout rate) and his power output has been very low recently.

The toolsy outfielder has just three extra-base hits in his last 20 games, all doubles. In Domínguez’s last month (since June 9), he is slashing a poor .204/.298/.296 with a .595 OPS and a 34.7-percent strikeout rate. That’s only good for a 65 wRC+ — below expectations, even for his age.

Domínguez is still very young so the struggles shouldn’t be that much of an issue, but his first full season in the high minors hasn’t been pretty and, unfortunately, it comes at crucial time for the organization: the trade deadline.

If the Yankees are going to aim high in trade talks, nobody currently in their system should be deemed untouchable, and that includes Domínguez. This was true even before his 2023 struggles. However, if teams are going to lower his price because he hasn’t aced Double-A at a young age, then maybe he shouldn’t be discussed at all.

Make no mistake: Domínguez is still a highly valuable trade commodity despite the subpar campaign. His long-term outlook shouldn’t change just because he has failed (so far, at least) to dominate Double-A as a 20-year-old. Prospect development is not linear, and we have seen countless cases of young players failing in their first shot at a determinate level only to come back next year (sometimes even in the second half) and dominating. After all, the adjustment from High-A to Double-A is often cited as the most difficult one to make, outside from the biggest jump of all: the one to The Show.

All things considered, this season has been a reminder that immediate success isn’t guaranteed for anybody, and that Domínguez still has things to work on to improve his game. The good thing is that the future is still bright and while most prospects his age are in A-ball, he is already in Double-A. He has plenty of time.